Letter, October 26, 1917
Camp Logan Texas %H.Q. co. 129. Inf.
Oct. 26 - 1917
Dear Mother & father
I rec. your letter this evening and will proceed to answer. I have loaned out my fountain pen a few times and it is almost ruined, sure makes me sore all the way thru.
Well, I am in the Signal Corpse of the Hq. Co. of the 129 Inf. I am not mounted over here. There is to be 72 in Signal Corpse and I really have nothing I can do now until more get here as the number will be made up largely of drafted men. I wanted in the Field Signal Battilion but Captain wants me here and wont consent to my going away. Has me down as telegraph operator. I am doing some studying on that every chance I get. In our new quarters we have board floors - walled up 4 feet on the sides. Sheet iron top to tents with a hole for stove pipe to go out and we have our stoves up. use them in the morning when it is cool. I have a light right over my little desk I have hinged to the wall by my cot. Have a shelf up I put lots of things on and am fixed very comfortable. It rained last night awfully hard. Sure laid the dust for a little while. I am so disgusted about my pen I could read some ones pedigree - makes me soarer all the time.
Well the 5th Reg. being bursted they don't know what is going to become of them in the band. They are all together as yet but have left here and don't know a thing what will be done with them. I am sure glad I am not with the lousy bunch any more. Yes I wanted to leave them is the reason I left. I was trying out for Sergeant bugler and as the Reg. bursted I did not get the office. No chance for advanement when in the band with the bunch ahold of it that is now. And they don't figure very much in an army. don't do any real work. That is why I got out of it. I am not bugling at all now. just waiting for what ever they have for me in this dept. I wanted to get into Wireless Company but captain said he could give me a better job right here so I am staying for a little while.
The mounted scouts have a very dangerous position - more so than any other one branch of the service, for they are first to come in contact with enemy for they try and find out all particulars and run chance of getting caught while doing so. But I was in that just for the mounted drill part as I was to be mounted as sergeant bugler ($51) per month, but as The fifth Reg. is a thing of the past there is no place for me as for that position so will take what ever looks best to me.
Signal corpse work plays a very important part in war for valuable information is sent or carried by them. I like wireless branch better than telegraph and will maybe get it later. at present tho will just wait and see what goes on.
Ive sent my cornet and watch, music stand and instructor home and expect you have it by now. Tell me if it came thru alright. Also a couple shirts I do not need at present. but don't for goodness sake give them away.
And have I any folders for Ethel. If so send one to her right away, she has no picture to ammount to anything at all and I wish her to have one of the folders and as soon as possible. Did I tell you I was to see them last Sunday. Sure had an awfuly fine time. Ethel is just the same as ever and seemed tickled to death to see me. And I believe she really was too. They want me to come down every Sunday. I can go in Morning, get there at a little after 7 and leave at 9 at night - certainly makes a fine days visit. I was made acquainted with Audies Sister and cousin. both fine girls. Well I want Sat. afternoon and was there Sat night & Sunday. Yes Audie is about my size - and a really good fellow. They tried to teach me how to dance. Got me started a little but don't know anything about it yet. I want to go again to see them a week from tomorrow. Their little boy sure is a bright little fellow. a regular youngster. Alvin is a nice place to live. very pretty place, and climate fine. they haven't the dust there we have here.
You wrote about home sickness, I am so busy studying I have not time to get home sick and I know it wont do me any good if I did [pencil] so I don't think anything about it (notice I've ditched my pen).
Well I'll admit tho that tears did come to my eyes when I got birthday card and the way you wrote it seemed to take me back too much and it got best of me. But I am getting so used to being away from home that it seems to be quite the natural thing for me. Don't think I would not come home if given a chance, but as we are way down here and it is impossible to get leave of absense any more. so there is nothing else to do but stay and the busier I am the less I think of it. and here lately I am so busy I can hardly find time to write at all. So much I am wanting to know. and that makes me think. how many volumes were sent with course - that came by express. and how are they bound. Sure would like to see them and be there to study that instead of this. Altho this is a very interesting study I am taking. It will be better for me when they get the signal corpse all assigned for I have been promised something there as it is I am only a private. but have no rifle and such stuff as that. Merely awating to see how the bunch is going to line up.
I sure wish daddy you could get the 60 per month job for a fellow sure needs all you can get now days. I have $150 I've taken out in Bonds at 4% interest, paying $15 per month on them is about the best investment I know of. I thot $15 per month in that at 4% interest is better than having Government keep the $15 at no interest at all. And bonds are as good as gold. And by July 31, 1918 I will own $50 worth of bonds plus interest. I will have to be saving now as I am only drawing $30 per month since I left band.
Well you sure did take me back to days at home when you told of Lee & Guy & the pop corn. I sure can see you all just as plain as if I were there myself. Certainly would have enjoyed a visit there just then.
Well I will see Audie about suit. Maybe next time I see him. And if he wants it I will have it sent down. Will get his measurements and you can compare them and see if it would fit him. I will maybe get to see Hoyt. He is going to see Ethel soon and I am going to try to go same day he does. They wrote him I was to see them and they want us both there first chance they get.
I sure do hope Arthur gets Mail route for I know he is interested very much in it and sure would make a good one for the job. And as for writing to Miles - I have forgotten what route from Palestine they are on. Will try and write as soon as you let me know.
It is just one week tonight we came here. The band came too - but they left last night and I stayed with rest of the old 5th Reg. Hq. Co. You see they have combined the old 5th Hq Co. with the 3rd Reg. Hq co or as it is now know the 129 Inf. So address my mail to that effect. And I find your letters very interesting just as they are - seems just like you are talking to me. only I don't get a chance to say anything. Just write all you find time - tell me anything if it is news or not - just so you write it. Well I will close tonight will maybe write more before I send this.
This is Sat morning and we are having inspection I and Serg. Baum - (The fellow running the boat in the picture of us four) are the only Danville fellows left here. He was made Supply serg for Hq co of the 5th Reg and was taken from band same as I was when I took charge of buglers so we are here now and the band is in some other part of the camp. Our population here in camp is about 35,000 - pretty good little city is it not?
I am studying this morning while the others read. I hope I get paid for my trouble, but even if I don't, I'll have the satisfaction of knowing something and there is always a chance to use what you know in the Army. Well hoping to hear from you soon I am as ever your loving son - Paul B-
(Don't forget pictures for Ethel. send as soon as possible.)