The Wilmore News, July 26, 1917.
Ft. Douglas, Utah
July 21, 1917
Mr. Frank McCabe
Have never received a letter from you since I wrote on the 14th but had some extra time this evening as we did not drill today, and I am feeling pretty good, altho I am some lonesome as I haven't received a "Wilmore News" or a letter for a long time.
Say, I sure was sick for about three days of this week and never did get my name in on the "sick report." So I had to drill any way. The first day I was sick I told the corporal and that day he "double timed" us about half of the day. The next day I felt worse and had to "fall out" but didn't get on the sick list and the next day I felt better. Today I feel pretty good.
It has been a long time since I saw any one I knew I guess I wouldn't know how to act if I were to see some one whom I know.
I sure would like to hear from a lot of the young folks and all who care to write. I get quite lonesome away up here.
We have had two days of rifle drill and my shoulder sure is sore, too.
I guess we are here to stay for a while. I think we will stay here until we are ready to go to France. I hear some talk tho of our being shipped to some fort in Michigan. I don't much believe we will be tho.
I think we are going out on the Range next week for target practice. I will let you know how I come out in the practice.
We have one hour of physical exercise in the morning and two hours of drill. We come in at eleven o'clock and go out at 1:05 in the afternoon and come in at 3:00. We have four hours drill and one of exercise each day here.
Please don't forget to send the next "News" after the one that had my letter in it, to me.
I sure wish you folks could see the beautiful mountains out here. They are not very far, about half a mile or so.
Some of the boys are having a grand time now playing base ball with an indoor base ball and a piece of two by four.
Well, I guess I will have to close or "mooch" some more paper. Don't forget how to address my mail.
Co. L. 42nd Inf.
Ft. Douglas, Utah
The Wilmore News, September 20, 1917.
Letters From Our Soldier Boys
Fort Douglas, Utah, September 13, 1917
Mr. Frank McCabe
Dear Father and Family;
I received your letter a few days ago and keep putting off to write thinking it would be pay day before long, but as it has not arrived I guess that I will write anyway.
I suppose that by the time you have answered this letter you will be moved into your new home.
I am pleased to hear that Clifford likes school so well. I'll bet he will learn fast. I wish Arnold did have that big phone thing so he could talk to me.
Have you heard where Ernest Wood has went? Have any more of the boys left there yet, if so where did they go?
I will answer your questions now.
The colonel of the post is A. Hosbrovek; no Lieutenant Colonel that I know of. No Colonel of the 42nd yet; Major Molly, Co. L. Capt. Watrous; no first Lieuts., 2nd Lieuts, Houlbrook, Reed and one I do not know. One First Sergeant Vernon.
Clothing: one O. D. uniform, two pair khaki pants, six pair drawers, four undershirts, three pair of shoes, one pair leggings, one hat, eight pairs of socks, one fatigue suit. I think that is about all unless it is some small pieces.
Weapons: one U. S. army rifle 1903, caliber 30 and one bayonet.
Other equipment: one canteen without cover, one coffee cup, knife, fork and spoon and plate and skillet combined, no haversack, two blankets and one straw tick.
Eatables: Spuds, slom (meat gravy and general mixture) "Punk" (bread and coffee) and some other stuff which changes every once in a while. Some desserts which aren't about half sweet enough.
Meals: the whole company eats in a company mess hall.
I really don't know just what is lacking in clothing until we get our winter issue of clothing. A few more blankets of comfort would come in handy in the line of bedding, as it is getting quite "chilly" up here.
I think that if we were provided with a revolver to carry and also a dagger for bayonet charges it would help out a lot.
I have done practically no fatigue duty since coming here. Just a few, such as when we go to draw clothes. Of course I stand that all right.
The officers generally, treat the men fine, with a few exceptions, especially in our company. No I do not think they are any harsher at present that is necessary, tho they are getting stricter all the time. In general, I guess I cannot say that we have a bad lot of officers up here. Of course they expect and enforce obedience.
Oh yes, the other night I saw some real soldiering. I was put on guard. Had the post around officers headquarters. During the day time I chased prisoners, that is, I guarded over them while they worked. I received a compliment from the officer of the guard for knowing my general orders better than anyone else on guard that night.
I have two checks from the Santa Fe and I intend to send them to you if I do not forget it.
Say we have to go out to drill now at 6:30 and drill until 4:45. Are going to drill Saturday and part of Sunday according to reports. I think we will go on the range next week. I hope to be able to make an expert rifleman. They say that is why we are having so much drill.
They are starting a Bible class in each regiment to be held in the Y. M. C. A. building. I think quite a number of the boys are going to attend. Perhaps I will.
There is going to be a big parade and sham battle in town in which 7000 soldiers will take part. I guess I will not be in the sham battle.
Well, I am getting very tired and running out of gas. I guess I will close.
Your loving son,
The Wilmore News, December 27, 1917.
Virgil McCabe's Letter
Camp Dodge, Ia., Dec. 2, 1917
I received your very welcome letters a few days ago and will prepare to answer them now. I got out of the hospital this morning, being in only 16 days instead of 21 as at first ordered. The hospital became so full that they had to send all not who could possibly stand it to be out. I think I am out of trouble, tho, as far as my mumps are concerned, but the company is quarantined and they have orders not to issue any passes to anyone who cannot get home by auto or trolley.
Yes, I know the mumps have kept me out of a whole lot of cold weather and besides I never suffered with them very bad any way, to what some of the boys did.
I understand the company never went on guard because of the quarantine. I'll bet you are tired after being out driving all day. I know how hard it is.
Yes, I am fully able to eat the fruit and cake and the chicken was in fine condition when it arrived. Say, that was sure good, too.
Say, I have written a letter of thanks to the following:
Mr. and Mrs. Fisher,
Jessie and Warren Day,
and am going to write to the following:
Ralph Witchaw and Oscar and Ray Carter.
Now if I have missed any young folks or older people, let me know and I will write to them. If I have omitted any kids let me know who they are too, but you just tell them that I sure did appreciate whatever they sent. I lost some of the names, I think. I haven't got the package that Bro. W.'s stuff was in yet.
Have you got the picture yet? I hope so.
Some of the boxes of candy were broken open a little, but aside from that they were all OK.
Well, as I can not think of any more to write about I will close for the present. Send the mail to the company now.
So long. Hoping I will get to see you yet, I remain.
Your loving son,
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