Thursday, March 20, 2008

Russell Eisaman Writes From New York (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, September 26, 1917

Russell Eisaman, who enlisted with Virgil Morgan and Dick Gruesbeck, writes his parents in a letter received by them Friday that he is now located in Watertown, N.Y., with the field artillery. Parts of the letter follow:

"Dear Folks: - -
"I don't know whether you can read this or not because I just got through having an awful game of basket ball. As you can see they have a Y. M. C. A. here but this one is in a tent.

"Believe me we had some trip to get here, and after we got here we were pleased. There are about three thousand mules and horses here. They have to be curried three times a day. We drilled eight hours today (Sept. 18). We won't stay here long as they are using the cannon in practice and when that comes they get ready to go to New Jersey and you know what that means. There are no buildings here, all tents and there lots of them. It is just like it was in Wisconsin with the exception of the soil. All is sand here. There is not a bit of good hard dirt.

"We only had to hike three miles from the station carrying all our clothes and equipment. Our regiment is fully equipped but the one beside us had to use our guns. It sounds queer to hear a cannon roar and then it seems like a minute before the shell explodes away off in the opposite direction. We are sixteen miles from the nearest town and not a building within three miles.

"We got a good tip this morning from one of our tent partners that those who got along alright will leave soon so you may know I don't intend to stay long. We got another 'shot in the arm' just after dinner and then went out and drilled all afternoon. I feel fine and am glad we get only two more of them.

"They have all kinds of sports here: Basket ball, base ball, punching bag and about everything you can think of. Dick and I got in the same tent. Glen Johnson and Ralph Weston are both in our battery.

"This camp is called Pine camp but you don't need to put that on the address. It sure is a beautiful place. There is one general here from Canada who has been in Europe for some time. You don't have any idea how many different camps and soldiers we have seen. Don’t' forget to have everyone write even though I don't get to answer at once. My address is:
Russell E. Eisaman
Battery B. 4th F. A.
Military Branch
Watertown, N.Y.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Heber Allen Describes Y. M. C. A. Work (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, September 26, 1917

Heber W. Allen, of this city, who enlisted in the army at Fort Wayne, in June, and who is now at Camp Jackson, Columbia, S. C. address 2 M. C., Company 41, has just written friends in this city a general report on the work of the Y. M. C. A. Heber having had experience in the last three months at three of the principal army camps of the U. S. finally being transferred to Camp Jackson to assist in the baking department in the great camp there.

He says: "The Y. M. C. A. needs all the praise you can give it. Everything I heard regarding the good work before enlisting is true and then some. While we were held in Camp Gordon in Georgia, the Y. M. C. A. came to our rescue, offering us free of all charge books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, besides new army Bibles for each soldier to keep. One of the Y. M. C. A. men came several times a day with our mail and was very generous in offering to go and get tobacco, candy, etc., for the private soldiers. At many of these Y. M. C. A. headquarters you can pick up most any study you desire, including French. Also writing, spelling, arithmetic, and typewriting.

"Tonight we have a "Hawaiian band," by ambulance company No. 31, including both vocal and instrumental music. Yesterday a celebrated band came out at 4 o'clock and played for us. Every day there is something good arranged for us. Then at 7:15 each day there is a Bible study for half an hour which is very interesting. My hay fever has not left entirely but is not near as bad as at home. I can sleep at night now."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Boys Are Well Situated at Louisville (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, September 26, 1917

All the word back from them tells of the good times they are having - it is a jolly bunch from all reports - Other News.

The Whitley county delegation at Camp Taylor, Louisville, Ky., seems to be having a good time, according to all reports and the boys are having the time of their life. Frank Hull, Don Kennedy, Keller Sheeler and Fred Yontz were on hand to greet them Thursday evening and all of the boys from here are in the same barracks. The four fellows named helped the boys fill their ticks with straw.

Don Kennedy has been appointed acting corporal, as has Edgar Lorger. Bud Mygrant was out to the camp the other day, and he knew a number of the boys. The fellows planned to hold a reunion of the Whitley county boys Sunday. Lieut. Tom Pontius is in the same camp but about a mile away.

"Please pass the butter" is the call that the fellows give as they march into the mess halls at meal time. They are not given butter, so the boys have a lot of fun asking each other to pass it. The report is that you can hear the "Please pass the butter" run all the way down the line as the hungry young fellows hustle in and eat the good things which are offered them. The meals are good, according to reports.

Firmer R. Born writes the local conscription board that everything is satisfactory with the Whitley county bunch. His letter follows in part:

"We arrived all O. K. at the camp about 9 o'clock. Hull, Yontz, Sheeler and Kennedy met us at the door of our barracks in which all the C. C. men are located. The men were exceptionally nice and obedient. Not the least bit of trouble. Had plenty of eats out of Denver and out of Indianapolis. The boys were certainly a jolly bunch. We had lots and lots of fun. Lorber, Strouse, White and Harsbarger were the minstrels. Mr. McKnight proved himself a good sport and friend of the boys. We were 47 out of 414 men on the train and I dare say we were the best looking bunch in the lot. The conductor and brakeman told me he liked our bunch of men the best. Today, (Friday), we drill all forenoon. This afternoon, we were examined and vaccinated."

Fred Yontz has been appointed Supply Sergeant in the commissary department, and his is kept busy handing out goods to the new men as they arrive. Frank Hull, who is familiar with the dry goods business, is also in the supply department. The story is told that as the men were being fitted for shirts, they were asked what sized collar they wear. One fellow replied: "I don't know. I never wore a collar." Firmer Born has also been appointed an acting corporal for the present. These men who have been appointed to non-commissioned positions, may be changed at any time, according to the word from the boys.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bonnell Peabody Home on Furlough (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, September 26, 1917

Bonnell Peabody, who is in the U. S. aviation service, arrived home Friday evening from Mt. Clemons, Mich., on a forty-eight hours furlough. He has been in training there for several months, and is to return to Mt. Clemens and from there the men in his company will leave at once for Long island, N. Y., where he will probably take further training and perhaps aerial work. He has been acting as mechanic on one of the flying machines at Mt. Clemens. The work requires regularity and thoroughness, but he states that he never felt so well in his life, though he has not gained any weight. Saturday, about fifty members of the family met at the Peabody home on the Wilkeswood farm, holding a sort of a family reunion. Bonnell has to return to Mt. Clemens early Sunday morning.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Val Worden Writes From San Antonio (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Saturday, September 22, 1917

Vallorous Worden, son of Henry Worden, of Coesse, who is now in the aviation corps, is planning to take a course of special instruction preparatory to being commissioned in the aerial service. He is located at San Antonio, Texas, and in a recent letter writes as follows:

"We have had a couple old Indiana rains and consequently it is not nearly so dusty here as formerly. I like it better all the time and I can truthfully say that I have never felt better in my life. The days are rather warm but the nights are positively great. I am really desirous of taking my training here although there is a possibility of our being sent to Dayton, Ohio, or some other place."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Movements of Other C. C. Boys in Regular Army (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Saturday, September 22, 1917

Four boys from Columbia City were transferred last week from Ft. Thomas, Ky., to the Mountain Artillery which is to be trained and conditioned high in the Adirondack mountains in New York state, and are located there. They are Russell Eisaman, Dick Gruesbeck, Glen Johnson and Ralph Weston.

Virgil Morgan and Ernest Erne have not yet been assigned to any particular branch of the service but they were transferred from Ft. Thomas to Ft. Meyer, Va., only six miles from Washington, D. C. they left Ft. Thomas Saturday noon and arrived at Ft. Meyer the next day just before noon. Clyde Overdeer is there and he has been in training at that place for the past two months. Frank Metzker, of South Whitley, has not yet been transferred from Ft. Thomas, and he is the only Whitley county man still there.

Aden Schannep in Aviation School (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Saturday, September 22, 1917

Aden Schannep, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Schannep, of Cleveland township, enlisted last July in the aeroplane corps and is now in the regular army training camp in Texas, according to a letter received by his parents this week.

Mr. Schannep was summoned to report before the local draft board for examination on the first call. He failed to appear and members of his family who had not heard from him since he left home did not know where he was. It was thought that the young man had run away to avoid the draft but instead he volunteered for service in the aviation corps.

In a letter to D. C. Scott, druggist at South Whitley, Schannep states that he has been in camp at San Antonio since July 30. He belongs to the 61st division and gets two lessons a week in aviation. He expects to be sent to France soon.