Letter, September 12, 1917
[Letter on color stationery of the War Work Council, Army and Navy Young Men's Christian Association]
Quincy Ills. %5th Reg. Band Sept 12 1917
My dear Mother & father.
Well I expect you think I am sure a good one. never wrote a scratch when I rec. your good box of eats. everything was just fine. Oat meal cookies couldn't be better. We all thot the same about it.
Well dear mother my letter will have to be awfully short for we are breaking camp. We don't know just how soon we will leave but as soon as we can get transportation. Our big tents come down this morning to stay down. Of course as before, we may not go, but everything looks almost decidedly that way tho now. I am bugling today. I hope I will find time to write more today, but thot I would start and then could quit most anytime and send at first possible opportunity. [several lines made illegible here] ([in pencil] the eracing was just a private statement) ... for real life, I think I have them all beat. I do get hungry for my home folks some times tho, if I only let my mind on it. But I try and not think of home any more than I can help. If I do that I can enjoy myself just fine, and have had some awfully good times here in Quincy, but I am really anxious to be moving. I will have to get back now to my business. If you write just send to same adress and it will be forwarded.
[in pencil] I have just rec. your card and feel awfully ashamed of myself for not writing, but when I write I have so much I want to say that a card looks awfully small. I am glad you sent the sweater. I hope I get it before we leave here.
To tell you the truth I have been some busy. I am studying map drawing. and have been putting in all my spare time and some more. Serg. Kimmell (from here) is instructing me and when he saw the map he took it over and showed it to Colonel Wood. And they compared it to a blue print of the same place and it was almost exactly as the blue print. The map takes north of Quincy and the bay on the west and levee. (Rock.R.R. streams, bridges an all) over 2 1/2 miles wide and 3 1/2 miles long. Map is 3 in on the map to one mile on the ground. To get the map I had to get the length of my pace and step off and count every step and the map shows over 12 miles, not saying anything about the different times I went out, and territory I retraced. Never the less the Col. this morning as I was standing by him waiting for the command to blow general's call - he praised me very much on my work. And said anyone with the ability to do sketches like that was very valuable in the service. Also said I could well be proud of the work and especialy so when I told him it was my first work. So perhaps if I keep on studying some time in the future I may be able to raise myself a little. Or at least I am trying to awfully hard.
Well it sure is cold here for Sept. too. The last few nights have been so cold it has been very uncomfortable. Today is much better tho. All preporations are being made to leave tommorrow.
And say, as I was up at Stella's for dinner Sunday I saw a set of the Scripture studies on their stand. I really wonder if they know what is in them. Am going to say something first chance I get, that is if we don't move too soon. I did not say anything then for one of their Catholic friends was there and I did not want to start something I could not finish. I got a letter from Maude today and She too wants to know why I don't write. but I'll tell you some afternoons after coming in from a 7 or 8 mile walk getting my map. Was so tired some times I would flop down and go to sleep as soon as I would get in, and would go to bed as soon as I was thru for the evening. My mind was on my work so much I would hardly talk to anyone for a few days but since I have it completed I have more time to write. So I do hope you will excuse me this time and I will not promise even in the near future for I don't know just what is before me in the next week or so.
But will do this,- drop a card every time I can and most every place we stop. You had better wait until I send our new address before you write, for I sure want to get the letter. You will have to tell the folks how hard it is to get to write one letter and as I would have to write the same thing to them, you will just have to let them read this.
As I was out climbing a bluff yesterday I had a camera along and got a couple rather unusual pictures and if they develop good I sure want you to see them, probly will not get work done now until we are in Houston. Well hoping you are all well and love to all. I am your loving son -
Paul B Hendrickson
Mess time now-