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Letter, June 14, 1917


Quincy Ills - %5th Reg. Band. June 14 - 1917

Dear Mother -

Received your card today. Have been trying to write for some time, but have been pretty busy lately. We are now in camp. Moved away from Armory over a week ago. And getting used to camp life, and the new routine of work, has kept me watching.

So much to do - and so different from what Ive been used to, I think I have neglected most every body. And our chance for writing is not so good out here. May be I can do better in future. I don't think I have done much sleeping out side a house until I came out here to camp. Here we have our own dishes to wash all our clothing. But our camp is one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. for a camp. Fine blue grass and hills - to the west side is the big river - We go down a hill, cross a bridge and on the other side is the spring where we get our water. Wash our faces in spring water. Rather cold about 5 oclock of a morning - dew on grass - but you sure feel fine. I never enjoyed anything more in my life. Just enough work to do to keep you from getting too lazy. We have our band rehearsals in morning. We are busy all morning. nothing to do between noon and 2 oclock. From 2 until 630 we have a little drill work with the stretchers and have to do a little individual practice with instruments out in the woods.

We have three companies here in camp. Mach. gun - Co F and headquarters co. The Officials have their tents up now and will probly be out here before long. We may be down in your part of the country before long. We don't know anything for sure tho. I hope we mobolize in Springfield for if we do - I may get a chance to see some of the home folks. And I must write to daddy for it has been some time since I've done so. I had ought to do better for I expect it is awfully lonesome for him all by him self at home. And my poor little laboratory - I wonder how it still looks.

Am so sorry to hear Ray is not improving any faster than he is. Was so in hopes he was getting much better. Was glad tho to hear Ruth could now be home - and to have the boys there. I'll bet that makes them feel some better anyway.

I shoulden't wonder and you would like to see how things are getting along at home tho. Would certainly like to have the priveledge of spending a week at home anyway. Was told that we would get a little vacation but I think there is nothing to it at all. As it did not come from any officials. If such a thing does happen, I hope you will get to be there. It won't come very soon tho, if it does come.

All the other boys are now in the woods practicing. I guess I should be there, but after getting your card I could not do anything until I answered. Am so sorry I could not be more thotfull.

Well our camp is a pretty popular place. People out here all the time. A fine drive runs around the space we are using for our camp. And people come out in their machines.

We have freedom of a mile on all sides of camp at any time - that is if there is no work to be done. We have to be on duty at our regular times.

We can get passes to go to town three times a week. Between 6:30 and 11:30 at night. The officers are getting strict out here. No monkey business around here at all. Everything is millitary and must be done in that way. no execuses, you must make good.

Our tents are liable for inspection at any time. If everything is not in order as they should be - you get extry duty or confinement. You must keep clean personally.

There is eight men in the tent I'm in. That is counting me. All nice sociable fellows too - we sure have some time. Are all careful, and therefore have a very nice clean place to live. You see as I said you find musicians to be of a better class than of the other companies. And in a place like this sure proves it. Now I can fully appreciate being with the band. None of the hard hot drilling the other fellows get. for while they are doing that we are off some place under a tree in band rehearsal. And our band is now doing good too. Art Kellogg got the job as chief musician. at $75 per month and all expenses paid & clothes furnished.

Really has it better than the captain of the company.

Well dear mother I do hope I will get to see you before long. but can't make any plans for any thing tho, when you are in the army. Hoping you are well and will write when you can. I am your loving son -

Paul B.

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June 1917