Letter, May 6, 1917
Quincy Ills. %Armory Hall. May 6 - 1917
Dear mother and bro.
Well how are you by this time. I received your card and was so glad to hear that Ray was even some better. How I wish I could know that you were all as well and comfortable as I am at present. And how is Ruth. I have not heard from you for - well it seems like weeks. Have been drilling so much here of late, it takes quite a bit of time and not much left for writing.
The Machine Gun Company (53 men) left to go to camp yesterday. Weather has been holding them back, but is nice now, and it certainly seems quiet around here since they have all left. But one good feature is that they have given up our band room to us with all the lockers, which makes it so much more comfortable than it was, and a good place to keep our personal belongings. I have the swellest pair of tan shoes. Just fit and the most servicabl looking piece of leather I ever saw in a pair of shoes. I got two suits underware - light for summer, and was issued 2 pair socks; suit; belt, and maybe pistols - 45 Colts Automatics, and leather leggings before long. They are equiping us pretty nice.
Here is what we do - get up at 5:15 - dress and go out on street to play Reveille at 5:50; Roll call at 6:00 and our morning gym exercise. And at 7:30 breakfast; 9:00 Company drill - band and all are the same in this drill work. drill to 10:30. 11:00 just the band goes out on street and practice drill and playing for one hour; dinner at 1:00. And at 2:00 we have another squad drill like the one at 9:00 lasting for from 1 to 2 hours then between 4 & 5 band goes out again and plays and drills and at 6:30 play flag down - (Star spangled banner!) and all the company stands at attention and in salute throughout the piece. We are all to do that any time and place we hear it played. Then at 7:00 we have supper and when we have music we play concert between 8 and 9 oclock and are released till 11:00. So you see our days are pretty well filled up. While the work is all very easy, yet we are pretty busy. 12 of our men left band on account of them being married or disqualified, and as that took our band master and all his music we are left in the back till we get some music, another leader and quite a few more players. We were not in full strength before they left the 12 men go.
We were vaccinated on left arm and typhoid fever germ injected in right arm. First time I think it was 5000 germs. my right arm was sore for a day or more but my small pox vaccination in left arm never took. Some of the fellows arms are sore as boils and swollen up from shoulder to below the elbow. And yesterday (after 10 days from first vaccination) we had another injection of germs in right arm - 1,000,000 this time I think it was. My arm was sore last night but does not pain now at all.
Father sent me my big Arbans instructor and I am using it. He also got my suit. Also got letter from Dannold and one from Fred Peterson. Get one from Maude not less than every other day & sometimes one a day. I can't possibly write that much tho.
I think this place here is going to be used as a recruiting station and we may be here for some time. Don't think there is much chance of our getting to go to Europe. Hoping this finds you well and Ray much better and Ruth too. I am as ever - your loving son, Paul B. Write soon.