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Homer M. Limbird collection

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[Page 1]

 

Greeley, Colo. Feb. 12th, 1898  

 

My dear niece:

 

Your good, yet sad letter, (because of the first news I had of brothers death) was received with a thankful and grateful heart. I know you all will feel his loss as children the beneft of a good and wise parent.

 

Your father was a remarkable man many ways. First had a good common sense and a remarkably clear judgment. Not apt to be mistaken a good calculator; and provider.

 

But best of all he had built up a most beautiful character which is all we can take with us into eternity. How wise be ready when we are called: as was this servant of Jesus.

 

[Page 2]

 

I am much pleased that you have written me so particular about your children. I don't expect to ever see them; but I take an interest in all my relatives, like to know as much about them as I can. Does your sister like the country in Oklahoma? I did not know you had two of my children names Ralph & Rose till you mentioned them in your letter. God bless the dear ones. It brings them a little to me. Educated your children as well as you can it is the best investment they can have. Build up the brain on right principles and all will be right. I am sorry you have the rheumatism. Hope you will get better of it. My eyes are so feeble I can hardly see to write I am feeling tolerably well Esther [XX] lives at her old home in Cleveland. Do you know anything about sister Emily?

 

I will try and write tomorrow a letter to my bereaved sister and send with this and you can send it to her. Thank you for writing me. Please answer when you hear from your mother.

 

Yours affectionately

A. D. Meeker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 1]

 

Between La Junta & El Moro

June, 17th, 1898

 

Dear Folks:

 

We left Lawrence at 12:23 Thursday. All the town was out to see us off. We have the cars decorated with flag cloth and white writing with our address. There are three cultures with soldier boys, numbering 106] Sleepers & chair cars & baggage cars. Our accommodations are as good as we could ask for. The berths  are double: two below and one above, she is off in turns as who should occupy the top ones.

 

 [Page 2]

 Mountains are in plain view, passed  within 129 miles of Pike's Peak; it looked about 6 miles. We can see snow on all the higher Mts. Didn't pass throug Abilene or Sharon. We went to Topeka, Newton & Hutchinson and that way.

 

Tell Florence we saw the first sod houses and prairie dogs this A. M.

 

We had our first "hard tack" and Gov. coffee yesterday.

 

Everybody thought the "tack" fine. "Red Hoss" or compressed beef, don't look very good but it tastes all right.

 

[Page 3]

The Paola boys, as a general thing, are pretty good boys, but some of them drink and gamble with dice and cards. Still, they are nice fellows don't have got drunk yet.

 

John Thome, his cousin and I bunk together. We have a table to write on and a perfect toilet room to wash in; and comb & brush, clean towels and several large mirrors.

 

Nat Foster, Alpha & Honall bunk across & back of us. All seemed happy and jovial; singing and jovering the girls at the station. We drop them a card with our

 

[Page 4]

name and addres on it; some take them while others will get away in a hurry and then we jover them. We are running at a great rate as you will see by my scratching. We over a mile a minute for a while, I had a talk with Rev. Lawrence in Lawrence; met him in a restaurant while eating breakfast. Since we left Lawrence, the longest we have stopped was 20 mins. They have changed engines several times, but it don't take long and we are not

 

[Page 5]]

allowed out of the car, yet sometimes we go out.

 

I was detailed as coffee box for yesterday noon. We have a coffee pot that holds about 5 gals & cost 2]50]

We expect to get in San Francisco about Sunday night or Monday morning.

 

Several boys are keepi a diary of the happenings. I expect I will not write again as until we get to Frisco. If you should writes soon direct to H. M.L  Co I, 20th the Ks. Vol.  San Francisco, Cal. % Capt. A.C. Clark.

 

[Page 6]]

I will write a longer letter when I get in camp.

 

Yours

Homer M.Limbird

 

[Page 7]]

Envelope: Trinidad, Colo, June 17 2PM 1898

Mrs. L. Limbird, Gardner, Kans.

Johnson Co.

 

 

 

[Page 8]]

Envelope: Gardner, Kas. June 19 11AM

 

[Page 9]]

2:20 (Berenda Cal.)

(Aboard car, but have a great speed).

 

San Francisco

June 19, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

 

We are know about 200 miles from San Francisco; expect to arrive there about 6 PM and then we have about 6 miles to March to camp. The Red Cross Society are expected to feed us tonight.

 

All the boards are well and seemed to enjoy themselves fine.

 

Our meals consist of for breakfast & supp coffee, hardtack and compressed beef: for dinner the beef is changed to baked beans. We buy bread whenever we can. Also oranges, lemons,etc.

 

[Page 10].

I am in real good health and think I am enjoying the trip. We shall look on either side of the car and see a range of mts. snow capped. Yesterday we passed through some awful hot country. The thermometer stood at 113]

 

Several of us took off our outside shirts and then could hardly breathe. Slept very good last night: got up this morning, shaved and found our shoes shined.

 

I expect you are to Sunday school about now. Tell all the people hello for me and right real often because it

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 11]]

will be a long tim before we get letters in Manila.

 

Some of the boys are passi the Sunday playinging seven up, others reading, others are talking. The captains wife and baby are going to Frisco with him. The Paola boys have been assigned to Company I. Capt. Flanders commanding.

 

The country for a couple of days has been almost devoid of vegetation, but it is getting better now.

 

We passed through 17 tunnels within two hours this morning; averaging about 1/2 quarter of a mile in length.

 

[Page 12]]

9:15 Monday.

 

We got to Frisco about 9:3 took a ferry across the bay about 7 miles wide and then took the streetcar about 3 min, arrived in camp about 10 o'clock. We had our first drill this morning about 1 1/2 hours, will go on again at 9:30]

 

There are about 8 or 10 thousand in cam now. All the boys slept well last night and ate a hearty meal this morning. We expect to get our uniforms soon and then we will seem more like soldiers.

 

Saw Craig  this morning

 

[Page 13]

He was very much surprised to see us. Said he sent a letter to me yesterday. We have good bread, potatoes, bacon, onions and coffee.

 

In the camp the sand about 4 miles deep and when a fellow is disorderly he is compelled to march up and down and carry a heavy load over the sand.

 

I just listened to the 20th Regiment band and watched the inspection of the guns.

 

It looks quite military around here, tents in every direction will write again soon

 

Yours, Homer Limbird.

 

[Page 14]

Envelope

 

Mr. R. Limbird

Gardner Kansas

 

San Francisco  June 20 1898

 

[Page 15]

Envelope

 

Gardner  Kas. June 98

 

[Page 16]

Camp Merritt

 

San Francisco, Cal;

June 22,98

 

Dear ones at home: I am feeling first rate, never felt better in my life. We tolerably good "grub". Potatoes, beef, soup, hash, beans, bread and coffee, and can get fruit, pies, cakes or anything we want to over the fence around the camp. We are not allowed to go outside of the fence only when we are drilling and then we cannot leave the ranks.

 

[Page 17]

There are guards every hundred feet pacing back and fourth. If they catch you jumping the fence you are made to walk up and down in the sand about 4 inches deep, with about eighty lbs . on your back. You have to keep it up for from four to twelve hours. There are two marching up-and-down now in our street; each company comprises a block. The 20th are camped in a square as large as the square in Olathe. The C.E's have a tent for the boys to write in; pens, paper, and envelopes are furnished us free of charge.

 

It is always brim full; I am in it at present.

 

The Catholics also have a similar tent and are even more liberal. The boys are all goodhearted and kind to each other, but nearly everyone swears dreadfully. Mark Craig was such a nice fellow when he went to Normal, now he swears like a pirate. I have held out so far and thinto shall all through. Alpha, Howell

and I may be transferred to another company. I don't know yet. We haven't got anything from Uncle Sam yet, but expect it anytime.

 

[Page 18]

We went down to coast about 3  mi. for a bath Monday eve

 

The water was enclosed in a large glass building. It was salty and just the right temperature. We marched down, 25 of us, about a quarter of a mile and then took the streetcar. We had to pay our own car fare there and back, also for our swimming suits " shooting the shoots" was great fun.

 

Some think we will get off for the Philippines, Saturday others not for a month, so you see we can't tell anything about it.

 

The fellows are great for running the guard line. Some go out all night. If you can sneak in and out you are all right but if you can't you will have to run a race with the guard or get brought in: the guards don't have any load in their guns.

 

Don't fret, about me getting sick for a while, I am in very good spirits and sleep well of nights we get our blankets Sunday night it is very cool at night and about 90° in the daytime.

 

 I have a chance  to have my picture taken as I get my uniform. I got a letter from Fred Johnston one from a girl at Albuquerque Arizona. She wrote a real nice lady like letter: think I shall have to write to her soon. I dropped a card with my name and address on it like we all did and she wrote to me. Well, now want you to write to me real often. I haven't got home sick yet.

 

Your wayward son and brother H. L.  Limbird

 

[Page 19]

Envelope

 

Mrs. R. Limbird

Gardner Kansas

Johnson Co.

 

Sab Francisco Calf

June 12

 

[Page 20]

Envelope

 

Gardner Ks.

June 27 10AM

Recd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 21]

Dear ones at home

 

WRITE SOON.

 

San Francisco, Cal.

June 23, 1898]

 

Camp Merritt.

 

This is Thursday and no letter received from you yet: what is the matter have you forgotten me? I am still well and hearty, but had a slight backache today.

 

This is the finest place to sleep I was ever in; just as cool and nice at night & one can just lay like a log all right. The day are pretty warm and along about 3 o'clock the seabreezes spring up and blow till morning. The sand is a great nuisance, gets in our vituals.

 

We haven't been uptown yet; no one is allowed outside unless he has a pass and it is very hard to secure the pass.

 

[Page 22]

I enjoy soldiering first rate so far; we have a good exercise before mess at 7:30 we go out to drill, come in at 8:45] go out again at 9:30 come eleven. Mess at 12 and drill at 1:30 to 3 o'clock. We were taken up to the Golden gate Park today and shown around. We saw all kinds of animals and birds.

 

I get tired of the bugle calls and the band playing reverie sounds at 5:30, mess at 6:45] there were two fellows out of our company carrying packs on their backs up and down the company Street yesterday for jumping the guard line. Not Gardner nor Paola boys though.

 

All the boys are in good spirits and seemed to be happy, but "Billie" Howell don't seem to like it a little bit, he says he would be better satisfied if he got in the hospital corps. He can't get in that until we sail on the ship. We cannot tell a thing about when we will sail. There is great talk but we will sail Saturday, but I doubt it. The ammunition has arrived though, but us new recruits haven't got our uniforms our guns yet. We were given a very severe drill this p.m.

 

It is quite amusing to watch some of the boys try to" get step" and jump around, but we have very fine officers, kind and obliging.

 

Some are awful awkward and will take lots of drilling to get to be good soldiers. We have sergeants to drill us in squads of about 6 to 8 each.

 

I think we will be transferred to another company. I don't know which one that yet. Direct to the same company and I will get it all right.

 

We have good victuals and well cooked over by the company

 

[Page 23]

cook.

 

I think we will get to go out of camp tonight to chapel exercises. The boys, except new recruits, were paid off the Friday before we came, and so many got drunk and staid away from camp so long, the officers shut down and wouldn't allow nobody out unless they had a good pass.

 

I like this country fine; I think if I manage to get home in two years, I will make this my home someday.

 

Now I want you all to write. Surely all of you could manage to take turns and write nearly every day. This is about the 4th letter I have written to you already.

 

Will you send Henry why address? I forgot whether I wrote to him.

 

Now do not worry about me I am trying to make the best of it and for a fact I enjoy it. I am trying to live right in spite of all the swearing and bad language.

 

Your soldier son and brother

Homer Limbird

 

[Page 24]

Envelope

San Francisco Cala

June 24 6 AM

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Gardner Kansas

 

[Page  25]

Gardner Kas

Jun 27 4 PM Recd

 

[Page 26]

Camp Merritt

 

San Francisco, Cal.

June 27, 1898

 

Dear Folks:

I received your letter last Friday, was very glad to get a letter from home. Time seems to pass so slow, it was only a week last night since we got to camp.

 

I am still well but have a very bad cold caused by having such thin blankets under us and then we have  cool breeze at night. This is the coolest whether of the season. Temp  about 70.

 

We haven't got anything from the govt. yet. It seems like they are very slow about it.

 

[Page 27]

Well I suppose you have heard that the third expedition started today? There were about 5000 men went.

 

Kansas was not in it, we expect to start about the 1st week in July, sometime.

 

There was great cheering up the camping yesterday fore noon. The regiments Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota and artillery got word to pack up at 8 o'clock yesterday. They started to the wharves about 9 at 10:30] I was over to church about three blocks when they started.

 

In the afternoon, Howell, Alpha & I got a pass and

 

[Page 28]

went down to the wharves to see the transports.

 

We saw the Ohio, Valencia Morgan City and about 2000 other ships of every description .there was such a crowd there we could hardly move. The boys were mostly aboard having a good time; people were throwing oranges up to them.

 

I I went to church with about 60 others last night; the boys had special seats and when they went in the crowd cheered lustaly. It was about 6 or 8 miles to the church.

 

We are right close to the

 

[Page 29]

bay and nearly every morning there is a slight mist.

 

There is a rumor that the steamship Oregon is being loaded for the 20th preparatory to starting soon, but of course we can't tell a thing about it. The ones that have just gone didn't get word till Saturday about 7 PM.

 

There are new recruits arriving early every day.

 

Howell, Alpha & I have been assigned to Company L; we don't like it there as well as Co. I., but will have to make the best of it. Most of the fellows are gamblers and

 

[Page 30]

all around tougles. There are only about 4 or 5 decent fellows it our tent, out of 16]They was shooting craps for $5 a whack Saturday night and the 1st Sgt. supposed to be the peace officer, was the biggest toad in the puddle, but you may bet we didn't have anything to do with. There are some very good fellows in the regiment and there have been several converts at each meeting.

 

The whistles are blowing preparatory for the 'ships' to start on their long journey, nearly all the 20th seemed eager to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 31]

If you will write to Harrisons and find Harry's address and send it in your letter I will go up and see him.

 

This is a very large and rich city and plenty of saloons.

 

We only have to drill in the fore noon now from 8 to 11]

 

We line up for roll call at 6 PM after which we are called to attention and stand and listen to the national songs played by the bands.

 

The Golden gate Park is one of the "things" also the "clutes".

 

[Page 32]

Howell seems to be awful sick because he came but you know he was used to swell victuals and life of leisure. He hasn't got a position in the hospital corp yet. There has been 6 deaths in the 20th since they came to camp here. One fellow got a bayonet into him about 4 inches because he jumped the guard line and wouldn't halt, but guns are not loaded.

 

 Tell all the neighbors and relatives to write: I will be real glad to get any letter from any of the folks.

 

[Page 33]

Now write me a good letter and tell me how the friends are getting along.

 

Can you send me the Mirrror once in a while?

 

I haven't got home sick yet but I can't realize I am so far from home.

 

As I close the guns are booming on the coast and the whistle are blowing in honor of the departure of the transports.

 

Goodbye for this time

your son and brother

Homer Limbird

Co.L. 20th Ks. Vol.

 

[Page 34]

P.S. The entire camp, consisting of about 12,000 men now, arer going on a grand parade the 4th. Have a good time there for me and give my love to all the folks and my chums.

Yours Homer

 

[Page 35]

Envelope

San Francisco

Cala

June 25 5PM '98

 

Miss Belle Limbird

Jerusalem Kansas

 

[Page 36]

Envelope.

Gardner Kas

Jul 2 recd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 1]]

Camp Merritt

 

San Francisco, Cal.

July 1, 1898]

 

Dear Ones at home

Yours received yesterday: was very glad to hear from you. I just got in from a drill of manual of arms, our first, but I soon got the hang of it. The sergeant said we would soon make the drilled soldiers hard to catch. We drill in Golden gate Park altogether now , mostly on the parade square where there is a large crown gazing at us. The girls here have the prettiest complexions of any girls I ever saw. Their cheeks are red and rosie and they are just the picture of health. Tell Rose I believe this salt breeze would fix her complexion in no time.

 

Our routine of life is about the same when we come in from drill we are through, to do as we please, most of the time, only we can't go out without a pass. The drilled boys have to go on guard about once a week, for 24 hours-two hours on & four hours off. They have to go out in Battalion drill every day about 4 hours. They have to run up and down the same hills on the double quick, once in a while they have a sham battle.

 

[Page 2]]

I went out and had another salt bath last night. They are the best thing for a cold I ever saw. Clean your head all out. There were about 200 men in bathing and about a dozen women. The bathhouse is a building covered with glass and heated to the right temperature. It is divided into pools some 6ft, 8ft, 10ft down to 2ft: we have nice bathing suits and it is quite a pleasure. I got my hat, two suits of heavy underclothing and a "fatigue" suit-brown canvas this week. I think I send my clothing home if it don't cost too much, I was only offered $.50 for my coat & vest. I will give it to the mission before I will sell for that.

 

All of the boys were fairly well except colds this is a great country to take cold. Today was about the warmest day since I came. It was about 90 degrees.

 

We went over part of the park today. There are about a dozen Buffalo, a grizzly bear wearing about 1000 pounds, a moose, kangaroos, deers, birds of all description and elk. It is claimed to be the finest park in the world. The girls are great bicycle riders here, they were boomers nearly altogether.

 

[Page 3]]

I went to church twice Sunday all in the evening to a church where there was a special program prepared for the soldiers. You had ought to have heard the crowd cheer when we entered; there were about 75 or 80 soldiers went. The chaplain takes us whenever we want to go. The C.E.'s treat us when we go down there to church.

 

Yesterday we answered roll call for mustering. At the end of each month this is done so the officers know who to pay and not to. If I should get my pay soon I will send most of it home. We expect to be paid for starting before starting for Manilla, but may not.

 

Billy and I went down to the chutes and watched the boats fly into the water and had our picture taken to represent us coming down the chutes. I will send one. I will have my pictures taken as soon as I get money. Our baths, fares to church and etc have been paid out of our own pocket. I like to get fruit once in awhile too; just sticking to our rations get old after awhile. Tell Mrs. Thomas I think of the little Sunday school every Sunday and also of its pleasant acquaintance, and wish it the best of success.

 

t seems funny to hear that they are cutting wheat and grass back there. Here it's more like early spring and you cannot see any vegetation outside of the park except trees. It is just sand and sand there ocean. We can see the bay plain from the park also the pond on the coast.

 

I am in the very best of health except the cold. This is the greatest country for a person to sleep we can sleep all the time and then be sleepy.

 

Tomorrow is inspection. I don't expect we will have to drill much. We have to clean up everything and the trim and neat. Tell Florence to write anything I like to get letters every day.

 

I have written one nearly every day yet. It helped to make things seem happier. All the boys seem to be in good humor and good hearted.

 

There was about 30 in the guardhouse yesterday. How is the crops and everything. Did Oscar's wheat make a heavy crop.

 

Alpha got the Mirror yesterday all of us was glad to read the home news would be glad to get papers anytime.

 

Well it is about supper call, so I will close. Hoping to hear from you soon,

 

Yours in love

H.M. Limbird

 

[Page 4]]

Envelope

San Francisco

Cal.

Jul 2 1:30PM

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Jerusalem, Kansas

Johnson, Co.

 

[Page 5]]

Envelope

Gardner

Jul 2 Rec

 

[Page 6]]

Camp Merritt, San Francisco, Cal.

July 5, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home-12:45] M.

 

As I have a little time before drill I thought I would drop you a few lines to let you know how we are getting along.

 

We are all fairly well, except Billy Howell; he has a cold that settled in his tonsils. It was excused from drill this a.m. I guess he will get along alright though.

 

Yesterday was a great day here. All that had guns and uniform drilled in Frisko. Alpha, Bill and I didn't have uniforms so we didn't march with them. I wasn't very sorry though. The boys said they had to March 12 or 15 miles. We thought they were going over to Oakland-about 9 miles on land and 3 miles of water from Frisko. Alpha and I went over and had a big time. Left at 7:30 and got back at 4:30 PM. They had a big sham battle. The hospital corps took their stretchers with them and some of the boys played dead and were carried off on stretchers. At night we went down to the chutes and saw the fire works. The soldier, while writing old elevated scenic railway fell off about 20 feet.

 

[Page 7]]

Bruising his face and hurting his back.

 

We have a very intelligent drill master a corporal he has served in various countries, in the Army for 16 years. He served in the German army, has been to the Philippine Islands and left a job in the Army in Hawaii, when I was at this war broke out.

 

Howell and I went to the Baptist Church last Sunday evening. There were some converts among the soldiers and very pathetic stories were told of leaving wife and baby and etc. and their wanting to do better in the future to please them. I haven't got homesick yet, but I should like to see you all, if it was possible.

 

It seems like a fellow hasn't got time to get homesick: while not drilling there is plenty of company and stories, and not "always"good ones either. It seems like one of the fellows in our tent comes in drunk every night. They change off you know, part get off one night and part another night. They don't bring it inside to drink tho. That isn't allowed. But we are disturbed from sleep by their foolish talk, they are mostly from Kansas City.

 

We are wearing our winter under clothing out here, and it is seldom too cold for a coat.

 

Well I must say goodbye for this time.

Write soon

As ever your brother & son

 

I will send some flowers from the G. S. Park.

 

[Page 8]]

San Francisco

Cala

Jul 6 1PM this

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

Johnson Co.

 

[Page 9]]

Gardner Ka

Jul 16 Recd

 

[Page 10]]

Camp Merritt.

 

San Francisco, Cal.

July 8, 1898]

 

Dear folks at home:

I got your letter yesterday was very glad to hear from you. Today is a warm sunshiny day something unusual in is part of Cal.

 

I just got in from drill and just finished reading a letter from Gertrude Rhea. She said she did not believe Aunt Lib would ever get well from her injury.

 

We heard from Gardner that we were all homesick, except Nat & John.. If Alpha & I are we didn't know it, but I believe Billy has got the blues. He went over to the division hospital this morning his jaws are all's swollen up, I don't know what is the matter with you.

 

We get mail twice a day in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 21]

Dear brothers Ralph & Elmer & sisters: I will try to tell you some of my duties and how we are expected to4 perform. For instance how would you like to stand attention for half an hour and not look either nor down at your feet. If a fly gets on your nose you can't " shoo" him off if you see a pretty girl go by can't "rubbie"  at her. Again when inspection comes around which does every Saturday p.m. and you have to stand at " port arms for another half hour you begin to wish you was somewhere else.

 

If the inspector sees a grain of sand in the barrel or a trace of rust, you get a good jacking up and told to be better next time. Bigelow has been on guard over 24 hours on two and off four. They take the names in alphabetical order so it will be quite a while before I have a return. A great many go out every night jumping the guard line. I don't think I will jump very much because I can get a pass nearly every night, if I want one, which I don't.

 

I like the Com. Officers fine. The second Lieut is a prizefighter and profane man, but a good commander. The first Lieut. is a fine fellow as also is the captain.

 

We don't know what it is to see a rain here, but there is a mist nearly every night and an overcoat don't feel a bit bad.

 

[Page 22]

Last Thursday night was the French people's Fourth of July. They had a big time at the Chutes. Fireworks and a big dance in the theater hall. I didn't go over but I heard the noise.

 

I was down at the wharf Wednesday night. It is very beautiful to go down and look out across the waves at the lights on the ships. The harbor is always full of ships of all kinds and sizes. They were loading a large collier. This is done by a large pully & hoist with large shovels like the sand scoop at DeSoto.

 

The Fourth Expedition started Thursday and some more are going to start next Thursday. Kansas boys think they are not going to go at all, but I think we will.

 

Frisco is a very rich city, some of the finest houses I have ever seen. Stone buildings all the way from two to 22 stories high.

 

I was down in Chinatown one night, went down with a fellow that had been there and saw how the dirty Chinamen live in the true sense of the word. The streets are very narrow and the sidewalks are about 3 feet wide. I got one or two blocks when it got to so horrid I told Squires I would rather get out of that. He lauged at me and said come on. We went a couple more blocks and that was more than I could bear, so we went out. He said that was only a dot to

 

[Page 23]

Two what was underground. The whole of Chinatown is undermined and they live like hogs. It isn't safe to go under their without a guide.

 

I was sorry to hear that Ma was sick. I hope she is well ere this. Funerals and deaths are a very common occurrence here, but I haven't felt sick and haven't missed but one half days drill since I have been here.

 

We are only about a quarter of a mile from the bay, and we can see it plain. The saltwater looks pretty come in in waves about 8 feet high. Every once in a while we can see  a seal  bob his head up and bark.

 

the ground is very uneven and mountains rugged and high. It seems like Frisco is surrounded by water. We strike water going West, North & East and I haven't been over South.

 

Well my vocabulary is about to run out and it is time for mess so I will close.

 

Give my love & best wishes to all and don't worry about me, as we may be discharged before the years up, no one knows.

 

Your loving son & brother,

Homer Limbird   Write Soon.

 

[Page 24]

Envelope

San Francisco

Cala

Jul 17 6am

 

Mr. Ralph Limbird

Gardner Kansas

Johnson Co.

 

[Page 25]

Envelope

Gardner

Jul

[XX]

 

[Page 26]

San Francisco, Cal.

July 20, 1898

 

Dear folks at home:

I received your letter yesterday was very glad to hear from you, but a little surprised to hear that you thought we were going tomorrow. We get daily papers in camp every morning and if there was anything afloat we would hear it within 12 hours: of course we hear all sorts of talk and rumors and cannot definitely settle on anything.

 

I wrote a letter to Florence yesterday. I suppose you will see it Sunday. I meant the other letters for her as much as for anyone.

 

It is very windy today than they have us up on the hill where it is very dusty. It was double quick a plenty and the dust was thick as a fog. We had about an hour and a half of it and when we came in we look like Negroes.

 

Col. Little has just got out of the hospital; he has been in there every sense we came. The boys make all manner of fun of him. He said he didn't know as much as a private and had to carry a paper with the commands on it when he drilled the men.

 

[Page 27] ]

The pictures I sent home are for all of you: give one to Florence, one to Rose and keep one. I can't get out in time to have any cabinets taken. The one I sent are taken by electricity and at night and on Sundays, long enough to go downtown. I intend to have someone take a though with the Kodak, with my gun and knapsack.

 

I went down to an indoor social last night about three blocks from camp. Had donuts, layer cakes, sandwiches and coffee free.

 

I got last week's Mirror and Times this week, sent by Fred Johnston. I also got the Mirror you sent. We are very glad to read the paper of Johnson County. I was very much surprised that ­Jesse Horn did carry work through. He was getting along so nicely

 

So George Rhodes is coming out of the grove as he? Well I suppose Minnie is tickled nearly to death.

 

Does anybody go with "Dude"? Billie hears once in a while but it was a long while at first. I wrote to Rena once and got an answer but didn't write anymore. I was writing to a girl at El Paso and I continue to write my Albuquerque girl.

 

[Page 28]

I just opened and read a letter from Fred, while I was writing this. He is a great boy, don't write very much but I like to hear from him.

 

I found Harry's folks last Sunday; staid from 9 until 4 PM. Terry was very busy down on a vessel, as Boston get there and I didn't get to see him. His wife said he works nearly night and day. She has her that I was here a few days before I went down from Eva Slater. She seems to be very nice women. Her sister and her husband and two children live in the same house. We had a fine dinner and went to church in the a.m.

 

They wanted me to come back whenever I could. It is so far I can't go unless we are here next Sunday. Harry may go to Manila with us. The company he is working for what him to go. His wife said she guesses she will have to let him go but hated to.

 

Give my love to all,

I will close for this hoping to hear from you soon,

I am yours as ever,

Homer Limbird.

 

[Page 29]

Envelope

San Francisco

Cala

July 20 9 AM

 

Mrs. l. Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

Johnson Co.

 

[Page 30]

Envelope

Gardner K.

 

 

 

[Page 31]

San Francisco, Cal:

9:45] PM July 23, 1898

 

Dear Ones at Home:

Will and I have just returned from C.E. headquarters, where we had a fine time. The C.E. served coffee and sandwiches. The coffee has cream in it and tastes somewhat different from what we get in camp.

 

I got your letter yesterday and got some papers from Fred last night. Will get a big role of K. City stars today

 

.I have forgotten to tell you the company that I am in is made up of men from Junction City and Abilene. Perhaps uncle K. would know some of the fellows.

 

We have been greatly bereaved; one of our boys (of Co.L) died Thursday night with the spinal menegitis. He was sick but two days. His funeral was held today and he was buried in the Gov. graveyard at the Presido (about 3 miles from here.)

 

As he was from my tent I was asked to be pallbearer. Alpha was in the burying squad

 

[Page 32]

I suppose father can tell you how a soldier's funeral is carried on. It was very touching.

 

The young fellow's name was Flowers; said he used to work around Gardner.

 

Well I am quite a soldier now, in fact a sharpshooter. We (our company) went out for target practice this p.m. We each took 10 rounds of ammunition, shot 5 at 100 yds and 5 at 200 yd from target. The boys had been telling how the guns kicked, so when my turn came I held her tight and it made kicked about like my shotgun. Well of the 100 yds. target I made 24 points out of 25 in the 200 yds target I scored  21 out of 25] That being 45] out of 50] The second Lieut. also made 45] be tied, making the best shots of the company.

 

I asked the Lieut. if he would to shoot off the tie, and he said we had better wait till we see some Spaniards.

 

John made  Nat 24 and Alpha 38]: one fellow in our company didn't score.

 

[Page 33]

Tomorrow is Sunday  and I guess I will go up to see if I can find Harry at home. We get out on Sunday from revaille until retreat. We also can go out after retreat till 10:40 when the Sgt. comes around and " check rolls" us. If we are not in our tent we are sent to the "jigger."

 

I had some pictures taken the other day cabinet size, but I don't believe I will have money enough to pay for many.

 

The officers are drilling us pretty hard now. It double quick every little while. If the "Non Com's" make a mistake  the captain double quick us for spite work.

 

Some more transports left today. We are as far from knowing when we are going as  ever.

 

I must close for the night. So goodbye for this time.

 

Your loving son & brother

Homer

P.S. I will write to Elmer the rest in a few days.

 

[Page 34]

Envelope

San Francisco  Cala.

Jul 24 2PM

 

Mr. Ralph Limbird,

Jerusalem Kansas

Johnson Co

 

 

[Page 35]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

Jul 11AM

 

[Page 36]

San Francisco, Cal:

July 25, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I do not feel right if I do not write a letter every day, so I will try to write you a few lines.

 

Today has been a very warm day, I believe the warmest since I have been here, but tonight it is turning cooler.

 

I went down to see Harry yesterday and found him at home this time. He is working as boss over the machinery which manufactures ice. Gets $3]50 per day and carfare. His brother-in-law(Dr. Baker-where he lives) is U. S. Com. and inspector of meat. Ice plants are put in some of the transports and a man is sent along to oversee it. Harry says they wanted him to go, which he thinks he will do. Perhaps he will go on the same ship with us, I wish he could.

 

He, his nephew and I went down to the wharves. We saw the transports. St. Paul, Arizona, Scandia, Centennial and the ship that will carry the 4th Cavalry. I went all over the Centennial.

 

[Page 37]

The berths are about like they are in sleeping cars. The Steerage I believe it is called were the berths are. The guards wouldn't allow me on the other ships. We saw crabs that were as large as a big mud turtle.

 

After noon we went out West to the Pacific and watch the tides come in. It was a grand sight; we also saw about 50 seals that had crawled up on the rocks to rest and sun themselves. On the way back Harry stopped and saw our camp went in the tent and I introduced the fellows to him. They stayed until after dress parade and guard mount. Harry is a nice fellow. He paid my way all around and ask me if I had plenty of money, of course I take any. He told me about Rhoda Slater dying. Harry's wife's sister and family are real nice folks too.

 

Well I still keep well and believe I am gaining in weight. Harry says he has been a great deal healthier since he came here.

 

[Page 38].]

All the other Gardner boys are also well. Alpha and I were talking and we happened to think about Bert & Rose. We almost cried to think we wouldn't be there to see them "tied."  Ha Ha.

 

The officers came around today giving discharges to men for disability. Any one that had contracted diseases during the time since enlisted. Anyone who had been on the sick report for 20 days or over, will be discharged whether they wanted to or not. Some would like to be discharged but cannot.

 

This mornings paper said that the troops to go on the next expedition, 2 regiments would be selected out of 4 (51 Iowa, 7th California, Tenn. as the 20th Kans:) We think we will get to go then, but it will be at least 10 days before the fleet will go. I think that discharging business means something. There are about 7000 troops here yet.

 

I saw all kinds of palms trees Sunday, the date, bananas, coconut and bread fruit.

 

[Page 39]

I wrote Fred a letter today and got one from Miss Carlan of Albuquerque N. M. She seems to be a real nice girl and full of fun, tho not bold.

 

I think we will go out on target practice again tomorrow. I understand the Col. is to select sharpshooters from the best shooters. The shooting is to be from 500 to 700 yards this time. The Springfield will carry good to a distance of 1200 yds. Lieut. Col. Little went on Reg. drill this p.m. but he didn't open his mouth

 

I hope this will find you all well as it leaves me. Do not worry over the too much, because everything works for the best.

 

The boys have great times. When the Capt. double quick us the boys call it "hoss". When we came back from drill one boy got a rope and they went over to the park where we drilled and played hoss for amusement. The boys say the greyback drill during the night and make so much noise they can't sleep and all such talk as that.

 

The boys agree fine among themselves and hardly ever quarrel. I must say goodbye,

 

Your loving son and brother

Homer

 

[Page 40]

Envelope

San Francisco

Cala

Jul 26 12M '98

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Gardner, Kansas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 41]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

Jul 11am

 

[Page 42]

San Francisco Cal.

July 28, 1898]

 

Dear ones that home:

your letter was received yesterday and like the others, got it just as I was starting for drill. Of course I read it at the first opportunity.

 

Tonight is a windy, foggy night and cool enough that a fire would be comfortable.

 

The Dakota and Minnesota recruits-about 400-went to the ship this p.m.-going to Manila. The Kansas band led them down and got all kinds of treats as people thought they were going to leave too.

 

We have a sham battle Tuesday. Our battalion went into a dense pinewoods and the other battalions were to attack us. We were hid from their view and they said one company along the ridge in plain sight and kept the rest in the hollow. We fixed bayonets and with a regular Indian war hoop charged on them and drove them down to the reserve and was surprised to see all the rest in the hollow

 

[Page 43]

Where they could have had a good advantage over us.

 

I command the respect of the whole company but be such a good plot. I think we will have target practice again soon.

 

The Kansas regiment are going to give an exhibition drill in the Pavilion next Thursday eve. Each battalion is to furnish a company, each company a box 20 men. Today (PM) they selected the tallest fellows, and of course I was one, to practice for Thursday. We went out and drilled about 2 hours and did fine.

 

The proceeds are to go to the Christian Com. Fund. We get a good supper out of it.

 

Billy has gone over to the C. E. Headquarters and Alpha is not feeling very well.

 

I guess all the boys have been on guard but me. John is on tonight. I think I will have to go on tomorrow night, but I won't cry if I don't. It means 24 hours-2 hours on and 4 off, not counting all the schemes the officers try to run on you to see if you know your business.

 

I got several papers from Fred Johnston today, which had many pieces in about the the 20th, also got the Times.

 

[Page 44]

I got the papers you sent me O.K. and was glad to get to read some news from" "Kansas".

 

We had a pretty drill this p.m.-running nearly all the time and plenty  dust flying. Ed Little commanded our battalion yesterday and it was fun sure. He would give his command like he was talking to a squad of four and besides he would get them crooked.

 

The boys got careless and we have a great time- just like a lot of rookies.

 

No I haven't had to carry a load on way back yet or even been reprimanded. If anyone gets punished now it is his own fault, because we get so many privileges. We can go out anytime just so we are here that role calls and drills and in at10:40 at night.

 

No indeed we do not have any need to wade here. Billy was just saying tonight that he wished it would, it pour down and dampen the sand up. Harry says all the rains come in winter time and are very warm.

 

[Page 45]

I suppose Florence got my letter O.K.? She thinks the happening down to their place wouldn't interests me. Indeed it does, just as much as home news. She can tell all about the chickens, turkeys and etc. Who got their school? Also who got ours. Tell me all about the schools.

 

Does Earl Victor looked like he used to? Tell him I wouldn't have like to have seen him.

 

How are Francis's folks making it up N W.? Is Jesse going to school this winter?

 

Tell him I don't believe he would like soldiering very well.

 

I may get to be a corporal yet. [XX]! I got a letter from El Paso great big one, from a Miss Farrel. She says they are having a regular flood.

 

I had a nice cup of tea, some bread and butter and beef over at the Catholic tent last night

 

I will some photos if pay day comes soon, which I think will.

 

I will close for tonight

Your ever loving son & brother

Homer Limbird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 1]]

San Francisco, Cal.

Aug. 1, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I got a letter from Rose also one from Jesse yesterday. It don't seem right if I don't get a letter every day and I nearly average that.

 

Today is a misty, cold day. We have a fire in the unit stove and it feels pretty good to. We have had a fire night and morning, for the past week.

 

I have been troubled with my stomach trouble since last Friday, and all right again now, but not able to drill yet. One of the fellows in my tent went over to the Catholics tent and got some nice tea, crackers, bread and butter. I had the diarrhea bad, and food source in my stomach

 

[Page 2]]

Harry, his wife and nephew came out yesterday p.m. see why I didn't come up. Brought me some fruit and asked if I wanted any thing else. Said they would be out again in a day or two.

 

Harry looks well and seemed to enjoy himself. He says probably he may go to Manila on the Scandia, if an ice plant is put on that ship. His wife says she is going back to the East if he goes.

 

Bigelow was taken sick with the measles last Thursday and is broke out fine. He is quarantined in the hospital over at the Presidio. He will be all right in a few days.

 

We got word over the wire last Friday, that probably Merritt would need all the men assigned to him, and that Kansas would go in course of 12 or 15 days. The boys gave a big yell and the camp was wild with excitement.

 

We think perhaps we will go when the Arizona, Skandia, and Centennial goes. The Athenian and Tartar. are coming from Puget Sound, due here today. We think we will go on the Tartar. That will make quite a fleet; they will carry about 10,000 soldiers.

 

The quartermaster Sgt. of the regiment has at last been court-martialed and sentenced to two years on Albertress Island-about one mile out in the bay. He has been stealing off and on all the time from the commissary. He strolled two loads of flour and sold it at one time. Everybody was glad of it and said he didn't get half enough. His name was Young. They say there are others in it, and are trying to get evidence to convince them.

 

The lady friend of Harry's-married woman belonging to the Red Cross is going to bring me out two comfort bags, chest protectors, etc this week.

 

[Page 3]]

The Red Cross, Catholic Truth Society, C.E.'s and the Odd Fellows are doing great things for the boys. They do sewing patching and give the sick boys medicine.

 

I was very sorry and much surprised to hear that Jesse had failed in examination. I was sure that he would pass.

 

I had a visit planned to the coast to see the large guns and the forts, yesterday, but wasn't able to go.

 

I think we will move to the Presidio this week, that should we not go to Manila, the tents are to be floored and we are to have mattresses to sleep on. There is no sand over there then we would be about one half while of the bay.

 

Tell Uncle Anthony hello for me he don't improve in health to come Oakland across the bay from Frisco, will have the finest climate in the neither too hot nor too cold

 

Hope this will find you all well not think I am sick I will close for this time goodbye

yours Homer

 

[Page 4]]

Envelope

San Francisco Cala

Aug 1 3PM '98

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Gardner Kansas

 

[Page 5]]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

Aug 5

10am

Recd

 

[Page 6]]

San Francisco Cal;

August 8, 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

I got your letter last Friday, just as we were breaking camp to move over to the Presidio.

 

We packed our things in our knapsacks and marched over the distance of about 2 miles. We were given a sandwich to carry for our dinner and that was to be all we got till suppertime. We have got a place now something like a camping place. We have a nice level " solid" ground with very little sand.

 

The Ipwas are on the south, the New Yorkers on the west, the bay on the north and the Wyoming artillery on the East. The bay is a half-mile distance but looks like it is

 

[Page 7]]

Only about 100 yds. We went down along the bay yesterday and watched the fishermen pull in there nets. The boys, some of them, wherein swimming and a big fish jumped up and scared them nearly to death.

 

I guess our go down and take a swim this p.m.

 

Well I got on guard last Friday night. On two hours and off four. When a fellow goes on guard, he gets a ticket afterwords to ride on the streetcars. The cars are just across the road from us.

 

I went up to see Harrys folks yesterday after dinner. Harry, his wife, nephew and niece and I went out to the coast to Golden State.

 

We saw seaweeds, big reefs, see gulls that everything that usually find the coast.

 

Harry's nephew & these are real nice children. The boy is 17 the girl is 15] Also Mr. & Mrs. Baker are fine good health people. Mr. Baker is a commission officer and pretty well off. Harry said Mr. Slater wanted to come out and stay through the winter with him, but he said he was so uncertain about how long he would stay in one place. He isn't going on the Scandia as another firm got the contract.

 

Bigelow got out of the hospital yesterday it looks pretty well. He was glad to get back to camp.

 

There was an earth quake shock felt here yesterday. A woman fainted in church.

 

We are so many cannons, we couldn't tell an earthquake from the jar they make.

 

We have so much better weather over here, and I could almost be persuaded to like Army life. We have floors in the tents and ticks filled with straw to sleep on. I think we are here to stay

 

[Page 8]]

until discharged, which I don't think can be very long.

 

I found wanting fellow that new uncle Doc. Hi name is Ed Kuartz. There are a great many fellow in this company from Abilene, but I never asked very many if the new uncle W.

 

Well how are all the relatives getting along? Gertrude is the only one I write to.

 

I haven't heard from you Henry yet. Do you ever hear how he got? I am afraid something happened or he would have written.

 

I would like to be at this winter sure enough, but don't think I will even f I get discharged. Harry said yesterday he was sure he could get me a job in packing house. I want to see some more of Cal. also and take some money back with me.

 

We haven't been paid yet and I don't know when we will be.

 

We are all feeling first rate, but I don't see John or Nat very often. I will send a program of our drill.'s

 

[Page 9]]

Envelope

San Francisco Cala.

August 8-6 PM'98

 

Mrs. L. Limbird,

Gardner Kansas

Johnson Co.

 

[Page 10]]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

Aug 12 10 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 11]]

San Francisco, Cal:

Aug. 12, '98

 

Dear folks at home:

I got your letter today and was glad to hear from you.

 

Yesterday, the generals told us we would go to Manila as soon as transports arrived.

 

The Sidney & Australia will get him from Manila in a few days. Kansas, Iowa and Tennessee drilled together the last three days, in brigade drill. The regiments took their bands and colors and appeared in regul marching order.

 

Iowa on the right, Tenn.  in the center and Kansas on the left. Yesterday we went out in full every marching

 

[Page 12]]

order. It was quite a grand site, but not very nice for us fellows. There was a great crowd out to watch us and our pictures were taken.

 

Mr. &  Mrs Baker were out and come down to camp and staid awhile. The brigade drill ground is about 3 miles and plenty of rocky hills to climb. I promised Harry to go up and go to the theater with him Saturday night.

 

This a.m. we were given 9 rounds of ammunition and went out into the woods for a sham battle. Our battalion had a fight with the other two. It was quite an exciting time. We captured several prisoners and cleared the others over the hills. The Lieut. Col. was afraid to ride his horse during the battle, for fear he would throw him off.

 

All the boys are well, except Bill, and he has a bad cold.

 

We are going to have a group (of pictures taken) this week.

 

Bigelow reported for duty today and goes on guard tonight.

 

There is a big tent on the grounds now, there are services held three times a week and on Sunday morning.

 

We never see any hardtack, we have good Baker's bread, but the coffee is hardly fit to drink.

 

As far as going to take that little to raise? Why don't she write to me? I wrote her a long letter directed to Pioneer.

 

I would like to get the papers whenever you can send them. Fred hasn't sent any for some time. I heard that Arch Boyd has taken charge of the Times.

 

[Page 13]

I'll bet the children don't go to Gardner quite as much as they did when I was there.

 

Our battalion went over and visited the Tenn. boys yesterday p.m. they are great fellows, talk so queer, but I expect father can tell how they talk. They think the Kansas boys are nice fellows, but they hate the New York boys. They say they are going to lick the whole outfit sometime. Half of the N.Y. boys have gone to Hawaii. They think they are better than the rest of us.

 

We think now we will go to Manila in side of 3 weeks, but we can not tel. l suppose you have saw what general Merritt has asked?

 

We have fine weather here and I am feeling tip-to.

 

Well I will have to close

Yours Homer

 

[Page 14]

Presidio

Aug 13

5am '98

Cal.

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Jerusalem

Kansas

 

[Page 15]

Gardner

Aug

10am

 

[Page 16]

Merriam

San Francisco, Cal; August 14, 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

Today is Sunday and a very pretty day. The sun is shining but the wind is cool.

 

I went down and took dear with Harrys yesterday and we went to the theater in the evening. Harry's wife is talking of making a trip back east soon; she can't get a ticket to Chicago for $22] Said she wants try to stop off and see you folks awhile. She is a fine goodhearted woman and I am sure you would like her first rate.

 

The morning papers says that there will be no more troops sent to Manila, and I think we will be discharged or maybe help for a while as a standing army. I don't think we will be held the two years. I hope not at least. I can't see why Uncle Sam would need us after peace is signed. The boys would rather go home now than any other place.

 

[Page 17]

August 14, 1898

San Francisco, Cal.

 

We had a sham battle yesterday and the day before our battalion fought against the other two.

 

The battle was as near a real one as could be except the bullets. We held a hill as the other side came up and they came up on three sides. We poured shot after shot into them and then fixed bayonets. No one was hurt and we licked them both days. Our captain had two prisoners and five or six of the enemy came up and carried him off. He has had some practice in real warfare, fighting Indians.

 

The boys say now that we haven't gone to Manila is the reason that everything of importance we do happens on Friday. The got into Frisco on Friday, were paid on Friday, mored over here on Friday, had their first sham battle on Friday and so on.

 

There is a fellow writing now from Montgomery Co. and we have just been talking about the people.

 

[Page 18]

He knows a great many of the people we use to know. Also know Walter Liminger and Williams.

 

McTagert is Second Lieutenant in his company. A some of the McTagert that was murdered awhile back.

 

Do you ever hear from Jack Adams? I wonder if Will Hayes ever got any further than Ohio. He ought to have got to go to Cuba where they he could fight a little

and then he would have had something to tell of his experiences.

 

The Kansas boys played the 6th California boys a game of  ball yesterday and beat them.

 

I am going down to church and stay to dinner with Harry today. We had venison for supper and it was fine too. There are lots of deer near San Francisco and it is now about the right season for hunting them.

 

The Scandia will not sail and I don't think the Arizona will either. Brig. Gen. King at his effects all packed ready to go tomorrow but I think he will be disappointed so what.

 

I am well and can eat a square meal so far. They had pancakes and molasses, steak, potatoes, flour gravy and bread & coffee for breakfast. You may bet the cakes tasted all right. I must close

 

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 19]

Envelope

Presidio

Aug 14

2 PM

1898

Cal.

 

Richard Limbird, Esq,

Jerusalem Kansas

 

[Page 20]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas.

Aug 18

2am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 21]

Camp Merritt

San Francisco, Cal,

Aug: 18, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I received your letter together with Florence's some time ago. We are all well, except Bigelow has a sore throat. I suppose you got the paper that I sent? It gives a good account of the "fracus."

 

The Tenn. regiment is feeling pretty sore over it. They have to pay for the damage, besides he disgrace it throws upon them. I went up and looked at the house; it is a wreck sure, but I am glad to say I wasn't in it.

 

Lieut. De Ford resigned and went home to Ottawa-

 

[Page 22]

last Monday. He wanted to get home in time to run for County Atty., as he thought all chance of going to Manila was settled.

 

There is talk now of discharging all those that wish it, and I don't think there would be many refuse it. It all depends on what kind of a dispatch Merritt sends back. We won't hear until next week.

 

Yesterday was my wash day. It seems funny that I should have to do my own washing don't it? But I do a good job nevertheless and it comes around usually once a week.

 

It is a great deal better

 

[Page 23]

Then paying out money for laundry, like a great many do.

 

There is very few fellows that have any money in our company. I have a few cents but think it will last until payday. I have over two months pay coming to me now and should I be discharged here I will send most of it home, or if we are not discharged for some time I will send it any how.

 

Three companies of the New York boys left for Hawaii today. The remaining 21/2 will sale next week. I wish we could go there. I would great deal rather go there then to Manila now.

 

I went to a social that was given especially for the 20th, last Tuesday night.

 

[Page 24]

The Kansas band furnished the music. We were given doughnuts and coffee afterwards

 

I got the stamps all right and they came real handy too.

 

There are all kinds of rumors in regard to our dischargement. One report says we are going to Omaha to give an exhibition drill in October. Others say we are going back to Fort Riley or Leavenworth to do garrison duty.

 

I still have my citizens suit and shoes maybe I will get a chance to use them back home yet.

 

The Kansas boys team up town are going to play football next Sunday.

 

We get less drill now then we used to, and we have a great deal over leisure time. I must close for this

 

Yours lovingly

Homer

 

[Page 25]

Envelope

Presidio

August 18

8 PM

Cal.

 

R. Limbird, Esq.

Gardner, Kansas.

 

[Page 26]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

 

[Page 27]

Camp Merriam

San Francisco, Cal,

Aug 24, 1898]

:

Dear ones at home.

I received your welcome letters yesterday also the two dollars. It will come real handy, as we are not liable to be paid for some time yet, I think.

 

Camp life gets very monotonous and I like to get away on Sunday, a person has to have streetcar fare to go to the beach or up town. I went up to see Harry's last Sunday; left about 8 o'clock and got up there just as they were eating breakfast and of course I had to get too.

 

We had some nice mutton, you may bet that tasted good.

 

After breakfast Harry and I

 

[Page 28]

Went over to Emmanuel Baptist church where Durrant murdered those girls.

 

I expect I didn't get much out of the sermon. The church is only 21/2 blocks from where Harry lives, but neither Harry nor the Bakers lived there at the time of the murder. In the afternoon we went to a mission S.S. of which Mr. Baker is Supt.

 

After that area I went up on one of the highest hills in Frisco, were a reservoir is been chipped out. We could see well over the city and bay.

 

We went to church again after supper-to the Episcopal-of which they are members. Their ceremonies

 

[Page 29]

Are really the same as those of the Catholics. It is a very rich church and one of the finest in the city.

 

Well I guess we are destined to stay in Frisco until discharge.

 

Tonight's paper states that no more troops will leave, perhaps tomorrow the report will come we are going soon. I have given up all hope tho'  and don't care much what they do with us. The boys are all eager for a discharge, if we are not going to leave. The seventh California moved from camp Merritt over here (Camp Merriam) today.

 

Wars are all in fairly good health and I was never feeling better in my life. We didn't have a drill this p.m., but Instead the Captains and 1st

 

[Page 30]

Lieuts. had a game of Base Ball. The Lieutenants beat the Captains by a score of 20 to 18] Funston  Is now acting Brig. Gen. in place of general King who sailed on board the Arizona last Sunday.

 

I got a letter from Fred Johnston today also the clipping from the Mirror and Times.

 

Also I got one from Lewis Mc, yesterday-he was at Minneapolis Kansas, but thought he would be home in about a week.

 

Talk about me getting over being homesick: I believe I am just getting a taste of it. Not that I am homesick, but the uncertainty as to where and what we are going to do. It makes a person feel like he would like to be free and do as he pleases once more. It is like some

 

 

 

[Page 31]

of the boys say.

 

We have a job now that we can keep and can't get away from, one that no difference how much kicking we do, we won't be turned off. The best job we ever had.

 

It is amusing to listen at the boys run on and prophetiz, as to what we are going to do or when we are going. In this way and reading books and papers, we passed away our idle time. Some play cards and gamble with tobacco.

 

The captain has drawn tobacco given to our company twice, to be pay for payday. I drawed mine and sold it to the boys.

 

Money is very scarce and I

 

[Page 32]

don't let the boys know I have any, for fear they would borrow.

 

I was very sorry to hear of Mr. Harris loss, as it goes hard with a poor man to lose that way. Harry said that Harry Laughfrom wanted him to get him a job and he would come out here and live. Harry said he kne it would be didn't want him to come, as he wouldn't any account for much of anything.

 

I tell you I do miss the melons and apples; and it is not so handy here, to run to the cupboard as I used too.

 

We get tomatoes once in a while now. I will send a poster will with this-it may be useful in after days-I will also send a few cards. I may send some photos in a few days.

 

I must close as it is getting late.

 

Write soon

Your caring son & brother

Homer

 

[Page 33]

Camp Merriam

San Francisco, Cal.

August 21 "98

 

Dear ones at home:

I got your last letter yesterday, was very glad to hear from you.

 

It is very windy here today and the sand dust is flying. This a.m. our battalion went over about 2 miles-and visited Point Black, a coast fortress with cannons very numerous.

 

We had inspection this afternoon in heavy marching order. But we didn't have to go out of our company street, also inspection of quarters by Col. Little.

 

We have a thorough inspection every Saturday p.m.

 

Some of the companies have

 

[Page 34]

been circulating a petition for the boys to sign asking that if we are not going to the front, we be mustered out of service as soon as possible. Now it is reported that the regiment was willing to do garrison duty and didn't want to be discharged.

 

This petition you know would have made the officers out as liars, so they very urgently asked that we not send it, as it would do no good. 95% would have signed it. The officer said that if anyone was needed in Manila, we would be the next to go, and if things were

 

[Page 35]

settled, we would be discharged within seven days. The boys made some loud talking last night, but quieted down this morning. I honestly believe if they were to try to make the 20th do garrison duty here, there would be mutiny a plenty. Some  say  the government can't compel us to do garrison duty.

 

I haven't much desire to go to Manila now, but would like to know what they are going to do with us.

 

 As to Henry's welfare, he is getting along finely. I heard from him about a week ago, and he was still in the hospital, but would get out in about a week.

 

[Page 36]

He was sick as you said with the peritonitis and had an operation performed. Said he was awful weak when he wrote but thought he would be able to resume his work in about three weeks. He was in Bethany hospital.

 

I am in the best of health as are all the Gardner boys. Several are getting disability discharges.I saw one fellow discharged today. He gets about $130 transportation and all. He gets the money here so he can go home or not just as he pleases.

 

 I think when we are all discharged, we will be taken back to Topeka as a body and discharged together .

 

The 3rd artillery, to companies when the board ship today and will sail for Yukon, Alaska next Monday. The Arizona will sail for Manila tomorrow at 10 o'clock.

 

[Page 37]

We are in such a position as to see every ship that comes in or goes out of San Francisco. There is a big battery on both sides of us about 1/2 mile.  Algatraz Island also fortified is out in the bay about 1 mile from us. It is is military prison and a fort.  Three prisoners escaped from there this week.

 

There is a government tug that makes a round  from one island  to another back to the uptown wharf on Thursdays & Fridays . She also lands just a little way from camp. the boys in blue can ride  on her free. I think I shall get excused from drill and take a ride on her, so that I can say I had "  kind of a boat ride " anyway. Our captain is a good fellow to excuse us. He hardly ever refuses anyone.

 

[Page 38].]

Some of the fellows feign toothache or that "they want to meet a special friend" and thus get a head of him.

 

Some have gotten as much as a four day furlough and had a good time. I never try to get excused unless absolutely necessary.

 

Bill Howell don't drill at all because he hasn't got a belt nor leggings. He could easily get them if he wanted them. He don't even know how to go through the manual of arms. It is pure laziness, but don't you let this get out side of the family.

 

I hope this will find you all well, as it leaves me.

 

I think as you say I have had enough of Army life, but I don't hate it only I think I am satisfied and would even be content with teaching school.

 

Yours as ever write soon

Homer

 

[Page 39]

Envelope

San Francisco Cal

August 25

6 PM

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

 

[Page 40]

Gardner Kas

Aug 29

11 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 41]

(Red Cross headquarters)

 

Camp Merriman

San Francisco, Cal.

August 28, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I just got done eating and will now try to write you a few lines. I am on the wharf at the Red Cross, where I eat dinner. I thought I wouldn't go up to Harry's today. They told me to come up every Sunday and as often through the week as I wanted to, but I don't like to impose on people too much.

 

We are all well as usual have as good an appetite as usual. Our diet is pretty

 

[Page 42]

light sometimes, but we usually get all we want to eat. Last night we had rice, "Slimd  Gullian', coffee and bread. I didn't eat the "Slum", as I call it, so my supper was somewhat light.

 

We read about the poor boys and Chickamauga and on board ships returning from Cuba, and think we are treated well indeed. We have pretty good grub as a rule. Once in a while the cooks get careless.

 

Sunday is welcomed gladly, for two reasons-we can go where we please from 7 AM till 5 PM and we most of us get at least one good meal.

 

The camp is almost deserted on Sunday.

 

Will and I went up to the division hospital today and took a good bath.

 

They have a regular bathhouse in the basement and all soldiers are allowed to bath there. The water in the bay is too cold for bathing.

 

When you came back the Major Dr. told Will to report to him and in hour.

 

He said he waited in the pharmacy department in the Presidio for a while. It may be that Will will get assigned to the hospital corp at the Presidio. I hope so, because he would never make a soldier in his life he would be better satisfied there.

 

[Page 43]

I & Will took the trip on the government boat last Thursday. We went about 30 miles altogether. Went to Limes Pt., Algatraz- the U.S.prison, Angel Island and Ft. Mason, then up to the uptown wharf.

 

We have given up all hope of taking a "boat ride" and our next move I think will be for Kansas. Col. Funston and Lieut. Col. Little are scrapping all the time and I think that will hurry up the mustering out.

 

I got a letter from Henry Friday. He had been to the Epworth League convention at Bonner Springs and told about his enjoyments. He said he had gotten a letter from you Ralph or father he didn't know which it was from.

 

It was too bad that Henry should be laid off that way and have too pay so much out; but probably didn't have to pay as he was in Bethany hospital. He could have been earning some money this right along. He said the " lace work" was still in his side and would probably be there sometime yet.

 

Will, John and I went to a free social at the first Baptist church Friday night we had a fine time. Plenty of cake, coffee and pretty girls. We were introduced to the young

 

[Page 45]

ladies and of course had to entertain them awhile.

 

The people of California are not so bad after all. They say they have done less for the Kansas boys than any of the others. The lady asked me to take a four o'clock dinner with her today (at the social). I guess I cannot go, as I may have to go on guard tonight

 

We have quite a camp now. All of the troops, hospital corps and headquarters are now in a bunch of the Presidio's. About 6000 altogether. It is quite a sight to see the artillery and Cavalarymen drill. The Cavalarymen wouldn't make bad circus riders.

 

Very have to perform nearly as many antics. The ride bareback, backwards, double, jumping off and on when the horse is moving have the horses trained so they lay down whenever they want them to.

 

Quartermaster Sgt. Young was taken to Fort Leavenworth last Friday. He denies all the charges against him, but all think him a guilty. I had a spite at him myself. He cussed me once without reason and likewise all the boys had a grudge against him and are now glad of his punishment, but I feel sorry for him.

 

He will have to wear different stripes for year.

 

[Page 46]

I will send three photos and you can give Rose and Florence each one and keep one. I think they are pretty good.

 

We just had a snapshot taken of us as we sit writing. The lady has promised me a picture of us if they are good.

 

Well as my vocabulary has run out I will close, hoping to hear soon.

 

Your loving son & and brother

Homer

 

[Page 47]

Envelope

San Francisco Cala.

August 28 4 pm '98

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner Kansas

 

[Page 48]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

Sep 4

 

[The following letter is out of sequence, but appears to have been written August 4, 1898]]

 

[Page 1]

Merritt

San Francisco, Cal (Aug. 4, 1898)

 

Dear ones at home:

As we do not have any drill this afternoon I will write a few lines. I am well and have a good appetite once more. It is a pretty day today but the wind blowing pretty hard which makes it quite bad at mealtime, blowing sand into the victuals.

 

Alpha is still over to the Presidio hospital with measles but will be out in a few days. The rest of the boys are in good health.

 

Tonight is the night we show off downtown, so we rest up this p.m. for tonight. We take the street cars-way paid and get a good supper afterwards.

 

The Pavilion covers a block, so you see we have a big place to drill in. I guess there will be a sham battle and all the different things we perform..

 

Harry's wife came out Tuesday p.m. and brought us a lot of things. She is a nice woman. She brought some crackers, jelly, clam juice, tea and a box of nice caramel, also big loaf of nice bread. Her sister's husband, Dr. Baker, told her to see the chaplain. Baker was acquainted with him, and tell him to look after me especially. So she and I goes over to the chaplain's tent and sees him.

 

[Page 2]]

She tells them about my being sick and tells them to look after me. I was well then and tried to tell her so, but she said I was sick and didn't want to give up. The chaplain promised to see that I was taken good care of you gave me something for my stomach. He is a fine man, over 6 feet high and thin as a rail. He has done a great deal for the boys.

 

Harry's wife wanted me to come up and stay with them for two or three days. It is a good thing to have cousins when you are away from home such a long way, especially if they are the right kind. I shall never forget the kindness they have done me already.

 

Well from the appearance of things we may be taken back to Kansas and discharged. One of the first sergeants heard Gen. King say it to Col. Funston, " there is no hope for the boys whatever, now." If that be the case we will be discharged within a month or six weeks.

 

Nearly all the boys say that if there is any show of of going to Manila they don't want to be discharged, but if there is none, the sooner they get their discharge the better.

 

[Page 3]]

If I could get my discharge and transportation money here, I believe I would stay for a while. Harry says he believes I could get a job with the firm he is working for. I would also like to see more of the true California. As for the Pacific, I think I have seen enough of it, still I would like to take a little trip out on the Pacific.

 

I think if I should be discharged soon I would be satisfied with enough soldiering, still I kind of enjoy it. I want to get into something higher for a life work tho'.

 

We are going to move over to the Presidio tomorrow and still probably be stationed there till discharged. We won't have the sand to contend with over there, but will be in your to the ocean bay. I expect I will go up to see Harry's next Sunday and have dinner with them.

 

Give my love and best wishes to all,

Your loving son & brother

Homer L

 

[Page 4]]

Envelope

Santo St. [XX]

Aug 4 5pm 1898

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner, Kansas.

 

[Page 5]]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

[XX]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 1]]

Camp Merriam

San Francisco, Cal,

September 2, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I intended to write yesterday, but went on guard the night before that didn't get off till last night, and didn't have much chance to write, as we are supposed to stay right at the guard even after off from duty. It is real cool this morning and the night I was on guard, I had on the heavy overcoat and had to walk through fast them, to keep warm.

 

We would welcome some of those warm nights that they have back in Kansas: still this is a fine place to sleep, if you have plenty of covering over you..

 

I suppose you got the pictures O.K.? I got your letter, together with

 

[Page 2]]

Jesse's, last Sunday after I had written to you. Jesse wrote a real good letter and asked me questions about soldiering. I expect Jesse feels hurt because he didn't get to come out here, but I have an idea that he would have wished, he was at home, had he come. The major Dr. order that cots be put in the guard tent for the relieved guards also that the cooks have hot coffee for them at any time. We don't have a very hard life of it now and can enjoy life some better.

 

We had a grand review on Presidio Heights last Wednesday. All the Cavalary, infantry and artillery at the Presidio took part. They were reviewed by Gen. Miller at about 8000 soldiers were out. There was a big crowd of a few thousand citizens out to watch us.

 

Some said the view was preparatory to mustering out, but I don't think we are likely to be mustered out for a few weeks. The board of Commerce

 

[Page 3]]

Since the petition to Washington asking that all of us be mustered out, as the war was over no more fighting to be done.

 

No I haven't heard from Gertrude for about four weeks. I wrote to her about two weeks ago and she hasn't been since. The last time she wrote tho' aunt Lib was getting along all right and I think she had been over to visit Rhea's folks.

 

don't like the Tenn. boys any too well, but they think the Kansas boys are ALL RIGHT and cheer them whenever they get a chance. They are great fellows to yell and make words ring with their hollering. When they  " Dixie" our band plays "Not Time." They cheer us and then we cheer

 

[Page 4]]

them. There are several comes over to our tent every few days for a friendly chat.

 

Well the boys are all well and able to drill every day. Bigelow is cleaning up his gun, as he thinks probably he will have to go on guard tonight.

 

We sign the payroll Wednesday but may not be paid for several days yet. I'll bet the guard house will be full them. There are only two regular prisoners now, and they are in for about a month.

 

The papers are full of politics now and war news is somewhat scarce.

 

The war Department officers are having quite a squabble now aren't they?

 

How are all the relatives get along.

 

Well as drill call has sounded I will have to close. Goodbye write soon

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 5]]

Envelope

Presidio

Sep [XX]

2 PM 1898

Cal

 

Mrs.Lovica Limbird

Gardner Kansas

 

Gardner Kas

[XX]

 

[Page 6]]

Envelope

Gardner

[XX[

 

[Page 7]]

Camp Merriam

San Francisco, Cal.

Sept. 6] 1898]

 

Dear ones at home: I rec'd your letter just after I sent mine.

 

How often do you receive letters from me? I have written two letters a week every since I have been here and from the way you write you haven't got that many. Did you get the roster and photos I sent? I did two letters a week from you, and I am looking for one today. I thought I would wait till you wrote, but I didn't get one this a.m., so thought I would write.

 

It is nice and warm today, with a slight breeze. Our battalion(with band) went down about 3 miles

 

[Page 8]]

from camp, on a nice street, and had dress parade, for practice. By the time we got through, we had quite a crowd, watching us.

 

I got the stamps, also the $2]00, I wrote once that I had got the money.

 

We expect to get paid this week, but we have been expecting that for the last two months.

 

I got the items I showed them to John Thomas. John is in the signal Corps, now, practicing signals with flags.

 

I was very sorry to hear of Mrs. Speers death. It must have been a hard blow on Mr. Speer and the whole church, but she was a good Christian woman and thus it might not be so hard.

 

I went down to Harry's last Sunday and he and his wife had gone over to the Supt. of Baden packing house-almost 14 miles from Frisco. The streetcars run right out to the house. I staid and went

 

[Page 9]]

to church with the Baker and after dinner George B. and I went over to Baden for a ride and see the fine cemeteries. We eat supper with the Supt. and came back with Harry. The Supt. said he would give me a job should I get discharge here.

 

The 7th & 8th and the 1st California are to be mustered out this week. The rest of the troops here are to be held until further orders; so we wont know what they are going to do with us for at least two weeks yet.

 

We are all well and Will is still working in the hospital. He says " all that depends on him be assigned now" is his signing the transfer papers.

 

If he does sign and we are mustered out soon, he will be

 

[Page 10]]

held, as he will have to join the regular Army. He is happy to think he has got into that job and says he is going to sign up.

 

I have had a great deal fruit while here and think it good for me. Bakers have fruit every Sunday. I would like to go down to the southern part of the state to eat all the fruit I could for once. the ninth of Sept. is admission day for Cal. They are going to celebrate in grand style in Golden Gate Park. Monday was Labor Day but we labored just the same.

 

I saw you in today's paper that the Kans regiment has the smallest percentage of sickness of any of the regiments.

 

The seventh has had the typhoid fever for some time and many have died. Give my love to all the relatives and tell them to write

 

I must close for this time,

Yours

Homer Limbird

 

 

[Page 11]]

Envelope

Presidio

Sep 3pm

1898

Cal.

 

Richard Limbird. Esq.,

Gardner, Kansas

 

[Page 12]]

Envelope

Gardner Kas.

Sep 10

 

[Page 13]

Camp Merriam

San Francisco, Cal.

Sept 10, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I rec'd your welcome lett a few days ago and started write last night, but didn't go very well so put it off till today. I am feeling much better tonight and think I will be all right by tomorrow.

 

The boys are all out at retreat and I am enjoying a few moments conversation with. I went on the sick report this morning as I didn't feel able to do duty, thusI don't have to answer retreat.

 

 Well supper is over, but I didn't have much appetite. The canteen has opened up and camp, managed by an officer.

 

The boys are craz for pie and about 1000 were sold to the boys on time,

 

[Page 14]

to be paid for payday. I got a big blackberry pie and soon ended its existence. I don't want to eat too many, because I don't think they are good for me. I think we will be paid Monday, sure, then look out for some money.

 

Fred sent me last week's papers, where I got all the news.

 

I was very sorry to hear that Mrs. Speer died, also, that Mr. Hutchings had died. It seems like the Gardner young people have scattered considerably since we came out here. Surely we couldn't have caused that much commotion.

 

I got a letter from El Paso today from my" best" girl.

 

We are allowed to go up to the barracks to take a nice bath, which

 

[Page 15]

I enjoy very much. If we have to stay in the service, I think we will get put into barracks. Their life is more like a citizen. I filled my tick again last week. All, or nearly all in our tent wanted to sleep on the hard floor, so I emptied my tick but when some fresh straw was brought, Bigelow & I filled up again and now it is something like a bed.

 

As you say, it doesn't seem necessary that Uncle Sam should keep us any longer, but I think as soon as the Peace Com. meets and settles we will be discharged.

 

Our regiment has the fewest on the sick list of any regiment here.

 

I tried to enjoy myself to the utmost and thus drive off any possible attack of homesickness. One fellow of A. Co., who had become a little crazy, was taken back to Wash. D. C. To the asylum, for demented soldiers & sailors.

 

[Page 16]

There are about six who will get a disability discharge or a 30 days furlough (which would amount to a discharge in the long run) from our company. They are happy to think they are going home.

 

I wouldn't take a great deal for my experiences, for I think I have profited in a great many ways and seeing lots of great sights, but now I don't care to go to Manila and haven't much desire to go to Hawaii. I would like to be discharged in the city, as I believe I could make more money here.Harry says the lowest the pay at the packing house is $1]75 per day.

 

I feel sorry for Oscar & Florence and think if anyone deserves success, it is them. Perhaps next year they will make a good thing out of that place. I have been looking for a letter from them for some time, but I suppose their discouragement

 

[Page 17]

makes them feel like not writing.

 

I have found out that this life is not paved with pearls and we cannot always have a bed of roses.

 

Bigelow has gone down town to a party tonight. He sports about as much as ever. He has drawn two suits of new clothing already and had a tailor fit the coat. If we are mustered out soon he will have to pay Uncle Sam something.

 

I am going to take a trip of about 100 miles on a boat next Sunday. The fair is $.50, very cheap I think for the amount of pleasure we will have and the places we see. We go nearly around the bay and see the Navy yards Mare Island.

 

[Page 18]

I have run across several boys from Montgomery Co. that new all the old neighbors.

 

Our band went to San Jose-50 miles from here to play at the exercises for admission day. If we had got paid I intended to go, but it seems like we get the tail end of everything.

 

The eight Cal. boys are just going by and our boys are giving him the yell. The eight was encamped in Oakland, across the bay and they are coming over to take the place of these sixth & seventh Cal., who are to be mustered out soon.

 

The [XX] the tent are just talking how glad they are that they join the Army [XX]. Well I am not so sorry, but it is a too monotonous life for me.

 

I expect I will get a letter from you tomorrow. As it is supper time I will close

 

Goodbye

Yours

Homer.

 

[Page 19]

Envelope

Presidio Sept 10th

1898

Cal

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

 

[Page 20]

Gardner

Sep 15

10am

Rec

 

 

[Page 21]

Camp Merriam 1898

 

Dear ones that home:

 

I received your letter together with Florence's, Sunday and was very glad to hear from you as I always am. I am feeling first rate again and do my drilling which isn't very heavy now.

 

Well yesterday was payday all the boys are happy and got a good square meal once more. Bigelow & I had some hotcakes, honey, strawberrys & cream last night downtown. The first thought of the boys were to fill up on something good to eat. I sent $25 to you today, which you can do as you please with. My shoe repairing, photos, cards & etc amounted up to considerable and I kept about $7]00 for expenses, as no telling when we will be paid again.

 

[Page 22]

You ought to have seen the gambling going on. They " shot craps" in our tent till 4:30 this morning and you can imagine how much sleep Bigelow & I got. Some of the fellows are " broken" already and are now " cussing" their luck.

 

The Tenn. boys got into a fight with the Washington boy and cut him all to pieces; we heard that he died. That is the old southern spirit you know.

 

This is a very pretty day, it seems like we are beginning to have summer. (like the June days). The temperature nearly the same although year around.

 

I think this is a very healthful climate if one had the advantages of being a citizen and live in the houses. We have three heavy woolen blankets over us and our "Kans. winter" underclothing.

 

The time of mustering out has not yet arrived, still our captain said we would

 

[Page 23]

Be out of here with in sight of two weeks, whether we will go back home or across the sea, they do not know. I think we will know when Gen. Merriam makes his report. The Army is such an uncertainty, as we do not know where we may be tomorrow.

 

We get a Start today-Rambo takes that paper-of course it is about 4 days old, but is of great interest, as it comes every day. The Star said that the 3rd Mo. was in K. C. so I suppose Charlie Miller will soon be a citizen once more. I think we have had a better trip got treated much better, than he did.

 

I am quite sure that when we are mustered out we will all come to Topeka and be mustered out.

 

[Page 24]

Elmer has reason to be proud that he is getting $1]00 a day, because that is nearly twice as much as his big brother gets. But my pay goes on just the same, when I am sick or away or on Sunday. My cloths furnished, my doctor bills paid and rooms furnished- just think what a snap [XX]. I believeI I would prefer the citizens life and be my own boss. The here is I have too many bosses and I can't look sideways for fear it will displease them, but I joined and I'll do my duty like a soldier whatever comes up.

 

Well I suppose the old neighbors at Jerusalem were still kicking around. I hope the supper was well attended and is sufficient some gathered in.

 

I oft times think of the Sunday school on Sunday afternoon.

 

I staid in camp last Sunday a attended Reg. services.

 

[Page 25]

Harry came out in the p.m. and I took him around camp.

 

He and his wife have both got bicycles lately and all the Bakers (4) and have a big time riding. There are nine bicycles used here were there is one used back home.

 

The Kans. band when to San Jose last Friday and took the prize. The gaine the favors everywhere they go.

 

It was quite amusing to see the citizens collecting bills due them when the boys got paid.

 

The laundryman, shoe man, card man, photographer & etc etc were on hand. Bigelow hires all his underclothing laundered and I wash mine myself except the white collars and I don't

 

[Page 26]

use very many of them.

 

I think I'll have to take a bath this p.m. Some of the boys are fairly alive with grey backs but I haven't had very many. I got a bottle of Oil of Cedar and Bigelow & I will use the Graybar sure Spencer diped our clothing and blankets with it to scare them away.

 

Alpha is getting quite sporty-got a pair of two sticks and a "biled" shirt. $15]60 is too small a salary to sport on very much.

 

If we are discharge this fall or winter in Topeka, I want to go to Emporia for a short time this spring.

 

Well it is about drill-time so I will close.

 

Goodbye write soon

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 27]

Camp Merriam

San Francisco, Cal.

September 17, 1898]

 

Dear ones that home:

 

Yours on the 11th received a few days ago, was glad to hear from you and that you will were all well. I well except that I have a cold, which I am recovering from rapidly. All the other boys are well. Bigelow went to visit his relatives at Las Vegas yesterday. That is about 65 miles from here. He got a three days pass-comes back tomorrow night.

 

I think a rest that way will do him good and think I shall ask for one-just to rest up even if I do not go anywhere-just miss drills & roll calls. Several of the boys took passes without

 

[Page 28]

leave and are not serving their time in the guardhouse. There 53 prisoners yesterday serving sentence. I was on guard and my post was in the 1st guard tent(there are two) I had 16 prisoners to watch- some bad ones too. Two are being fed on bread and water- one will get one month on Algatraz Is. and dishonorably discharged. I was to allow no talking, smoking, chewing or reading. I was very strict only when the officer of the day was around. That is the nearest of real guard duty I have had so far.

 

I made a mistake and didn't send the $25 till yesterday. Write right away when you get it. I am glad to say none of the Gardner boys got in the guardhouse on account of payday.

 

Nine tenths of the boys were shooting craps for each other's money.

 

[Page 29]

The Army, with all of its vices, and the temptations, I don't believe, has made me any the worse. Bigelow & I were talking a few nights ago about the curse of liquor and how happy we ought to be that we were taught better and that we should be thankful that we didn't have such an appetite.

 

No I haven't heard from Jesse lately, and am greatly surprised to hear that he is going to school out there, not, but what he could learn a great deal, but the " drop". Being that you have a big boy and Miss Grace will be there this winter, perhaps she will take particular pains

 

[Page 30]

With Elmer, Belle and thus did on the " good "side" of you.

 

Do not say that you think I will tire of reading your letters-the long ones are the ones that I enjoy.

 

I'll bet that Jack Horner feat was lots of fun. I never heard of anything like it, but Mrs. Thomas think of most anything.

 

I got last week's Mirror items from Fred with the news of Mrs. Speer's death. I'd think it would almost kill Mr. Speer. It doesn't seem like he could ever face another audience at Gardner.

 

You are beginning to have cool weather and we are having following whether now.

 

I haven't tasted a piece of water or mush or hardly any vegetables since I have been here.

 

[Page 31]

I got a letter from Ina Brown yesterday. Said she thought part of them would go up to visit aunt Emily in a wagon this fall, also that Earl was going to start to school the next day to Norman Oklahoma.

 

The band is just outside the tent practicing up for tomorrow, when they are going with us on the exclusion.

 

There are about 600 going nearly, all soldiers. Start at 10 AM and make a trip around the bay of about 100 miles and get back at 7 PM. I think we will all enjoy the trip over the glassy waters.

 

[Page 32]

No Belle we do not see any little chicks, in fact very few are raised here, on account of it being so difficult.

 

Ducks are the main thing in the poultry line.

 

Our old rooster has all feathered out and looks like a big spring chicken. He is a very proud chicken and blows (crows) the first bugle in the morning. It is quite a pleasant thing to have a rooster crow in the morning.

 

All is the corn crop going to turn out? If Ralph & Rose went to Omaha they can write quite a letter about what they seen. I hope this will find you all well. Florence & Oscar must consider this to them also, as my vocab has run ou.

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 33]

Envelope

Presidio Sept 18

9 AM 1898

Cal

 

Mr. Ralph Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

 

[Page 34]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

Sep 22 10 AM

Recd

 

[Page 35]

San Francisco, Cal;

September 23, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I have been putting off writing to you and now I find I haven't written since nearly a week ago. I received your letter day before yesterday Mirror yesterday, was glad to read the news. I see Charlie Miller has been home, did you see him? I'll bet he was glad to get home and see the folks once more. It appears now like we will see home for two years, as it looks very much like we are going to Manila. We got word the first of the week, that the Iowas,  Kansas, Washington, Tenn, 22nd regulars Oregon recruits and heavy artillery would start for Manila as soon as possible.

 

All of the high officers think we

 

[Page 36]

are sure to g. We are drilling in extended order and have blanks to practice with. We are having heavy drilling again and everything tends toward us leaving. The paper states that the first expedition will leave inside of two weeks and remainder by the last of next month.

 

I can't hardly believe we are going, but I may get fooled.

 

This is a very pretty morning, with the sun was shining brightly. We have a drizzle yesterday a.m. and there was no drill. I was kitchen police yesterday and got all the sugar I wanted once more. Can hardly imagine how much grub it takes to feed 100 hungry men.

 

We have for a stove, a sort of furnace covered over with sheet iron and a big smokestack about a foot across. The frying pans are 4 feet long by 21/2 feet wide.

 

The Red Cross gave us enough grapes

 

[Page 37]

and Musk melon to go all over the company, and I, being in the kitchen, wasn't going to ruin chance of being left out, so we laid two or three melons aside and had melon till we couldn't rest. For mess, they all line up and the cooks and police dip out the grub as they come along.

 

I had a fine time on the excursion last Sunday, We saw two large training ships full of Marines and blue jackets.

 

We had a ride of about 100 mile and we all enjoyed it fine. We could go all over the now book Boat riding is nice,  but it gets old pretty quick. Just think of the boat ride across the pond, "it will

 

[Page 38].]

get old then sure enough then, won't it? I don't care much about going now, but I suppose when time comes to backup I will be as happy to go as anyone. It is the thought that if we do go, we will serve our two years; but all we can do is to put our trust in Him and everything will come out all right.

 

We have meeting of the Army tent nearly every night. Last there were several young ladies out from town one girl, played the organ, said she had a brother in Manila and was so glad he was a Christian boy. Her talk was very touching and interesting. At the Army tent there is stationary, books, papers and games. I beat a Tenn. boy 3 games of checkers last night.

 

I went all through Chinatown last Monday night and it was the greatest site I have ever

 

[Page 39].]

seen. Their religious way of getting to heaven or hell of every belief was explained to us by the guide. If I was only home I could interest you quite a while telling you about the Chinese men. We went to the Chinese theater there was some of the most foolish acting and the band was a huge joke.

 

I send a picture of Camp Merrit, Presidio and a Chinese fan. In the box you will find some sandal wood, which the Chinese burn in the" Josh house & church to purify the air and keep away the devil. The ashes of these sticks are caught in a bowl and when the bowl is full the ashes are sent to China

 

[Page 40]

Were they are held as being very sacred. These are kept burning all the time.

 

I am feeling fine and have bread and milk about once a day.

 

We can get a quart of milk for a nickel it is good rich milk too.

 

Will Howell is still over to the hospital, but don't know whether you will be assigned there or not. All the other boys are well.

 

I hope this will find you all well. I suppose Ralph & Rose have had their visit ere this and can write me about it.

 

If we do not go to Manila I think we will we put into barracks if we stay in the service.

 

Tell Miss Grace for me. I see Minnie is going to go to school in Gardner.

 

I must close

Yours in haste

Homer

 

[Page 31]

I got a letter from Ina Brown yesterday. Said she thought part of them would go up to visit aunt Emily in a wagon this fall, also that Earl was going to start to school the next day to Norman Oklahoma.

 

The band is just outside the tent practicing up for tomorrow, when they are going with us on the exclusion.

 

There are about 600 going nearly, all soldiers. Start at 10 AM and make a trip around the bay of about 100 miles and get back at 7 PM. I think we will all enjoy the trip over the glassy waters.

 

[Page 32]

No Belle we do not see any little chicks, in fact very few are raised here, on account of it being so difficult.

 

Ducks are the main thing in the poultry line.

 

Our old rooster has all feathered out and looks like a big spring chicken. He is a very proud chicken and blows (crows) the first bugle in the morning. It is quite a pleasant thing to have a rooster crow in the morning.

 

All is the corn crop going to turn out? If Ralph & Rose went to Omaha they can write quite a letter about what they seen. I hope this will find you all well. Florence & Oscar must consider this to them also, as my vocab has run ou.

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 33]

Envelope

Presidio Sept 18

9 AM 1898

Cal

 

Mr. Ralph Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

 

[Page 34]

Envelope

Gardner Kas

Sep 22 10 AM

Recd

 

[Page 35]

San Francisco, Cal;

September 23, 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I have been putting off writing to you and now I find I haven't written since nearly a week ago. I received your letter day before yesterday Mirror yesterday, was glad to read the news. I see Charlie Miller has been home, did you see him? I'll bet he was glad to get home and see the folks once more. It appears now like we will see home for two years, as it looks very much like we are going to Manila. We got word the first of the week, that the Iowas,  Kansas, Washington, Tenn, 22nd regulars Oregon recruits and heavy artillery would start for Manila as soon as possible.

 

All of the high officers think we

 

[Page 36]

are sure to g. We are drilling in extended order and have blanks to practice with. We are having heavy drilling again and everything tends toward us leaving. The paper states that the first expedition will leave inside of two weeks and remainder by the last of next month.

 

I can't hardly believe we are going, but I may get fooled.

 

This is a very pretty morning, with the sun was shining brightly. We have a drizzle yesterday a.m. and there was no drill. I was kitchen police yesterday and got all the sugar I wanted once more. Can hardly imagine how much grub it takes to feed 100 hungry men.

 

We have for a stove, a sort of furnace covered over with sheet iron and a big smokestack about a foot across. The frying pans are 4 feet long by 21/2 feet wide.

 

The Red Cross gave us enough grapes

 

[Page 37]

and Musk melon to go all over the company, and I, being in the kitchen, wasn't going to ruin chance of being left out, so we laid two or three melons aside and had melon till we couldn't rest. For mess, they all line up and the cooks and police dip out the grub as they come along.

 

I had a fine time on the excursion last Sunday, We saw two large training ships full of Marines and blue jackets.

 

We had a ride of about 100 mile and we all enjoyed it fine. We could go all over the now book Boat riding is nice,  but it gets old pretty quick. Just think of the boat ride across the pond, "it will

 

[Page 38].]

get old then sure enough then, won't it? I don't care much about going now, but I suppose when time comes to backup I will be as happy to go as anyone. It is the thought that if we do go, we will serve our two years; but all we can do is to put our trust in Him and everything will come out all right.

 

We have meeting of the Army tent nearly every night. Last there were several young ladies out from town one girl, played the organ, said she had a brother in Manila and was so glad he was a Christian boy. Her talk was very touching and interesting. At the Army tent there is stationary, books, papers and games. I beat a Tenn. boy 3 games of checkers last night.

 

I went all through Chinatown last Monday night and it was the greatest site I have ever

 

[Page 39].]

seen. Their religious way of getting to heaven or hell of every belief was explained to us by the guide. If I was only home I could interest you quite a while telling you about the Chinese men. We went to the Chinese theater there was some of the most foolish acting and the band was a huge joke.

 

I send a picture of Camp Merrit, Presidio and a Chinese fan. In the box you will find some sandal wood, which the Chinese burn in the" Josh house & church to purify the air and keep away the devil. The ashes of these sticks are caught in a bowl and when the bowl is full the ashes are sent to China

 

[Page 40]

Were they are held as being very sacred. These are kept burning all the time.

 

I am feeling fine and have bread and milk about once a day.

 

We can get a quart of milk for a nickel it is good rich milk too.

 

Will Howell is still over to the hospital, but don't know whether you will be assigned there or not. All the other boys are well.

 

I hope this will find you all well. I suppose Ralph & Rose have had their visit ere this and can write me about it.

 

If we do not go to Manila I think we will we put into barracks if we stay in the service.

 

Tell Miss Grace for me. I see Minnie is going to go to school in Gardner.

 

I must close

Yours in haste

Homer

 

 

[Page 1]

Camp Meiriam, October 1st

San Francisco, Cal 1898]

 

Dear ones at home:

I didn't know hardly what to do with myself tonight, but thought I could spend some time writing to you as well as any other way. I expected to get a letter from you today but didn't.

 

Bigelow got the "Mirror" and "Times" items today so we got to read all the news. I wrote a letter to Charlie Miller last night-I expect he was pretty glad to see his folks once more and to eat good thing. We have, and are having things fine to what the 3rd  Missouri had. Just think tho' I have gained 10 pounds since I inlisted, whether it is soldier life or the climate I do not know. I have been on fatigue today, but I couldn't hardly call it fatigue, as I haven't worked 2 1/2 hours all day. Fatigue consists of sweeping the street in front of camp and other various tasks.

 

[Page 2]]

First we go on guard about every two or three weeks. We are kitchen police and fatigue each on day between. I have only been on guard three times since I have come here.

 

Guard is a snap here-in fact not enough excitement to keep us from getting drowsy.

 

I suppose you have seen an account of the marriage of our chaplain? He married a girl in Kansas, but was married here. He is a big tall raw boned looking fellow and, slim as a rail, about 35 years old.

 

"It begins to look like we are going to Manila", is what the boys have been writing home for, well ever since we came here.

 

The papers keep saying that the transports are being hurried to this port and that the officers in charge of the commissary are getting everything ready, but I don't think we are going. If we stay here through the winter we will

 

[Page 3]]

Have barracks to shelter us from the rains. I would much rather stay here, if we have barracks, than go to Manila. I was talking one night last week with a 4th Cavalry boy, whose time has run out over in Manila and came back on the China.

 

He says the way the boys sleep is to take a blanket, running the rope through each ends of the and make a hammock. This is to protect them from snakes and also the heated ground. They get up real early in the morning, to drill what it is cool through the day. Nearly every boy got seasick, but only one death occurred.

 

When we were going down to the hill last Saturday night, a kid about 12 was walking along the side of F. Co. some of our boys asked him where he was from and he said Gardner. Of course it startled me and I asked him his name he said it was Matt. It cost him but $.50 to come out here and he was 2 weeks coming. He must be a terror, as he says he has been to Oklahoma, Indian territory and Tenn. Now he makes a living by selling imitation gold glasses to the citizens of Frisco. He pretends to have found a a good gold pair.

 

[Page 4]]

Eats and sleeps with F. Co. and does his business during the day.

 

I think we will be paid soon, because we have signed the payrole and also the mustar roll. The boys were all dissatisfied before last payday, but when they got their pay you could hardly hear a word  of discontent.

 

Our whole company gets excused from all drill till Monday morning, for having the nicest looking tents in the battalion.

 

It is pretty hard to tell who will be our Col., should Funston be promoted. Lieut. Col. Little is not a very well drilled man, but otherwise he is a fine fine and more friendly with the boys. If Maj. Whitman gets it, everything will have to be just so and he isn't afraid to tell the boys what he thinks of them.

 

I suppose everything on the corner about the same. From what I hear you do not attend church in Gardner so often as you did before I left. I would like to attend the  C.E. tomorrow night. I used to enjoy myself better than any other place, most.

 

[Page 5]]

[XX] says he heard that I was homesick, and didn't tell who wrote to him about it.

 

I [XX] that I have wished many times when the food was bad or when I was sick, but I was home, but on  the square I have not been homesick in the least. I am having a good time and will stay as long uncle Sam chooses to keep me, without grumbling.

 

Great reports have gotten out about us, we heard, that someone heard that Jno. Thorne was teaching signal service at $60 per month. He is working in that, but gets no more than I do. He is merely  learning it, like all the others that were detached for that.

 

They took mostly telegraphers, usually about four from each company.

 

All the boys are well and I hope this finds you the same. I must close as meeting is commencing.

 

Write soon,

Yours in love

Homer.

 

[Page 6]]

Envelope

Presidio

Oct

2 PM 1898

Cal.

 

[XX] Limbird, Esq.,

Gardner Kan

 

[Page 7]]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas.

Oct 3 10am

Recd

 

[Page 8]]

October 5th

San Francisco ,Cal, 1898,

 

Dear Folkses:

Your letter received a few days ago, found me well and in good spirits. I also got a couple of Mirrors from Fred the same., The 22nd & 29th. The boys are all out of camp & gone through the football game at Palo Alto, about 25 miles from here. The Kansas boys played Stanford team. Nat, John and Bigelow went, and I went out target practicing. Col. Furston excuse all that wanted to go to the football game, so the camp is almost deserted. Score-Cal 10-Ks 0

 

Ten men each from five regiments went on a competitive target shooting today. Three reg, including Kans; Tenn. & Iowa shop once before-Iowa was first, Tenn. second and Kans, last.

 

Today Iowa first, then 23rd Reg; 7th Ca, 1s Tenn and Kans. last again. I couldn't shoot worth a cent today. We shot 5 shots each at a

 

[Page 9]]

target 200 yds, 300 yds, & 500 yds, I always thought my old shotgun used to kick awful hard, but it is in it by the side of old  "Betsy". I was down in the pits where the target is moved up and down, and score kept, and it was just like being behind breast works and somebody shooting at you, in fact the bullets knocked sand and splinters into my eyes. There were five targets in the bullets whistled pretty fast. The targets are made to represent a man, at 200 yds. he is laying down, at 300 yds, kneeling and that 500 yds standing up.

 

Gen. Miller says our regiment is the best drilled and put up the best drill of any regiment that has been in Frisco for 20 years.

 

[Page 10]]

I was real good looking{?) She sent her photo which I think is pretty good of her. She said the folks were still talking of going up to Aunt Emily's.

 

So Gertrude says she hasn't heard from me for a long time, Eh? I wrote to her about two weeks after she wrote to me and haven't heard from her since. Her last letter or mine must have been misplaced. Belle I wouldn't care if I had some of those nice big Paw Paws. I have had a great many grapes (Cal.) to eat. George Baker (about Elmer's age) has a few hens. They raise chickens here all year around. He has six small worth $1]0 apiece when the first hatch. One old enough to thrive is worth about $.75] Eggs and butter are worse $.50 & $.60. Turkeys are a scarce article. You know if we used to have bread and milk for Sunday evenings, we used to think it was pretty often, now when I want to have a good meal, I get a big quart of milk for $.5]

 

[Page 11]]

and sit down to enjoy myself. I can eat all the grubb except the stew, we call "Sum gullion" our "mystery"and that I cannot go. Our canteen is a good thing, we can get milk or any kind of eatables on time if we don't have money. Ina said she wished she lived close and she would bring me the whole basket of doughnuts.

 

The "fellows" are getting pretty much thick around the corners, I must say. If I come home I'm afraid I will have to bring my old gun and make a scattering. Jerusalem suggests pretty girls. I'm afraid all the nice girls will be gone before I get back, but never mind I have two in New Mexico, which I intend to see if I go back that way. The photos I sent our Harry and his wife, the other is a fellow from our tent by the name of Squires. Of the other photos Rambo & Griffin are from my tent. Griffin is from Delphis Ohio, said he lived there a great many years and his father before him. Probably father would know his father. His brother and sister live there now.

 

[Page 12]]

 

Harry knows Rambo-and several others from Kansas City. I went up there last Sunday and had a fine time. Harry Came out to camp with me. He is going to buy two of the U.S. blankets, from boys who have been discharged, for souvenirs. His address is(710 Capp Street, San Francisco, Cal.)

 

The folks down at Harry's didn't like Alpha a little bit. They thought he was too fresh. They treat me fine and Harry says they think I am a nice fellow.

 

Harry is a great fellow for fun and is a nice fellow to be with. Bigelow is "sowing" some of his "wild oats" since he "joined", but he is young, he will get over that. I don't want Rose to tell Bert anything I write home about Alpha.

 

[Page 13]

I want you to consider what I write home strictly home affairs. Alpha thinks what the other fellows in the do or say is all right, and they are all around toughs. They called me "church member," I tell them I am proud of being a church member. I am glad they can recognize me as such. I don't think Jno. thorne or Billie Howell have gone astray very far.

 

Have you ever heard were Will Hayes's regiment went to or what No. It is?

 

One Indiana regiment went to Porta Rica I believe it was the 101st. I suppose Bert is still plodding along?

 

The recent rains have made the grass green. Looks about like Kansas in the month of May. In the winter is when the pasture is green here and the stock are pastured. Very few frosts occur here and no freezes. Tell Elmer to send me one of his pictures if he has plenty. I was close give my love to Oscar & Flo.

 

Good night

Yours, Homer

 

[Page 14]

Envelope

Presidio Oct 6

9 AM 1898

Cal

 

Mrs. Louisa Limbird

Gardner Kansas

 

[Page 15]

Gardner, Kas

Oct 11 5 PM

Recd

 

[Page 16]

Camp Merriam,

October 11, /98

 

Dear ones at home:

George Baker and Harry came out on their bicycles this morning, so I got excused from drill. They just went home. George has a weeks vacation from school and Harry has several days off. He thinks he will go out a way from Frisco to work for a couple of weeks.

 

I got your letter yesterday in Florence's the day before. I am very well now and have nothing to complain of at all. This is a very pretty sun shining day and pretty hot.

 

[Page 17]

It still appears as though we were going across the pond. There are five transports your now, which will all be ready in 10 or 12 days. The Senator, which used to carry the 23rd reg & Oregon recruits, will start the first of next week.

 

Our brigade is booked to go next, and unless the order is countermanded soon, we will be sure to go.

 

I am not over anxious to go, but I'll not kick if we are sent.

 

I wrote a letter to Gertrude but I wrote to her last; it may be she never got it. I wrote to Henry last night. I haven't heard from him for a long time. Surely he couldn't have taken a back set.

 

Did Lewis come out to see you? He said he was going out in a few days, when he wrote. I got the paper O.K. and Bigelow got last week's items to day.

 

We have a picture taken of our tent and the fellows that occupy it. I will send you one when they are finished.

 

The health of our regiment is very good now. Two fellows from our company have got disability discharges. One for a rupture in the other for tonsolitis. Four have got a 30 day furlough to recuperate.

 

I guess there is no show for me to get the discharge for disability, for I am gaining in weight, nor do I want one very bad. I intend to "stick her" through now.

 

[Page 18]

Army life is a very healthful life; owing to the almost " out of doors" living. The ones that dissipate to much are the ones liable to get sick.

 

I go uptown about once or twice a week, but take good care not to expose myself.

 

The chaplain has a very good-looking wife, and not over 25 years of age. I saw her at the meeting last night

 

We have the No. 5 gospel hymn books to sing from and the piano to furnish music. The boys furnish nearly all the talent, both in singing and the playing. There are a great many good musicians in the 20th.

 

Our battalion went out on a long march last Friday. Took our dinner, have sax, shelter tents, pouches and canteens.

 

[Page 19]

It began raining soon after we started and rained till we got back, but we never got very wet, because we had our rubber pouches on.

 

The seventh & sixth California regiments are to be given a 30 days furlough this week. They have been having lots of trouble trying to get out of there " jobs".

 

If we go to Manila that means at least six months more of Army life and I am of the opinion it will be somewhat different too.

 

But we will be going at the right time of the year

 

[Page 20]

and all depends on our carefulness to take good care of our self. The rainy season is about over and all we will have to contend with, will be the heat.

 

The boys do not seem to care whether we go or not.

 

I guess because they do not think we are going.

 

The Tenn. regiment ought to make a showing for themselves, having they?

 

I thought Kansas City was a tough place but it isn't in with Frisco. There is a saloon on every corner and one at the back of every grocery.

 

Well I suppose it is almost time to begin thinking about husking corn? It don't seem possible that it is that time of year. Did the fall apple trees yield very good? I wouldn't care if I had some of them to eat now.

 

I suppose Charlie will soon have his discharge.

 

I expect I will have time to write my farewell letter before we (pack up?)

 

I will close for this time.

Hoping to hear from you soon

I remain yours

Homer

 

 

 

[Page 21]

Envelope

Cal 1898

 

Miss Rose Limbird.

Gardner, Kansas.

 

[Page 22.]

Gardner, Kas.

 

[Page 23.]

October 15

Camp Merriam

 

Dear ones at home:

I received your letter a few days ago and was very glad to hear from you. I got a letter from Charley Miller today, he seemed to hate go back when his furlough was up, I don't blame him much.

 

He said they were treated awfulf tough at first. After eating home grubb I'll bet he won't have much appetite for Army Grubb, he will be close to home tho' and will be turned loose altogether before long.

 

A couple of fellows from our company, living in your Abilene, have just returned from a 30 day furlough. They look a great deal better at all the boys crowd around them to hear about Kansas and what times they had. Two others went home on a 30 days furlough, last week.

 

They were pretty bad off with bad colds. Capt. Watson (our Capt.) and Capt. Towars are being tried for inefficiency. Our Capt. is liked by all the boys and I think he is one of the best drilled men in the 20th.

 

[Page 24.]

He has been jagged once or twice, but that never interfered with his commands. It's someone that wants a better and a higher position I guess, that is making the kick.

 

Well the " Gallant Seventh" Cal. Regiment has gone home(Los Angeles). They left Wednesday morning and marched to the wharf to take the Oakland ferries. The artillery, Tenn. & 20th Kans. & 28th regulars lined up to give the seventh a sendoff. Their band played Auld Lang Syne and Home Sweet Home. Our boys call them the" cold feet" regiment because they wanted to be mustered out so bad. I don't blame them much for wanting to get out of the job of being a patriotic soldier. It is something very queer to me, the way Uncle Sam has been treating some of the boys that gave up so many privileges to fight for him. I think he would have a pretty hard time of getting very many soldiers from those who have been discharged, to enlist again. Our regiment has been treated fine by the side of some others, and I must say we haven't been treated near like the poorest laborer

 

[Page 25. ]

or at least fed like him. It is a shame sure. They would be excusable, if we were out on the field and a long ways from stores, but here there is no excuse whatever.

 

I see in today's paper that ex quartermaster Sgt. Young , has been pardoned by McKinley. I enclose a little piece of paper that I think is quite a joke on him. Col. Funston, he is a pretty little colonel, and a great many of the boys his him. Col. Little is quite a boy when we get down in the kitchen. Harry and George Baker were out last week. Came just as I was getting ready for battalion drill and I wanted to get excused, so I went to the Captain. He sent me to Col. Little. Little says " where your folks from," " who are they" and such talk, finally he says" well I don't like to excuse anyone from battalion drill but I will you.

 

[Page 26.]

When we went on that long march and got wet, he loaned some of the boys a try pair of socks. He is a fine fellow if it isn't quite up to the standard in military tactics.

 

Well tonight's paper states that we are to be assigned to the Indiana, and that we will sail by the last of the week. I haven't believe that we were going until lately, but now I begin to think that we are going.

 

Gen. Miller is to sail on the Newport and that is expected to be the last vessel to sail. Our regiment is the first of the 2nd brigade to go, then be 51st Iowa and last, the Tenn.

 

The Rio Janerio is to bring in over 106 sick soldiers from Manila. She is one of the transports.

 

The Oregons, 23rd Reg. Cal. Heavy artillery and one battalion of the Washingtons are to sail next Tuesday.

 

If I just keep as well in Manila, should we go, as I have here, I will be satisfied.

I am feeling fine now and have a pretty good appetite. Tomorrow is Sunday and I am kitchen police, so I can't go down to Harry's.

 

[Page 27.]

We have a sort of Raisin pudding, boiled, on Sunday for dinner with a syrup poured over it. We have good beef about once a day and potatoes about three times a day. Rice, tomatoes and canned salmon, two to three times a week. Whenever there is a meal that don't suit me I go up to the canteen and get some milk and have some good old-fashioned bread and milk.

 

I met the president of a C. E. Society at the meetings one night. Told him I used to be vice president and showed him the topic card. He said it was just like their's, that is the various topics. He gave me one and an invitation card to come down tomorrow night.

 

There are some real nice talks and real nice people at the Army & Navy Com. Tent.

 

[Page 28. ]

We have been having a great deal of practice in skirmishing, picket duty and taking down and putting up the dog tents.

 

We have charged up the steep hills with a yell that would scare a Spaniard to death. It is as nice as it looks either. First a halt then a dash, and lay down, jump up and run, and etc.

 

Our first Lieut. got so excited in a sham attack that he hit one of the fellows with his sword because the boy couldn't run anymore. Our Capt. was made to stand at attention for an hour for hitting one of his men.

 

You said something about me studying some. It would be almost impossible because you know with eleven other men in a tent 16 x [XX] feet, some laughing, talking and tearing around, it would be hard to remember anything you read. If I had of known we would be here this long I believe I would have tried to study some, but we have been going ever since we have been here.

 

Kans. played Stanford University football- today's score-15 to 11 in favor of Stanford. They play again next Tuesday.

.

What is the matter with Jesse I haven't heard from him in a long time. Charley Miller says he will give Ralph one of his pictures for me. I am going to send them one of mine next time written. How is the Sunday school getting along? I should like to slip in tomorrow. Give my love to Florence & Oscar also the neighbors. I will close for this time, so goodbye.

 

Yours, Homer.

 

[Page 29]

 

[Page 30.]

Envelope

Presidio October 15

2 PM 1898

Cal.

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

 

 

 

 

[Page 31.]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas.

Oct 20

10 am

 

[Page 32.]

October 19

Camp Merriam, Cal. 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

I received your letter yesterday, and very much grieved to hear that such a report had gotten out about Alpha  & I. It is false report nevertheless, because Bigelow and I have gotten along real well. We have some words, I admit but as to us coming to blows, it was far from that. I think we have had very little trouble by the side of some fellows, that bunk together and are in each other's company as much as we are. Altho' we did have a few words as soon as they were said we were as good friends as ever. You must believe every thing the Fosters tell you anyway I would think you would know how much of their gab to believe.

 

You can rest easy that Alpha and I are as good friends as we would when we left, so don't mention that matter again.

 

I just come off from guard this morning a thus I don't have to drill this a.m.

 

[Page 33.]

I had quite a snap on guard: I had the prisoners to guar and got to sit down all the time. I am in hopes this will be the last guard duty I have to do here.

 

I suppose that you have been convinced that we are going ere this reaches you .I have thought that we would go, for the past two weeks. The 2nd and 3rd Battalions are to sail Sunda or Monday and I think our battalion (the 1st) will follow shortly afterwards. A majority of the boys want to go now, being it has come right down to the test. Jno. Thorne & Nat will go ahead of Bigelow and I.

 

The First Expedition, the Senator sailed Monday p.m. and the Valencia sails this p.m.

 

Our regiment gets paid today for one month. I think if that is the case, I don't think I had better send the home, because we may not see any other payday for a long time and we may be in such a position as to need the large sum of $15.60 per month.

 

[Page 34.]

I haven't been down to see any of Harry's folks for a week and a half. Think I'll go down tonight. Dr. Baker was out to see me but I was out on drill and didn't get to talk to him.

 

(Florence must call this to her too) Tell Bert if he was out here and lived on potatoes, potatoes, meat and potatoes, for about four months, the would wish he was sitting up to Ma's table once more.

 

I believe tho' if a person is somewhat weak, not too weak, and wanted to get stronger the Army life, being so out of doors life, that he would get better and fatter.

 

Tell Clark Bolin I wish him success in his labors to secure a wife, and hope he will give a good woman.

 

[Page 35.]

I may be on the "pond" by the time a return of this would reach me. I want to go, and I don't care how soon. It seems like to me that it is all for the best and I hope to get back to " America" at the end of six months. I dare say we will all be as anxious to get back as we are to go, and just think of the experiences and honors when we get back. I oftimes think of you all last night I dreamed I stepped in on you on surprise. I dreamed Rose was in the yard and I slipped up and put my arms around her and like to have scared her to death. I dreamed mother was on the porch and saw me. I woke up in my excitement and I couldn't hardly believe but what I was at home. I do not dwell or think will over home very much for fear I will get homesick, and then I expect I would be miserable. I haven't had that feeling yet, but I expect Florence could tell you all about it. If the person gives a way to that sort of feeling too much, it will be to end up in sickness.

 

[Page 36.]

I hope Ralph as well ere this; he must rest up awhile. It is not a very busy part of the year now, and he could well afford it.

 

I got the papers O.K. and was glad to read the news once more. I can't do much reading it seems like, altho' I have read a couple of books since here. Bigelow and I intend to study some on the boat over to Manila, if it is possible.

 

I think Elmers photo is very good, altho' he looks older than he really is. He looks like quite a man.

 

Last night was very cool and an overcoat was very comfortable. Today is a very warm day and no breeze. The grass has started up and would make quite good pasturage. It looks like late spring does

 

[Page 37.]

in Kansas.

 

Rose asked "who wrote to me that they didn't attend church very often."

 

Lewis said he hadn't seen you but once or twice this summer, but he has been away most of the time. I forgot all about her birthday on 15 Oct. thats right

 

Rose stick up for your "brother in law" . I was quite surprised to hear that Victor was married. I thought he had left the country.

 

I got a letter from Henry this week. He was well and going to school, and now has more work than ever. He has charge of the papers in Argentina.

 

He has got a new partner and Johnston (from the 3rd Mo.) is in Bethany Hospital sick with Typhoid.

 

I hope you will not take, are going to Manila, to heart to much. I cannot help but think it will turn out all right.

 

Now I must close for this time

 

Yours in haste

Homer

 

[Page 38.]

Envelope

Presidio

October 19 3 PM

1898

Cal.

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

 

[Page 39.]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas

October 23

11 AM

 

[Page 40.]

October 27.

Camp Merriam 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

I received your very welcome letter this p.m., and it is needless to say I was very glad to hear from you. This has been a very long day and I have worked very hard.

 

About 9:30 our battalion "fell in" with blue shirts and pants to escort the 2nd and 3rd battalions to the wharf. They were in their white suits and made a very pretty spectacle marching to the ship. The Tenn. went part way with us. The boys each had a pack averaging about 75 or 80 lbs. and they were pretty tired by the time they reached the wharf. They all got aboard about 12:30, and then we came back

 

 

[Page 41.]

To camp and cleaned up after them. I went all over the Indiana, and I think the boys will have a pretty nice time of it. On top are the officers quarters, then there are two rooms below for the men.

 

The first has little rooms partition off and in these, there are four bunks, each with a mattress and a pillow. There is a big room on purpose for a dining room and a separate one for the officers.

 

I didn't get to see Jno. Thorne or Nat at the wharf,  but I saw them just before we started to the ship. They sailed out at about 4:3 today.

 

We got on top of the buildings to wave them a fare well.

 

It will take them 38 or 40 days to make the trip, while the Newport (our vessel) will make the trip in about 30 days.

 

So you see we can start several days after they do, and then beat them.

 

We may not go for a week or 10 days yet, no telling.

 

The Newport will be the last transport to sail, because Gen. Miller will go on her.

 

The Pennsylvania will carry the Iowa regiment and the Icelandia will carry two Bat. of the Tenn. the Ohio will sailed tomorrow with the two remaining battalions of the Washingtons. The Penn. and Deal. are expected to sail about Monday, so that would make us some time during the middle of the week.

 

You spoke something about Aunt Lida writing-I have heard a word from her yet.

 

[Page 42.]

I got the last two Mirrores and the Times yesterday-Freddie sent them. They seem to remember me as much if not more than any of the boys. I got a letter from Florence a few days ago and wrote to her last night.

 

The chaplain went too today. It was a quick parting with his wife wasn't it. Co. Funston was married Tuesday night and went today. His bride is to join him tho' in Manila-will go on a liner-I think next Saturday.

 

I have to mount guard tomorrow morning-I only just come off about a week ago, but the guards are all from Battalion, that makes about 12 men from each company each day.

 

I was at a meeting last night and you had ought to have seen the earnestness of the boys,

 

[Page 43.]

Especially those that went away today. There was two or three said they were going to do better hereafter. It done me so much go to be there, and the meeting was conducted by a lady too. I think this war, altho' it is cruel and many a brave boy has lost his life, has saved many of soul and will help many more to see the fallacy of a sinful life.

 

I will write as often as possible when I get further away, you may bet, for it is a great privilege. Some of the boys say they will be glad when we get across the sea, so they won't have to write so many letters.

 

I will write again soon

 

Yours as ever

Give my love to all,

Homer

 

[Page 44]

Envelope

Presidio

Oct 28 9 AM 1898

Cal.

 

Mrs. Louisa Limbird

Gardner Kansas.

 

[Page 45]

Gardner Kas.

Nov 1 11AM

Recd's

 

[Page 1]

Nov. 1st.

Merriam 1898

 

Dear folks at home:

Your welcome well filled letter was received this a.m. and found be feeling fine and in good spirits.

 

Last night was very cool, but pleasant and bright. The night before we had a small shower.

 

It has been nearly a week since the boys sailed and I suppose they are getting pretty close to Honolulu. If we had have started a week after they had, we could have beat them to the Philippines, but today paper states that we won't go before next Tuesday, and I expect we will be needed by that time. Most of the boys would feel

 

[Page 2]

greatly disappointed should they miss the trip. By this mornings paper tho' we are assigned to the Newport.

 

I got a bicycle last Saturday and went clear through Golden gate Park to the coast-about (4 mile) and who should I come up upon but all the folks-(Baker's and Harrys wife) We had quite a time writing-went up the coast about 3 miles. The park is a great place to ride-roads as smooth and nice and not many hills. Nearly everybody has a bicycle here-and they use them too.

 

Harry has gone up in the country about 125 miles to work on a dredger and will stay several months.

 

He took a cot along and will sleep in a tent. I told him he could play soldier while he was there.

 

His wife will go down to Los Angeles tomorrow to visit a sister. I am going up to get her goodbye tonight.

 

She will go around on the coast on a ship. It is about 500 miles, so you see she will be apt to experience seasickness.

 

She said she would play she was going to Manila.

 

Well I had to close and go over to draw my pay; got but one months pay and I have decided to send $15 of it home.

 

I have nearly  $5]00 of last month's pay and I think I can make that do me for a while. the Lieut. Col. gave me a talk and said he thought the boys ought to deposit $5]00 with the captain, so that they would have some money after they got over there. I told the boys I could take care of my money myself. The boys began shooting craps regardless of the Col. talk.

 

You are having quite a great deal of which aren't you! It doesn't seem possible. Here these days

 

[Page 3]

 Are a great deal warmer than when we first came, and now it is just like early fall back there; warm days and cool nights. The Sealandia,with seven companies of the Tenn. regiment left last Sunday p.m. Iowa will leave either Thursday or Friday. Then there will be very few troops left here. The city people will miss the boys, as a great many spend Sunday out here and watch the parades.

 

I used to think soldiers parades were quite a nice thing to look at, but of course it has gotten old now.

 

I got a letter from Jesse a few days ago, and he had a real nice piece of poetry, made up by himself, about the campaign. I will write perhaps a couple of times more and I will write just before we start on our long journey.

 

Goodbye-yours as ever

Homer

 

[Page 4]

Envelope

San Francisco, Cal

November 1 5 PM

98

 

Mrs. L. Limbird

Gardner Kans

 

[Page 5]

Gardner Kas

Nov 5

11 am

 

[Page 6]

Nov. 3rd. 98

Camp Merriam

 

Dear ones at home:

I thought I would write you again, as I suppose you are getting anxious to know exactly when we are going. The Iowa's left this afternoon on the Penn. and the remaining five companies of the Tennessee regiment will leave Saturday. Last of all the troops to leave now will be us, and our departure will be next Tuesday.

 

Gen. Miller's wife and daughter will go with him on the Newport. I expect you have got a sight of our ship ere this. It is not as big as the Indiana, but is a much

 

[Page 7]

speedier one. The boys think because we have been put off till the last, that we won't get to go at all, but that is not what I think. Us being the last to get over there, I think will come out all right after all; as the sanitary conditions will be improved by the time we get there.

 

I went down to bid Harrys wife goodbye; she went to day 11 o'clock. I don't know what I should have done if it hadn't been for having someplace to go on Sundays. It was very good in them to treat me as nice as they did, and I shall never forget them either This is what I told them and they said " I mustn't forget them when I come back from Manila" and that I must make them a call

 

[Page 8]

the first thing after I landed in Frisco.

 

The person can't appreciate friendship until he gets out among strangers once. They have treated me as one of the family and always seem hurt if I happen to miss a Sunday with them. It seems just like going home to go up there. I will always remember their kindness. Mrs. Baker says to me " you will have some body hanging on your neck when you leave, meaning her and Mrs. Baker. They will be down to the boat, so I can say I had some one to say goodbye to when I left Frisco.

 

Some of their friends gave me an introduction letter to boys (one, a lady son) in Manila and wanted me to go and hunt him up.

 

This lady didn't hear from her son for over two months. It takes a transport a month to go over and if you strike one coming right back, there is about another month.

 

But, nevermind, the letters I write, when they do come, they will be Letters, and

 

[Page 9]

I'll expect a Letter in return.

 

I am feeling fine today. Yesterday a.m. I was on fatigue and have some scrubbing to do over at the division hospital. The soldier has to perform feminine duties as well as soldier. This a.m. our Battalion took a stroll about 6 miles with our packs on. I guess they weighed about 40 lbs. None of the other regiments have drilled for a week, but I guess Col. Little thinks we will get too fat if we get too much rest.

 

I got a letter from Fred yesterday, to gather with the Mirror.

 

It is very cool here at night now; I would think it would frost, but such things occur here very seldom.

 

[Page 10]

As the time draws nearer I don't know whether I want to go or not. After I get on the boat I suppose I will be all right, but I always did dread to part from my friends. It always makes me feel sorry and sad. After the unpleasantness of seasickness is passed I expect the journey will be enjoyable. After we leave Honolulu it will be over three weeks before we see land again. It will seem like we have taken up our abode on the waters.

 

The Pacific is known as the peaceful waters and I expect with the exception of a few

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 11]

storms, we will have a smooth trip. They say if a person will get seasick at all it will be when we are out but a little distance from the bay, called the heads. There the waves are rough and high.

 

Jesse says there are going to organize a literary at Jerusalem. I hope it will be a success but I doubt it some.

 

So Mitchell's are going to move to Gardner are they. I expect " Cliff" will get to be quite a prominent townsmen.

 

I haven't sent the m just yet but intend to as soon as possible. The post office here don't handle the money orders. I will write again in a few days. Will close for tonight.

 

Goodbye

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 12]

Nov 7]

Champ Merriam 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

Well as this i our last day here I will try to write you my last letter, till we get to Hawaii, but I will write a card if nothing more, just before we start. We have packed all the goods except what we carry, and sent to the boat today. Our packs will be shelter tent, poles and pins, poncho, 2 blankets, extra suit of heavy underwear, two suits of thin underwear, two suits of white clothes,fatigue suit, chest and abdomen protectors, pair of shoes & socks, haversack, canteen and gun. The Newport is at the south side of Frisco, so we will have about four or 5 miles to walk. I think we will start about 9 o'clock and sail the early afternoon.

 

[Page 13]

I am feeling very well today and eat a big dinner. I was all over the Newport yesterday, and I think we are going to have a nice ship. There is lots of beef the is stored away on ice, and together with our " mess" I think we will live fine. The " mess" consists of a tent, each fellow $1]50 and we bought fruit(canned), tamales, syrup, prunes and etc. I asked Mr. Baker to send ten dollars to you, for me. I thought perhaps I would need the other five, as no telling when we would have another payday. I went down and eat dinner there yesterday. Harry's wife has got to Los Angeles: didn't get seasick a bit, so she said. Harry is getting along fine and says he enjoys camping out, real well. Little Geo. Baker was very sick last week, have the pneumonia. He is getting better now, but looksreal bad. He said he was awful sorry that he couldn't go not to see me off. They are going to have a box of canned fruit, crackers and etc. for Bigelow and I to take along.

 

I couldn't asked to be treated better and they are really no relation.

 

I look for a letter from you today, but haven't gotten one yet, perhaps I will this p.m.

 

I got a letter from Lewis M. and also one from Fred Johnston. Lewis said he was very busy this winter, which I suppose he is, but you know he always says he has so much to do. I guess he never gets to work, is the reason. Lewis is a fine fellow and a good friend of mine.

 

The remaining 5 companies of the Tenn. Regiment left yesterday, so us and the Wyoming Light battery's is all that are

 

[Page 14]

who are going to the Philippines. They are going with us, so we will have about 520 all told. The other time the Newport carried 581] War room the better tho'. The other boys have been gone nearly two weeks and, I expect feel like old seamen.

 

I sent the remaining photos of myself, which you can do as you please with, also some cards of the boys. The diary, I wish you to keep, as it will be worth something to me when I get back. I will commence a new one tomorrow.

 

The last few nights a be real cold, have three heavy blankets and our heavy underwear on and then told sleep in the too warm.

 

I was just thinking how many states would be represented when we got over to Manila. There is nearly half-Cal; Col; Oregon, Wash. Nevada, Utah, Wyoming Dakota, Montana, Nebr; Kans; Minn; Tenn; New York, and Penn; also astor Batteries.

 

[Page 15]

I will write as often as possible and I know you will do the same. I see by today paper that peace will be d declared in a few days. I think we will be back when one year is up. Just think that thousand miles from home, but we know that there is one that we will or can be just as close as ever and he will befriend us if we but ask him.

 

Give my love to all the folks and relatives

Yours

Homer

 

Onboard ship-

it is now 3 PM and the officers refuse to allow us to go aboard anymore, so I will say goodbye.

 

[Page 16]

We broke camp about 9 AM and I got to ride to the wharf. Baker's just went ashore they were very good to me and gave Bigelow and I a big box of canned stuff a lunch for tonight. We may not sale till morning, but I think we will start about 6 AM.

 

I am feeling well and in good spirits. Some say we will be on board 7 weeks; go to Hong Kong and Japan. Bigelow and I have got top bunks side-by-side. I wish you could see our boat am take a look through the sleeping apartments. Baker will s thought we had a very nice place.

 

I will write as soon and as often as possible.

 

Give my love to all.

 

I have had a very nice time in Frisco and have been well nearly all the time. I hope I will be that way over in the Philippines. I think we will be stationed at Cavite.

 

The boards are voting on board so that the votes can be sent right back. I don't think I shall try to vote.

 

I don't know anymore to write that will interest you, so I will say goodbye till we get to Hawaii, when I will write again.

 

From your loving son & brother,

Homer

 

[Page 17]

Envelope

Presidio

Nov 9

9 AM 1898

Cal

 

Mrs. L .Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

 

[Page 18]

Gardner Kas.

Nov 13 4 pm

Recd.

 

[Page 19]

Saturday

 

Dear ones at home

I will commence my letter today, so that I can have plenty of time to think of things to write. I expect you got a letter I wrote just before we started. I became almost not getting it sent at all. I was on board showing Baker's our quarters, when the gong sounds for all citizens to [XX]. I didn't expect it to sound for an hour at least, so I had to bid them a hasty goodbye.

 

Then I started to finish my letter and by the time I had finished the gang planks were pulled aboard and we were ready to steam out.

 

[Page 20]

I saw a soldier standing on the dock so I tossed the letter to him to mail.

 

Well I suppose you wonder if I got seasick. We started at 3:30, Algatraz and Ft Point firing his salute for Gen.  Miller.

 

Some of the boys began " the fishes" before we got out of the bay, but I put it off till about 530 as soon as I " heaved up" I was all right and haven't missed a meal since. Bigelow was sick all night and part of the next day. We have had some pretty rough weather and the old ship lurched so that it almost tumbled us out of our bunks. We have seen but one " sale" (vessel) since we left Frisco so far, and she was about a half day journey from us. Baker's gave Bigelow and I several cans of canned

 

 

[Page 21.]

meats, some tea,  sugar, chocolate, cooked prunes, condensed milk and some crackers. They have come in real handy but I intend to keep most of it till we leave Honolulu.

 

We had a small rain this morning the small one this p.m. We are allowed to go all over the ship, except around the officers quarters and most of the boys are beginning to enjoy themselves. Our sleeping apartments are lit up at night by electric light and are pretty dark in the daytime, but the

 

[Page 22.]

boys are most all on top them. We have three meals per day and plenty to eat. Our table is the floor or our lap, and you can imagine how shaky it is.

 

Exercise comes twice a day and also inspection of quarters.

 

What a grand sight to look on every side and see nothing but water. It is pretty monotonous but the boys, especially of our company, seemed like old time friends and one can't get very lonesome with about 520 jolly fellows along with you, some cracking jokes, others playing musical instruments and some reading. It seems like anybody could have gone along on this trip, who could put on soldiers clothes. We have with us and photograph man that used to be around Camp Merriam and a cock legged  news boy who used to sell

 

[Page 23.]

papers around camp. What the boy intends to do I cannot say, but I would say it was a very foolish trick. We have old " Dewey" all right, also a pop that F. Company brought. Old Dewey was sick at first, but never missed crowing in the morning to wake us up.

 

Monday morn. We haven't seen any more sails yet and are not in sight of land. One curiosity tho'; the flying fishes. There are whole armies of them at times, flying very close to the water and only stay on top of instant.

 

They appear to be real white antibodies large as a dove. Yesterday was Sunday, but it

 

[Page 24]

didn't seem much like it, because we didn't have a chaplain.

 

The ship's chaplain held in the saloon, but of course we could associate with the officers, even at church. I spent the day reading and at night, got my testament out and read a couple of chapters. I looked at the Indeavor topic, but it wasn't in the New Testament, being in Exodus.

 

The old ship rolled so last night that it was hard for us to stay in our bunks, and so we didn't sleep very sound. The rocking seems fine now and I somewhat enjoy it. There is some talk of our laying in Honolulu several days, but I don't know how true it is. We expect to get there sometime tomorrow.

 

I got a can of peaches, which Bigelow and I ate for supper. You can imagine about how good they tasted.

 

[Page 25.]

As I write by the light of a porthole, about six inches in diameter I wonder what you are all doing way back in Kansas. We all getting anxious to see land once more, as you can well imagine, after seeing nothing but water since we left Frisco. We are going to take a march of about 5 miles when we land, as I understand Honolulu lies about that far from the landing place.

 

I have been feeling fine all along and have an appetite that would make a turkey goblin trimble. Some of the boys haven't been able to eat anything since we

 

[Page 26.]

started. Our bunks are very comfortable; we have a pillow and a tick. It is getting warmer enough already, so that we don't need any covering at night.

 

I believe as Rose said " We hadn't better write home anything about the other" because what Nat wrote home about Alpha & I has gotten all over the state of Kansas, I guess. Lewis & Fred say that Alpha writes home everything, but I am glad that he can't write home anything about me, that I would be ashamed of, unless he chose to tell a lie, and that wouldn't hurt me.

 

Billie Howell is as well as usual and seems to enjoy himself.(I will finish at the Honolulu)

 

[Page 27.]

We arrived here and anchored about 3 miles from Port, at about 12 o'clock last night. We began to sight land about 8:30 and some of the boys stayed on deck all night. I went to bed about 10 o'clock and got up about 2:30. I looked through a field glass at the city and could make out the ships and part of the city. Most of the city lies up the valley about 5 miles, we intended to march up there, but can't pull into port till the Penn., carrying the Iowa Reg, pulls for Manila. The city of Pueblo is also

 

[Page 28.]

here. It is now about 1030 and we are not into port yet. Several of the officers have gone ashore in a steam launch.

 

We are to lay here about three days, so, if possible, I am going to see quite a good deal of the islands. The boys are all happy to see land once more and I will confess I am of the same mind.

 

Just think, one whole week and only see one sail. I am thankful that I have been well all the time. That is quite warm here but not uncomfortable. About the first thing I saw this morning was a 10 foot fish. I will close this, but write again before we leave

Yours

Homer.

 

[Page 29.]

Honolulu, H. I., U. S. A., November 17, 1898

 

Dear ones at home's:

As I sit writing to you the perspiration is pouring out, and I have my thin underwear and white close on, on the contrary, I expect by the time this reaches you, you will be shivering around the fire.

 

The Steamer Rio Janerio came in this morning, and I was in hopes I would hear from you, but the mail hasn't been distributed yet and that this night, about 7 o'clock. The Rio leaves for Hong Kong tomorrow; she has onboard about 1100 Chinamen.

 

The Tenn. boys left for Manila today at 4 PM. The Hawaiian band gave them a great send off.

 

That band is all right and would make a great many Eastern bands

 

[Page 30.]

ashamed of themselves; its members are nearly all natives.

 

Well I am dead stuck on Honolulu and think it is the greatest place in the world. We "tied up" at 12 o'clock yesterday and were almost immediately turned loose fill 6:30 and after roll call, till 10 o'clock.

 

I went out and got a good meal the first thing and then took a stroll over the city. One would almost imagine that in faraway Isle like this that the people would be ignorant and not have things up to date. Well everything is not exactly up-to-date, but the people are industrious and on the move. This the streetcars are pulled by horses and the streets

 

[Page 31]

Are lit up by electricity. The streets are very narrow and also the sidewalks. The buildings and dwellings are mostly small and frame, and the city is literally covered with palm trees. Just think how nice to walk down the streets and see bananas, oranges and coconuts hanging on the trees, but in spite of all that, they just about as dear as they are in Frisco. On the edges of child there are whole orchards of these fruits.

 

I started out this morning, first I took a bath at the Y. M. C. A. building (where I am now) and then started out to climb a mountain, about a mile out. After several rests I got to the top, and I could see the whole city, as it looked more like a grove.

 

We heard today that Republicans have be carried everything. I hope it is true.

 

[Page 32]

I was up about 2000 feet high. When I got back it was noon. After dinner, a boy from A. Co. and I went up and went all over the ex queens palace. It is a grand place sure, and such a fine park all around it.

 

I think about like some of the boys, " it looks like the 20th Kans, is on a pleasure trip or an excursion," instead of a fighting trip, but we may have our fun first and fighting afterword. An excursion was given today, about 25 miles out in the country. The fare was one dollar, but I thought I might need the dollar worse sometime. The Lieut. Col. is anxious that the boys have a good time. It seems pretty nice to be on land once

 

[Page  33]

more, but I expect we will be more anxious the next time, as it takes from 16 to 20 days to get to Manila from here.

 

It was quite amusing to see the native kids as we came into the harbor. The boys would throw nickels & dimes overboard and the kids would dive for them. They are the perfect water ducks, and some are not much more than big enough to walk. The natives are almost as black as negroes, but are much more industrious and smarter. They are called Cannackes. They have schools and high schools. The whole the position of police, customs

 

[Page 34]

officers, streetcar conductors and etc. There are a great many Japs, Chinamen, on [XX] nearly every race of men.

 

I wrote a letter to Fred yesterday, and one to you also, but they will all go out together. The mail will not leave before the 23rd, so you will get this about 5th December. I hope it will find you all well as it leaves me. I don't know when we will leave here, maybe tomorrow and maybe not before Sunday.

 

We got very good treatment coming over and I don't think I lost much flesh. Ere this reaches you we may be at Manila. I wish you a pleasant Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas, as I don't suppose I send you another letter to you before Christmas.

 

I will close for this time but perhaps will write again before we leave.

 

Give my love to all and accept the goods share for yourself.

Goodbye

Your loving son & brother

Homer

 

[Page 35]

Envelope

1898

Mr. Richard Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

U.S.A.

 

[Page 36]

Envelope

Tacoma Wash

Transit

 

Gardner, Kas.

Dec 7 7 a.m.

Recd

 

[Page 37]

Honolulu, H.I. U. S.A..

November, 18 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

Friday am not gone yet, but we expect to tomorrow at 10 o'clock. I have been nearly all over town and seen the principal renowned places. I still think this is a grand place, but unless a person has a job or lots of money, I guess it is a pretty tough for a stranger to get a start, on account of the Japs and Chinese, who will work for almost nothing.

 

It has been cloudy or raining all day today. They have a small shower here nearly every day, but other times the sun shines bright and the temperature is about 90°

 

[Page 38].

The nights are almost as hot as the days.

 

If the climate was just as nice in Manila as it is here, it would just send me or at least I wouldn't kick any. Our next voyage will be over twice as long as our first; it will take about twenty three days. I suppose some of us will be seasick again. We will leave a sergeant from my company here for a while, or rather till another vessel takes him on, if he gets well; he has the fever, was very sick all the way over.

 

I went to church at this place (Y.M.C.A.) last night and heard a very good talk.

 

There are a great many people here, in fact all

 

[Page 39].

the principal stores and business houses are run by them. They are nearly all well-off.

 

We had 13 women on board ship, Col. Funston's wife among them. "Old Dewey' crows as much as usual, but we have to keep him below deck for fear he will fly off.

 

The battleship Bennington is in post here and there is some talk of her going just ahead of us.

 

Ere this reaches you, I expect Ralph will have finished husking corn and you will all be gathered around the

 

[Page 40]

roaring fire. I think Belle's birthday is about the fifth, she will be twelve years old, almost a young lady. I will not be there this year to go hunting on Thanksgiving, but perhaps I will next year. Here it is now, five months have passed away and I can hardly tell where. The faster the better tho'.

 

Do they Gardner people every here from Jarrell anymore?

 

If I was coming back now I would bring a lot of relics from here, but perhaps we will come back this way.

 

How is Grandma getting along this winter and did you make her a visit? Give Oscar & Flo. my love and tell them to consider these three letters to them as well. I will now say goodbye till we reach Manila.

 

Yours as ever

Homer

 

 

[Page 41]

Miss Rose Lmbird

Gardner Kansas

U.S.A.

 

[Page 42].

Tacoma, Wash,

Dec 2 6:30am

98

Transit

 

Gardner, Kas.

Dec 7 7am

Recd.

 

[Page 43]

"A Thousand miles from no-where."

 

NOV 24' 98' Aboard Newport

 

My dear relatives:

I guess, counting from a geographical standpoint, we will have no Thanksgiving day; as we crossed the international date line yesterday p.m. that would make today Friday instead of Thursday.

 

We left Honolulu last Saturday at 10: 25 amidst great cheering and handkerchief waving. The native band gathered on the dock about 10 o'clock and gave us a half hours fine music. As we left the dock they played  Auld  Lang Syne, the boys on the gunboat, Bennington giving us three cheers.

 

None of the boys heaved up and we sped along at a nice speed and the water was very still. We didn't lose sight of the island till about 4:30, because we sailed along the shore for some distance.

 

Tuesday night and last night the water was very rough, but today is some better

 

[Page 44]

Now we are compelled to take a bath every other morning. Just think how refreshing to get up at 6 o'clock, strip and run upstairs and stand under a sprinkler and take a shower bath, with cold salty sea water. It is very nice after the first [XX]. We are also compelled to wash our underclothes and sox once a week, but it has got so warm that I have discarded them.

 

I am feeling fine, as I have all along, and am on guard today. Bigelow and Billie are also well. There are only three men in the hospital. There were about ten left in Honolulu. One sergeant of our company. One company alone in the Tenn. left about a dozen.

 

We cited a sail (the first) this morning, which of course made all the boys run to get a glance of her. Anything to break this monotonous spell.

 

[Page 45]. La

Nearly two weeks more before we landed again. They may talk of the pleasures of a searide, but I fail to see the pleasures. I'll admit a two or three days ride would be very nice, but after that it soon gets old. We are expecting to catch the Penn. and City of Pueblo in a few days, as our vessel makes better speed than either of them. Here's my program for the day-guard or fatigue about once per week-both every other day, breakfast, read, exercise, read till dinner, read till exercise, supper immediately afterwards, go to bed or read as you please. You know this will get very monotonous after a while.

 

Thursday Dec. 1st. This day of the week will be Wednesday back there. Well we are still sailing along the same old way. I have got tired of reading, so thought I would write a few more lines to you. Our Thanksgiving dinner wasn't

 

[Page 46]

so bad after all, if it was Friday we had nice baked beans and "plum duff," besides the usual feed. I was quite thankful for that. Some of the boys said they didn't think we had anything at all to be thankful for, but I think we had lots.

 

We have had some very rough sea since I wrote the last beginning last Saturday and lasting till yesterday. Some of the boys got sick and heaved up again. I got to feeling pretty tough and didn't have the appetite, but am all right again.

 

Oh I tell you what, the old boat did rock and jump, we couldn't sleep at night, Because It kept us busy holding to the side of the bunk.

 

The waves washed clear over the hurricane deck several times, and once when I was standing in line at Mess a wave came bouncing through the window and hit me in the face almost knocking me down.

 

Two of the firemen got into a fight down in the engine room, one night this week and it ended up by one get his skull fractured and the other is jawbone broken. One had an iron rod, the other a piece of gas pipe.

 

[Page 47]

A great deal of excitement was created last night when we sighted one of the small Ladrone islands consisting of a volcano. It was about 10 o'clock and nearly everybody stood gazing at it. It is about 3 miles off Port Said (see I am getting to be a sailor), but appeared about 200 yards in the moonlight. It had a very a large fire and flames issuing forth. We had a good view of it for several hours, but I got tired and went to bed. We expect to get to our destination sometime next Tuesday. The volcano is all over the Ladrones we will see. This is the first day of December and I am sweating like a good fellow.(Dec. 5th Belle's birthday, if I'm not mistaken. My ink supply has run out) We sighted land early this morning, (Islands) and have continued insight of them so far. It is now 3 PM and we are sailing along the northern part of Luzon, as you can almost trace of route. Our course will be almost due south

 

[Page 48]

tomorrow. You can't well guess how anxious we are set foot on road once more.

 

Just think it will be a month the 8th, since we left Frisco. It was such a nice thing to stop at Honolulu, as all the boys braced up and felt able to make the rest of the trip. I believe we would have lost several, and we got stopped, as it is we have lost a boy. The sea was awful rough Saturday and part of Sunday. It seemed like the boat would turn over sure. She is so narrow and long-332 ft. long by 35 feet wide. She stopped still this morning for about an hour, to repair some machinery.

 

Some of our meals have been pretty scanty since we left Honolulu. I bought a case of jam and over the peaches, which went pretty good. It cost $.20 per can or 2 for $.35] Gingersnaps and crackers $.5 per dozen. The water has been warm too, but healthful. We cool it, by filling our canteens and hanging them up in the cool air. I expect you will get my letters today or tomorrow. Well how did Ralph and the old man Jamieson come out

 

[Page 49]

With their "scrap"? I am so glad he did throw that up to them. We think we will get to port tomorrow night. I will finish this when we arrive Dec 7  Well we are here at last but haven't landed yet nor has the Indiana. She has been in six days. The Pueblo got in yesterday morning and Tenn. hasn't arrived yet. We anchored last night about 730 o'clock and got a view of Manila and Cavite by moon light and we could see nothing but lights flickering about 2 miles distant. We sailed along with the in sight of land all day yesterday; past islands, light houses and small villages. The Bay of Manila is about 2 by 6 miles. On my right is Manila about one mile distant, on my left is Civite and we can see plainly where the famous naval battle was fought.

 

The transports have to anchor out in the bay and the freight and soldiers are taking ashore in smaller boats. We were very glad to hear when Funston came aboard last night, but Phillippines were ours, but some boys are over in the middle row boat and see that Aguinaldo

 

[Page 50]

has given us to fill the 15th to vacate the city of Manila. We put that down as only a scare and as long as we remain out here we are safe from little guns at least. There are moreover 20,000 troops here. This is a fine bay and I think will make a very valuable port some day.

 

Jno. Thorne has just come over, helped grow captain over. He (the captain) says each battleship will be separate but within a mile of each other. As we came in last night one of Dewey's vessels throat a searchlight on us and the captain of the ship soon signaled back what kind of vessel we were. Then the boys on the Indiana signaled "what do you belong to." One of our boys slings  a [XX] and says "1st Bat, 20th Kans." In about ten minutes Col. Funston came over in a steam tug and of course there was a happy greeting with his better half. He took her back with him. She was sick nearly the whole trip. We expect to have barracks and the boys say the water is good, so I think we will have pretty comfortable quarters. I understand the mail goes out the 15th, so I will write some more before it goes. Do not worry about me as I think I can stand the climate if any of them can. Give my love to all.

 

Your loving song & brother

Homer

 

(the following two pages comprise a letter sent to Homer's father, Edward Baker, on November 7th, 1898]}

 

[Page 1]

Richard Limbird Esq.

Gardner Kansas,

 

Dear Sir:

Enclosed you will please find check, do your order, for $10, which represents Monday turned over to me yesterday by your son Homer, to be forwarded to you. Please and knowledge receipt. Homer leaves tomorrow for Manila, on the transport Newport, and have no time to send this himself, as the post office at the camp had been discontinued. It gives me great pleasure to be able to tell you that, amid all the trials and temptations of camp life in a large city, that Homer has shown himself man and is living up to the standard of his home teaching, he is not only living himself as you & his mother would wish to, but he is a positive influence for good to his companions, under the circumstances of Army life, the very close

 

[Page 2]

intimacy, rendered necessary by their mode of living, every man has a very positive influence either for good or bad, after resisting the great temptations to which he has been exposed here, you may rest assured that the danger of his falling house practically passed. Another feature is favor that I am very pleased to call to your attention to, is that 90% of the sickness in the Army here and at Manila, is directly do to dissipation, the boys of good moral habits, good common sense, who have lived up to their own teachings, who have kept in touch with their home influences, have kept their health and made the best soldiers. We have seen something of Homer since he has been here and we have all grown very fond of him. Mrs. Baker & myself will see him on board the transport tomorrow. Mr. Hayes is up in country working and Mrs. Hayes is in Los Angeles visiting her sister.

 

The Newport is the best & fastest vessel carrying troops from this port & Homer is fortunate in being assigned to her.

 

Very truly yours

Geo. S. Baker

 

 

 

[Page 1]

Manila Bay, Dec. 8, 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

As the mail goes tomorro, I will write you today and let you know how we are getting along. I am feeling fine and have a very good appetite. We had canned tomatoes for dinner and you may bet that they tasted good. I haven't eaten any of the fruitd except coconuts and they say they are healthfull. The officers won't let the natives sell any oranges or bananas to the boys, which I think is very wise.

 

I haven't got to go ashore yet and I don't know when we will unload, some think tomorrow. I suppose you have gotten my three letters written from Honolulu ere this

 

The sun here is much hotter than it is in Kansas in summertime, and if you get in the shade it is very pleasant. The nights are cool and it is very pleasant to sleep. I guess it is somewhere about 90° here today.

 

The mail that was transferred from the Rio to the Newport at Honolulu, was distributed this morning. Of there was very much as the Rio

 

[Page 2]

left Frisco the next day after we did. We are expecting a mail steamer in, it a few days.

 

I guess the boys of the Indiana had a rougher time than we did. A dispatch was sent to the U.S. via Hong Kong that she was lost at sea. Did you hear anything about that? If you did, how their folks will have ordered over them. I guess we had about the best trip a all, if we did have pretty rocky grubb and warm water to drink. The water was condensed from seawater, and was as warm as dishwater when put into barrels to cool and of course you know about how cool it would get.

 

We get all kinds of reports as to where we are to be stationed. Some say we are going off on an island, about 300 miles from here, were there isn't a white man to be seen. Others say we are going into barracks on the Palais river. So you see that we can't tell what will be done with us. One battalion of some Reg. (I've forgotton) were ordered into the trenches this morning. We may have some little scraps

 

[Page 3]

but I don't believ we will have serious trouble. Aguinaldo says he intends to eat Christmas dinner in Manila. If he does he will have to eat under very trying circumstances, because the Americans have a great many big guns and Dewey can tell him "how it all happened"if he chooses to. As I look to our right I can see the hull of one of the old Spanish ships that Dewey run aground. You are right and rear is Cavite and between here and there is Dewey's fleet. The Natives are low, lazy and dirty wearing  scarce no clothing. They will cheat, steal and beyond live like dogs.

 

Fruits are very cheap, also cigars and cigarettes. Small cigars sell 24 for $.5, which are worth 15 and $.25 apiece back home. Every native smokes-little and big, male and female.

 

To the left and front is the palace, about 2 miles distants-up in the city of Manila. Here part of the soldiers are quartered and the Spanish prisoners

 

[Page 4]

are guarded . The soldiers have to clean up after them and they are paid $3 per month by the  U.S. the sun has went under a cloud and it is nice and cool. I am going to try to do everything to preserve my health. I am growing  a goa-tee at present-when it get a good l length I will have my picture taken and sent home. I don't think I lost many lbs. of flesh coming over. We won't get paid till the first of January, then we get two months, November and December. Our money exchanges for twice as much in Spanish coin.

 

I imagine seeing you folks making snow back there; while you can guess that I am wishing for some snow to cool my drinking water. The health of the boys is very good and was all the way over. We only have two or three sick in the hospital and didn't lose any coming over nor did the other battalions. I think that time goes by pretty swift as it will soon be 6 months or seven when this reaches you.

 

Give my love to Oscar & Florence and all folks. Please write soon and often.

 

Yours as ever

Homer

 

[Page 5]

Envelope

H. M. Limbird

Co. L. 20th Kansas

 

Mrs. Louisa Limbird

Gardner Kansas

U.S.A.

 

[Page 6]

Gardner, Kas.

Jan 10 10am

Recd

 

[Page 7]

Manila, P. I.

Dec. 12, 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

As the mail goes today at 10:30 I will write you a few lines to let you know how we are located. We packed up yesterday at 11 o'clock and piled into four flat coal barges and came ashore. We came up the Palais River about a mile and landed where the third Battalion is quartered, from there we marched about four blocks and got to our quarters. Our quarters are very comfortable and airy. The building is two story over hundred feet long and seventy feet wide. Our sleeping quarters is the second floor, below is the dining room and to the rear are the cook " shacks". In one corner of our sleeping room is a large fresh water bath house.

 

To our rear and left is the Bay, and a very cool breeze springs up from there every evening.

 

The mosquitoes are pretty thick, but each man is issued about 10 yards of mosquito netting for use during the night. We are right in a Chinese settlement, but the guards prevent

 

[Page 8]

them from being very uncleanly. They (Chinese & natives) live in all sorts of houses and where very little clothing. The natives are very obliging and the Spanish prisoners seem to be glad of the change that has taken place. They are allowed to go all about. Manila is a great old place, old-fashioned and simple. They drive oxen, or some kind of a cow, and the street cars are hauled by horses about the size of a jackrabbit.

 

The city is lighted by electric lights and we have incandescents in our rooms.

 

The 2nd Battalion is about a mile from here on the river. I believe we have the best quarters of either of the other battalions. The officers quarters are just across the street from ours, (the streets are only about 20 feet wide}.

 

The city has a wall clean around and it was well protected with towers and guns.

 

All of the boys seem well satisfied with their quarters and there is not a sick man in the whole battalion, which is remarkable by

 

[Page 9]

side of some of the other regiments. It is said that the 20th landed the healthiest lot of troops that have been landed yet.

 

There are two or three papers here, and so the official news pertaining to the govt' isn't over two or three days old where it reaches us.

 

Guard duty comes pretty often, but I don't think we will have to drill a great deal. The 13th Minutes are doing police duty: carry a billy club and a big pistol. Old Dewey is all right and can crow as loud as ever. Chickens are very thick here. Eggs are only four cents a dozen and goats milk $.5 per quart. The Lieut. Col. has fixed it so that the whole bat. may send their white suits the laundry and it will cost very little.

 

I am feeling fine and will try to keep in that condition. Jno. Thorne, Nat and the rest of the boy are looking as well as ever. I suppose you have heard, ere this, that Nat is a corporal. Do not worry about me mother. I will try to take the very best of care of myself. I will close

 

Goodbye for this time

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 10]

Envelope

H. M. Limbird

Philippines

Dec 12 1898

San Francisco, Cal

Hill Sta No. 7

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner Kans

U.S.A.

 

 

[Page 11]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas.

Jan 18 10 a.m.

Recd.

 

[Page 12]

Manila ,P.I. Dec. 18, 1898

 

Dear ones at home:

As I am going to sen a paper I thought I would drop you a few lines to let you know how we are getting along. I am feeling fine and have nothing to complain of at all. I just came off from guard this morning; had a port that was about a mile out, at the U.S. torpedo station, lighthouse and powder storeroom. Two of us were on at a ti and got to sit down all the time. Guard duty is a little more like the real guard duty here, as we have authority to keep our guns loaded and some posts to holler halt once and then let drive at them. The natives & Chinamen are awful big cowards and the Spanish don't bother any.

 

Well I weighed myself yesterday and was greatly surprised to find that I weighed 165 lbs. I suppose I had lost several pounds crossing the ocean, but instead I have gained since I left Frisco.

 

We haven't had a scrap yet nor do I hardly believe we will, as I was talking with some of the Nebraska boys who are doing outpost duty, and they said the insurgents were not preparing to flight and

 

[Page 13]

they allow our officers and men to go all through intrenches and treat them with great respect. I think Aguinaldo is afraid that the Spanish will get the upper hand again and so he will be ready.

 

One of the Neb. boys were from Stella, and he knew Martins, his name was Snow.

 

I have attended some of the religious meeting across the river and enjoyed it very much. Our chaplain is a very good man but is so slow, no get up about him. He was to have meeting in the lower room today, but he has come yet and it is nearly eleven o'clock now.

 

I have been over the city great deal; everything looks so old-fashioned, but up New Manila there are some very fancy stores and stocked with fine goods.

 

The Skeeters here are indeed very large; I caught one at least an inch long, but our Skeeter protector keep them from getting at us. Now I have written over a dozen letters since I left Frisco, several you and want you all to write as often as possible. The mail comes at least once or twice a week.

 

Now I will say goodbye this time. Give Flo & Oscar my love-and all write soon.

 

Your " "Philippine" son

Homer

 

[Page 14]

Envelope

Co. L. 20th Kans. U.S. Vol.

H.M. Limbird

Manila, P.

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Jerusalem, Kansas U.S.A.

 

[Page 15]

December 25, 1898 is

 

Dear ones at home:

The mail go to the U. S. Via Hong Kong tomorrow as I will write a few lines.

 

I got three letters from you last Thursday and it is needless to say how glad I was to hear from you.

 

I also got a letter from Henry Smith and to from Albuquerque N.M.

 

Belle's picture came O.K. and I think it is a good likeness of her. I showed it to some of the boys and they all said " what a fine looking girl." I was glad to hear that you were all well and getting along all right. I am feeling alright and can't eat most anything set before me.

 

I have been on the shore two weeks today, and I have been on guard twice already.

 

I have a post along the

 

[Page 16]

river and canal. Everyone that unloads merchandise and etc. have to have a license and pay certain duties & customs. My duty was to allow no one to unload unless they had this license and then only between 8 & 12, 2 & 4] It is a very hard thing to make the natives in chinamen what you mea, but by pointing out the time on my watch I got them to make out all right.

 

I carried my gun loaded that night, but didn't have occasion to use it.

 

Today it is Christmas and I have just got through eating what I would call " a fine Army dinner." These are the same as it composed: boiled chicken and soup, mashed 'taters, radishes,

 

[Page 17]

tea, pie and bread. Mince pie too, but not as big and fat as mother makes. All of us enjoyed it and eat till we were in full.

 

The regiments all had a good dinner, which I think we all deserved.

 

Some of the regiments had prepared a program of sports and games to be held on the Luenets this p.m., but most of the boys or regiments are compelled to stay in their barracks on account of another secure

 

We have one hundred and sixty rounds of ammunition to take care of on account of the constant scooter of the Lieut. Col. I believe he is the biggest coward yet, for a high officer. He had a bodyguard for several nights till there was so much talk about it, I guess he got ashamed of his cowardice.

 

[Page 18]

There were guards already, besides the bodyguards, within ten feet of the building; never further than one hundred.

 

Before you get this you will have read about " Kansas first battle," in one of the papers I sent you. Of course it is not all exactly true but it just explains affairs. He is truly the poorest excuse of an officer I ever met.

 

Some of our boys(two from each company per day) are doing outpost duty. They say our lines in the insurgents are within fifty feet of each other.

 

I think as soon as Aguinaldo finds that Spain isn't going to get control of the Philippines anymore, he will come in and thing will be satisfied.

 

I was talking with a person of authority and he said that the surrender of Manila was all fixed

 

[Page 19]

the day before the battle and that the white flag was flying over the city before the battle. The American and Spanish officers made it up to have a little scrap so that Spain would lose all her honor and that some of America officers could get raised in rank. If I were not in the Army I wouldn't believe this, but I have seen so much humbugging that I would believe almost anything now. I tell you what when these regiments are discharged and some of these good for nothing Com. officers wants a job, things will be told on them that will make them wish they had never cussed a private around; I haven't been cussed by any officer, but I know a great many that have, and without reason.

 

[Page 20]

Do not publish any of this, for I expect I could be court-martialed for it, but "there'll come a time" when it can be published, and by a private too.

 

Well I enjoy myself here first rate not much to do and plenty of time for sleep. Of course there isn't many places for one to go to, but we have plenty of books and magazines to read.

 

Everything is so old fashioned and labor is done principally by trying. Rope is made by twisting the hemp together, by spinning wheels, binding twine the same way. The hemp that is shipped is pressed by hand power, rice is sifted by hand; streetcars run by horses. Electric lights are about the only modern invention. There are no decent grocery stores, no lunch counters, no

 

 

 

[Page 21.]

meat markets, no candy stores, no nothing. Chocolate candy costs 49 Mex. for a cake 1/2 inch square, but bananas are $.5 (American) per dozen, cocoa nuts $.2 apiece, chickens are $3.50 & $5.00 per doz.

 

The Govt. charges duties for things that are unloaded & etc. Thus helps to pay for the expenses of the islands.

 

Some of the boys organized a meeting last week, members, those who wanted to be mustered out here, when the regiments were sent back. There are 603 members already. There will be some fine opening here and a wide awake fellow could make lots of money, but unless I can get a good position in the store or something of that

 

[Page 22.]

sort, I don't think I care to stay; and it is so far away.

 

I expect the boys have gone hunting today. I can imagine seeing Ralph and " kid" traveling through the snow carrying looking for bunnies and quails. Oh for a little of that snow to cool me off at present.

 

We will get paid about January 6 then we will get two months pay. We haven't had any days since Nov. 1st. I will send $20 home.

 

Today has been a sad day, Co. B. (our battalion) buried one of their boys today.

 

This is the quietest Christmas I ever witnessed; warm, and we can leave the barracks more than a block.

 

I enjoy myself find here and have never felt better.

 

 

[Page 1]

Envelope

Manila, P. I. Jan 4 1899

 

Dear folks-

A nice, cool, cloudy day. We had a nice rain yesterday p.m. and last night, but it is not muddy.

 

I am feeling fine; was vaccinated yesterday, for the 3rd time. I believe I have had better health the last two months, than I had any two months in Frisco.

 

I don't expect to have gotten my first letter from yet as it takes over a month for [XX] to Frisco. I can't hardly believe that I am so far away, [XX] now we have been here a whole mon and ere this reaches you it will be two.

 

I am very thankful that I have good health and the rest of it I can stand

 

[Page 2]

I got cot (so that were issued) last week and now I have got no kick coming at all. It is one like Elmer used to sleep on. The mosquito netting is just as lohg and as wide as is sewed so as to fit it. It is about 4 feet high, so we can swing them(with a rope attached to the) in the air. I have two good blankets, and I use my clothes for a pillow.

 

We can sleep quite comfortable with some thickness of a blanket over us. I said to one of the fellows last night,(as I had my bed ready to jump in) " if my Ma" could see me know she wouldn't worry at all about me. Just so, I am well contented with my Army life here, only in his so far away.

 

The Maj. Doctor thinks we will be back in time to celebrate the Fourth of July.

 

[Page 3]

I read in the "capital" about the 20th regulars (not Ks) were recruiting and get the regiment up to the standard as they expected to go to Manila.

 

" They would all be happy to think they were going to have the pleasure of crossing the ocean", so it read. If they think there is pleasure in crossing the ocean in a transport, I should like to give them a few " pointers" which would soon change their mind. I dread the trip [XX] already, but it will be such a great deal easier to bear as we know we are going to home then. Some of the boys say they are going to stay here, but not so with me. If I  here among these filthy Chinamen and " more" filthier (?)

 

[Page 4]

Filipinos, six or seven months, I shall be contented to go back to America and left the Philippines and the natives take care of themselves. The town is sold fashion and by the way there are no girls to see. I never knew the female sex had such a fascination for me till I got here. It seems like there is no pleasure in going anywhere: not that I went with any girls in Frisco, but it seems like every thing is sold dull without any women. There are no American women here except the officers [XX] and the Spanish girls often go on the street without an escort and then very seldom. They are as a rule very pretty, and one of my chums last night, as we were strolling over town, said he could form an acquaintance with one of them he would take her back with little bit will be the

 

[Page 5]

him for a wife. The boys said that soon after the town was captured, the Spanish girls wouldn't show themselves outside the buildings. I suppose they thought the Americans sure enough " Pigs," but they have gotten over that idea a little.

 

I am pretty well acquainted with the city now, and have been out to the insurgents picket line. The insurgents built one of those fatal " block houses" last week and just about [XX] companies of soldiers [XX]

 

It looked to me [XX]  they were preparing to march so Col. Funston ordered them to vacate it. They refused, so our guards, about half a dozen, headed by some officers, goes right over and tells them to" get out", and they comply

 

[Page 6]

with the request. If one of our fellows get over too far into their territory, the whole company turns out with fixed bayonets to capture him.

 

I guess they think" Americano mucha mala." We do not know what is going to happen from one minutes to the next. We have had several scares and today we are not allowed over two blocks from the barracks.

 

Col. Little very easily scared anyway.

 

Well the long expected payday arrived yesterday. [XX] two months pay and you look fo $20 [XX] after this letter arrives.

 

My chum (a boy from  K.C.) and I got a loaf of warm bread and some butter, then set down to enjoy it. I say enjoy, because we never did any warm bread and never no butter.

 

[Page 7]

The " Rough Rider" has gone into the kitchen now and we have better feed than we did. We get fresh beef and we had two sheep to a company for New Year's day. I expect you wondered how I was spending my New Years; well I went on guard in the morning done 24 hours guard duty guard duty viz. (three reliefs-8 hours) and for dinner we had beans, "sow bely," bread and tea.

 

The grubb is cooked [XX] guard house for the [XX] and we have to stay [XX] a new guard come on. Guard duty come around every three days now. The principal guard duty (except outposts) is keeping the natives from bringing in or sending out goods without paying duty on them. I have been on that duty three times.

 

[Page 8]

[XX] you see I will learn a great deal about duties. Imagine ourselves trying to make a native or Spaniard (just the same) understand what you want. I am getting so I can understand some they say, if they talk slow. Ofttimes when they don't want to understand very will say " no suave" (don't understand.) Especially the chinamen.

 

I am making a collection of relics and etc. I have now is set of Mauser shells, about 20 (Remington brass tipped) a small [XX] shell from Malat and [XX] other things. I am keeping a daily account of the happenings. The old walled city is great place and I enjoy going through the streets, looking at the historical and antique buildings.

 

The U.S. arsenal (formally Spanish) is a great place. Besides our modern guns, cannons and etc., there are

 

[Page 9]

A great many Spanish cannons of and shapes and designs. There is one church over North of us a little ways, which was built in 1620 and still in good shape.

 

Under both the walls are dark deep dungeons, and I suppose here is where the Spaniards intended to put the Americans they would capture. Soon after the city was captured the guards were ordered to capture every Spanish soldier they saw. It was an easy matter, as they arrested themselves. They were glad to be in the American care, as they got pretty good seating. It is said they lived on cooked lizards for three days before the city was captured. They ate dogs, water buffaloes, horses and sometimes when

 

[Page 10]

They caught a fat Chinaman he went into the pot too.

 

Some things are very cheap while other things are very dear. Bananas are $.5 per dozen, while a good meal costs $1]50 and $2]00.

 

I have broke the law and sent you two silk handkerchiefs in the paper.

 

There are the worst "Jews" here I ever saw, especially the Chinamen. They wanted $1]80 for those two handkerchiefs and I gave them $1]25] Everything the same [XX] them about two thirds [XX] they ask. All the boy have a sort of a chest to keep our things in. They are mahogany 36 inches by 16 and cost from$1]00 up to $5]00. When we start home I am going to get a good one. There is all kinds of silk goods here and cheap too. Tell Florence & Oscar to accept this as an answer to them too.

 

Send love to all,

I remain your son has ever

Homer Limbird.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 11]

[XX]

Jan 6,  1899

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Jerusalem Kansas

U.S.A.

 

[Page 12]

Jerusalem Kans

Feb 16 1899

 

[Page 13]

Manila P.I. Jan 5th 1899]

 

Dear Father:

I will send $20 by post office money order which you can do whatever you choose with it.

 

I don't know whether I will get this off with the mail today as it goes at 10 O'clock,changed from 12:30 I had to mount guard and now it is 10:30]

 

We are all well and feeling O.K. This is a nice cool day and I will have a nice day to walk post.

 

I went to a Y.M.C.A. meeting last night, it has just lately been organized. I am on the program comm. I think we will have a right good society and can pass some time away attending these.

 

Yours in is what is detectives haste,

H.M.L.

 

[Page 14]

[XX]

 

Richard Limbird

Gardner Kansas

U.S.A.

 

[Page 15]

Gardner, Kas

Feb 14 4 PM

 

[Page 16]

Manila, P. I. 1899

Jan. 11th

 

My dear folks:

As the mail goes the 13th, I will drop you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I am feeling fairly well. I got vaccinated about a week ago, for the 3rd time since I left Frisco, and it is taking pretty good now.

 

I suppose you have just about got my first letter from here, by this time. The mail from U.S. will be in the 15th. Then I suppose I will hear from you again.

 

The 1st Cal were put on steamers out in the bay about a week ago, and didn't know where they were going, as they were under sealed orders. So last Saturday we (1st Bat.) got orders to go over and occupy their quarters.

 

[Page 17]

Of course we had the usual tearing up and packing. Every fellow as a mahogany box and we were allowed to take them along. (Their barracks are across the river Pasig and about a mile from here) The moving was done on two wheeled carts, pulled by Water Buffalo, and you can imagine about how slow we went. There were about twenty carts and they made several trips. Each card was guarded by two men, and what a " fine" looking procession we made. (I was guard over one, so I got out of the job of helping load. I have learned a not to do anymore than I have to in the Army, for the more a fellow does, the oftener a Sergt. or Corporal will call on you)

 

Well to go on, as we were lined up ready to go, Col. Little saw something wrong, (one card was not in usual order

 

[Page 18]

or something), so he starts into cussing and yelling at the top of his voice. He put me in mind of some angry kid that couldn't do as it pleased. I just laughed till I thought I would split my sides, as did the other boys. He called us laughing and, I just saw how foolish he was acting, anyway he quieted down. Well we got all moved over there by night and settled down. The barracks would accommode two regiments; they are regular Spanish barracks, both for infantry and cavalry. Cook shacks and all. The Cal. regiment got orders to come back into the barracks, so Tuesday we had to move back to our old barracks. I was awful sorry to have to move back as it was a much healthier location over there.

 

[Page 19]

The Maj. doctor has condemned these quarters, so we are is liable to move again soon. They expectation is that we will go to Cavite.

 

I went over to Cavite last Sunday. It is about seven miles across the bay, while around on land it is twenty five.

 

We started at 8:30 and it took nearly an hour to go over.

 

Here is a representation of Cavite's-

1] Dewey fleet

2] Bridge

3] Destroyed Sp vessels

4] Pasig River

5] Our quarters

6] Fort Malate

7] Lueneta

8] Walled or old Manila

9] Bridge

10] Insurgent lines

11] Our outposts

12] New Manila

13] Maralies(that fired on Dewey)

14] Mountains

(A numbered drawing of the cite is on [Page 19])

 

I believe Cavite is a healthfull place and I wish they would move us over there. The city proper is on our island, about a mile in

 

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circumference. There is a wall about thirty feet wide and high around about half of the city. On top of these walls are some very heavy Spanish guns. I walked all around on the wall and salt where some of Dewey's shells tore through an old church, which was built in 1643] I got a piece of ornamental wood from it, which I intend keeping. The U.S. have a great many guns here; Hotchkiss, rapid fire and etc. they have several trained on the bridge connected with the island proper. Across the bridge (no soldier is allowed across, except with a pass from Qts.) are insurgents thick. They had a flag raising last week and Aguinaldo made a speech denouncing Gen. Otis's proclamation. His (Gen. Otis) proclamation told the insurgents what our purpose was, viz. to protect them and all able intelligent insurgent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 21]

is to be given a Govt. position.

 

The idea of our keeping control of the island, is what so madem them; but I believe when Agua sees that the U. S. means business he will simmer down.

 

Just a little while ago, the boy heard that there was trouble uptown(by a boy that had just come from town). The cable running upstairs, hollering, " guns your guns, boys." Everybody grabbed his gun and cartridge belt and rushed pell mell downstairs, hollering at every jump, but call to arms didn't go, so there wasn't very much excitement.

 

Going over to Cavite, we passed pretty close to the destroyed Spanish vessels. The ships are circled around Cavite as I have them on the picture. No1]5 is a small peninsula, low and marshy, covered with

 

[Page 22]

a dense foliage. On this place is where the powerful guns of the Spanish word situated. The ground was so low and the guns too that Dewey have a hard time silencing them.

 

The Escolta is the main Street in Manila and the building your are pretty decent sized buildings. If you go up on this street about 10 o'clock or in the early evening, you would think you were on a street in Kansas City except the appearance of people and rigs.

 

The rigs are a two wheeled top cover affairs. You can ride in them for $.20 (U.S.) and hour. These rigs are going to fro on the streets and together with the crowds, make an awful jam. The best wages paid to the native is $15 (Mex.), and they think they are doing fine.

 

[Page 23]

There are a great many employed in the custom houses here and prove to b good workmen and clerks.

 

This sort of rotten ale, called Beno, is playing havoc with the boys. It appears to make them crazy. One fellow (Co. L.) an old sot got drunk while doing guard duty and was put in the guardhouse for 30 days, the lightest sentence.

 

I have had very good health ever since I left Frisco. I still balance the scales 1621/2] The paper last week stated that every volunteer, that wanted to, could be out of the service in four months time. I hope that is true.

 

Tell Ina that she owes me a letter. Send love to all and expect good return of same. Please let me know if you got the money, also the Len.

 

I remain yours as ever

H.M.L.

 

[Page 24]

Everything is quiet again and a " mixed up" with the natives, looks as far off as ever. There is one thing I can't understand and that is the friendliness of the natives in our vicinity. They say " Aguinaldo amigo Americano" which means he is a friend to us. If we say " Filipino combat Americano poco tempo" (Filipino flight U. S. in a little time.) They seem to be very much worried and say no, no. The trouble is, that they are your friend to face, while to your back they are your enemy and some of the worst would just as soon stab you as not.

 

Last Monday night, on the outposts, a North Dakota soldier

 

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Was doing guard duty out there, and he noticed a suspicious native, so he follows them up a ways and have just turned around to go back, when the native made a slash with a knife and made a slight wound on the boys jaw. He soon settle the native by sending a Springfield bullet through him. The outposts have been doubled now.

 

We heard that there were several Negro regiments to be sent here soon. I hope they will send Negroes here; I think they would just be the fellows to deal with these natives.

 

A medium-sized Negro would make almost two of these natives.

 

Silks are very cheap here; they have a silk pants, underwear,

 

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over shirts,hose, handkerchiefs.

 

Some of the boys invested nearly all of their wages in silks, which I think was very foolish; as we don't know when we will start home. I intend to get some of them. The silk over shirts (good silk too) can be bought for $2]50 (U.S.). They are beauties too.

 

The Spanish soldiers are going home, gradually. I guess they want to get out before the natives and U. S. clash.

 

Well I guess my vocabulary of run out so I will close for this time.

 

Goodbye for this I remain

Yours as ever

H. Limbird

 

[Page 27]

Return to H. M. Limbird

Co.L. 20th Kans.

Manila P.I.

 

[XX]

San Francisco, Cal.

Jan 13 1899

Mr. RichardLimbird

Gardner Kansas

U. S. A.

 

[Page 28]

Gardner, Kas.

Feb 19 4 p m

 

[Page 29]

Seems to hate them as bad as some of the boys.

 

I am very glad to hear that Miss Donovan has succeeded so well with the awful " North school". It seems like a person lacks some important element, however inteligent he may be. Skinner lacked discipline. Is there a literary in Gardner this winter? We have one every Friday night, and a good one too.

 

That must've been shocking to the Mall folks-to have her body lay out there exposed to animals. What won't men do anyhow?

 

Well I have gotten tired of coconuts and I am now trying to

 

[Page 30]

to get tired of bananas.

 

You said not to eat much fruit while here,-I have eaten all I wanted, and that is no small amount, and I have never been healthier. I am always careful not to eat any unripe fruit tho.

 

Jan 29th. The mail came again last night and I got a letter from Fred, together with the Mirror items: also Nat's letter. I was in bed when the mail came and asleep.  Somebody hollered mail everybody jumped out of bed to get his mail. There were only about fifty letters for our company.

 

My chum and I went over to Ft. Malate this forenoon. It is about a mile and

 

 

[Page 31]

half from here. It is a great one fort-a wall about 6 feet wide and fift high. It is built in this shape-The shells from Dewey's fleet just tore holes all through the walls. One shell in particular No. 1] (6 inch) hit and made a smooth hole through the wall no tearing at all. A 13 inch shell hit about two feet from the top and tore one side halfway down. At  No. 2 was a large Spanish gun, No. 3 is the cable around 4 the Spanish instruments. We couldn't go the other side of Malate but a little ways as the insurgents guard are here. It is impossible for me to understand the future of the natives. Sometimes I think we

 

[Page 32]

will have a scrap, then again I don't. Time will tell. My chum is a boy from Kansas City-He is a telegraph operator and the smart fellow. He says his daddy is worth thirty thousand, but is a tough old fellow. I have several chums-all pretty good fellow. One a Sgt. and several corporals. I am enjoying myself finely-go to a band concert on the Lueneta nearly every night. When I'm off duty in the daytime I take a stroll up down or out in the outskirts. I was on outpost duty two nights in succession-goal on at seven and off at seven in the morning-that is on duty five hours and off four. Three of us was on patrol- make the rounds of all the posts. That was about 4 miles out

 

[Page 33]

and four back. The path most of the way was almost five feet wide, with water or swamps on either side. We went within about 50 yards of the famous " block house", but that is in the hands of the U. S. now.

 

We hollered across the canal " block house, patrol". They answered back, " block house, all's well." We marched in single file, the first halted everybody, the others covering them with their guns. We stopped every native searched him for knives. They carry the knife up there sleeves. We would holler halt they would say " Filipino, Filipino." There is a tribe up in the mountains called Macabebes

 

[Page 34]

This tried and the Filipinos are constantly fighting, and they are regular cannibals.

 

They will kill every white man that attempts to go through their territory.

 

Well I will have to tell you of an experience one of my friends and I had. We took one of the ladies canoes-which are about 1 1/2 feet wide and 20 feet long-started out to one of the battleships, lying about a mile back of our old barracks. We got about half way everything was going fine, when all at once over the canoe went and to the bottom. To say we were scarred is putting it light, as we didn't know how deep the water was. It was only up to our next and, after dipping out the water, we put back for shore

 

Do not mention that alpha has had the smallpox to Bigelow or any one else, the less they have already heard about it. I have an idea it is all over

 

Love

 

[Page 35]

Manila, P.I.

 

11 AM

Feb 8

 

Miss Belle Limbird

Jerusalem Kansas

Johnson, Co. U.S.A.

 

[Page 36]

Gardner, Kas

Mar 9

10 am Recd

 

 

 

[Page 1]

Oroville Calif

Feb 4  1899

 

Dear cousin Homer.

Some time has elapsed since we received your lovely letters & we appreciate that very much. Don't you imagine for one moment that we have forgotten you? because we haven't. We often speak & think about you & wonder what you will start back to your native home. Well we hope it will be soon, as we would

 

[Page 2]

Love to see you, well Homer I have very sad news for you little Geo died January 26 in Los Angeles of heart & stomach trouble, poor little fellow he was only sick a few days died so brave just before the last he put his arms around his mama neck & said mama don't cry & worry after that me because I know where I am going & it's much nicer than here & I am not afraid to die. He kept calling for uncle Harry until the last. He knew he was coming to remember how well

.

He loved Harry Oh its awfully hard to give him up forever he was so very smart & such a good boy. But Homer there are very few in this world who can die like he did, which is great comfort to us they brought his remains back to Frisco he was buried at Cypress Lawn Cemetery you remember about beautiful one you & him passed when you came out to Mr.Patchell that Sunday & came home with Harry & I the choir boys from St. John's went out to the cemetery & his

 

[Page 3]

funeral was preached in the little chapel sister Sadie (Mrs Baker) is heart broken she looks very thin & bad & poor Ethel is about sick she can't seem to give Geo up she taken it very hard Dr. Baker is feeling much better they will remain in Frisco now. I am laid up with a sprained ankle but otherwise I am well Harry is felling finer weighs almost two hundred & as whiskers over his face, they are quite becoming & he expects to have some pictures taken soon & if he does I will send you one I suppose you

 

[Page 4]

would like to know something about Oroville it's 187 miles from Frisco the county seat of Butte Co has about 2000 inhabitants it's California finest orange & olive country better than Los Angeles or Pasadena they have shiped 3000 cars already & there is lots of trees loaded yet

 

Harry is still on the dredger I don't believe you would know him? No one in Frisco did, not even Mr.

 

[Page 5]

& Mrs. Patchell so you can imagine how he has changed he likes it up here fine is doing splendid, says to tell you when you come back he will try & get you on, he has charged off the boat they board all the men it's about 3 miles from town so I don't get to see him very much it comes in every Wednesday & Saturday nights rides back & forth on his wheel I board in town so get very lonesome at times. We are fine

 

weather here but lots of sickness I see by Sunday's paper you had your little " scrap" I do hope that will be the last, now Homer be a good boy & never forget you have some dear friends & relatives back in Frisco, who thinks you are a dear good boy & prayes for your safe return home

 

I written your mother a few days ago, also sent her some papers which she enjoyed very much, so Jack is well that pleased Mrs. Fawnswoth veru much she still loves Jack,

 

[Page 6]

Well Homer I will close write often please excuse the pencil but I couldn't find my pen, with much love from your cousins

 

Tena & Harry.

 

[Page 7]

Feb 8 1899

 

M y dear Homer:

Your good letter written Xmas Day was received last week was a great deal of pleasure, we were all so please know that you were so nicely quartered, our hope those Xmas boxes turned up all right & only regret that you did not have one from here, Tena took your letters up to Oroville  Sat night for Harry to read. You will be surprised & grieved to hear that poor little Geo. has gone to his long home, as I wrote you, he went to Los Angeles 1 Dec & improved right along till he took the [XX] the second week of Jany & developed very severe complications of heart & bowels & kidneys, he suffered a good deal of pain for over a week, but at the last had very little pain, but was so weak, I got there the morning of 25 Jany.& Died about 10 the same night. I found bright but weak, we brought him back in San Francisco and buried him at Cypress Lawn Cemetery, the funeral was held Sat. morning Jany. 28th Dr. Spaulding & 10 of the choir boys from St. John's went along, we have the service in the little church in the cemetery, require boards

 

[Page 8]

were in their vestments just as they march into church, with the cross in front of them. Tena & Harry came down Friday morning from Oroville, Harry went back Monday evening, but Tena staid until last Saturday night, it is a terrible loss to us, but we tried to be reconciled & feel that it is the judgment of a loving Father & that he has taken Geo. home to himself, Geo told his mother he was not afraid to die, that he was sorry to leave her, but not a bit afraid to die, you can use them all full our hearts are yet, of our great laws, but I wish we were all so ready to go as he was. His life was short but full of sweetness & he leaves behind him the lesson of faith that if we learn, he will not have lived in vain. Mrs. Faunsworth got a letter from Jack, or as it is called now, Mark Colby, his right name, in the same ship that brought yours & she was delighted too, but what [XX] times you are having now, you are getting the scrap you spoke of in good earnest. God grant that you come through it in safety, I wonder what you in that charge of the Kansas boys, led by Lt. Col. Funston? We are all very fond of the achievements of our soldiers. Ethel was quite sick with the grief, yesterday, but is some better this morning, though still in bed. I don't feel like writing letters this morning so am going to put this away & finish it later, the next boat leaves on the 11th so there is no particular hurry, I'll get it on that boat though and all events. Goodbye for the present's.

 

[Page 9]

Just to see how I have neglected you, but really it is not neglect, only that I didn't have time to finish this yesterday, I left the office earlier than usual on Ethel's account when I got home found her in a better & this morning she is still better & although she is still in bed, is over that she will be up tomorrow, she is extremely anxious to begin school again & if able, I want her to start in on Monday had she not been out for two months & more she would have graduated from the grammar school in June, she hopes to to do so yet, but I shall not be at all disappointed if she has to wait till next Xmas, my what a lot of fighting you fellows have been doing lately, & oh how I pray that you may come out of it all unharmed, both morally & physically, remember old boy, it is not always the greatest bravery to be in a brilliant charge, but it often requires more courage to do right & speak right then to face for guns of the enemy. There was a move started a short time ago to try & have the 1st California brought home & a resolution was introduced in the state legislature requesting the President to have

 

[Page 10]

this done, but before any action was taken, the news of the fight came & on motion of the man who introduced it the resolution was laid on the table. I see the 20th Kansas were in the lead, and the attack & capture of Caloscan, you are all covering your class with glory, several of the 7th Calif. are kicking themselves now that they made such a roar to be mustered out, but their trouble was with their Col. with almost anybody else in command, they would have gone to the front long before the rest of you. Mrs. Faunsworth has practically recovered from the grip, though she is still weak. You will probably get a letter from Tena or Harry in the same mail with this, she said she should surely write you, when she left here, Mrs. Patshell was in the office before yesterday, she is feeling quite well again. Mrs. Baker asked me this morning if I had finished my letter to you & said to give you lots of love. Remember me very kindly for your Chaplain & told him the brotherhood still stands ready to do everything in its power for him. Give our regards to Bigelow & Lee & Jack or Mark when you see him & keep a very large amount of interest & love for yourself, let me hear from you as often as possible & I'll try & write on every ship that leaves

 

Your very sincere friend & well washer

Geo. S. Parker

God bless & protect you.

 

 

[Page 11]

My dear Homer:

March 8, 1899

I have only a short time to spare, but as I believe that boat leaves for Hong Kong tomorrow I want to get a few lines off to you, just to show you that we remember that we have a very warm friend in the far-off Philippines, even if we don't write him as often as we ought to. I saw Mrs. Faunsworth yesterday & she said she had a letter from Jack the day before, & that he had seen you & all the other boys she had sent to him except Hadde, who is a Red Cross nurse & and I believe is sick in the hospital there with fever. You can hardly realize the anxiety with which we read the list of casualties in the paper from day to day & and how our hearts swell with gratitude to our heavenly father for preserving our friends, so far not one of the boys we know have been hurt or seriously sick, & we are very thankful for it. By the way Mrs. Faunsworth is a grandmother, her daughter having given birth to a son a short time ago, she is very proud of the fact. You will be surprised to hear that Tena & Harry left here Monday night Mar. 6th for Kansas City. Harry's grandfather fell

 

[Page 12]

on the ice a couple of weeks ago, broke his left arm & hip & is not expected to live, he is 85 years old so it is not surprising that it goes hard with him. They telegraphed for Harry & Tena several times before they made up their minds to go, but Monday morning they came down from Oraville & left the same night, via the Santa Fe. His grandfather lives in Merriam Kan. Of course they don't know how long they will be away but probably for several months, both said they should go to Gardner & see your folks before they came back. They are planning on going to Chicago, you know Tena has a sister there, her twin, your last letter with the stamp in for Geo., we were very sad to get, & although Geo. is gone, his mother has his stamp book & has arranged the ones you sent, in it, he took so much pleasure in his collection & was sold proud of it, that his mother is keeping it for her own particular keepsake. We are all invited to visit the battleship Iowa, which is here in the harbor this afternoon at 2] Ethel is to come home from school at noon & we anticipate a very pleasant afternoon. Have just got a card from Tena written at Mojave last night, said they were getting on all right. It has been very warm here for a few days back, but is cooler today. Remember us all to each of the boys we knew. Mrs. Baker & Ethel both joined in love to yourself & I assure you you are remembered in our prayers. May God in his mercy protect you & bring you safely home again give my warmest regards to your chaplain & tell him that if we can do anything for him, that the brotherhood of St. Andrew stand ready to do everything in its power for him or any of the other chaplains. Write when you have time & I'll try to do better in the future.

 

God bless you

your friend

Geo. S. Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 13]

Colocan, Feb. 11, 1899]

 

Dear Relatives:

We are now abou eight miles from Manila; a mile beyond Coloca. The fight commenced last Saturday night about 10 o'clock and we are still after the niggers. Saturday night our company patrolled the city of Manila. Two battalions were fighting all night and we came out Sunday about two o'clock and layed down about hundred yards back of the Utah artillery and the way the bullets flew around us was a caution, but no one was hurt. Soon the Mauser's   let up a little and

 

[Page 14]

then we formed the charge The niggers were thick, but the bullets were thicker. With a yell we all started and drove the niggers from their entrenchments and run them until Gen. MacArthur ordered us to fall back 1000 yards. The Col. Capt and men did fine. We held our position till morning and then advanced about a mile where we threw up entrenchments and stayed till last night. The niggers would shoot every night but did very little damage.

 

The Tenn. run them clear to the mountains and they (Filipinos) are about 6 or 8 miles from Manila all around. They can't stand are charges, but constantly give way. Last night Dewey, the 6th artillery and Utah artillery began bombarding them and kept it up for an hour. They ceased then and a general advance was made. The boys went after them right and drove them on. About a mile and a half from the entrenchments was Calacon. The boys burned it to the ground and pushed on another mile. We have a railroad to bring our supplies right to our camp and have about 50 bull carts impressed. I was on guard at the ammunition train yesterday so didn't get to charge with the boys, but I heard plenty

 

[Page 15]

of bullets whistle close to my head last Sunday p.m. We(20th) have had about six killed and twenty wounded.

 

Bigelow came out Thursday from the hospital, but went back to quarters this morning as he couldn't stand the hardships so soon after coming out of the hospital. Howell is well and taking care of the wounded. John & Nat are also unhurt. I hope this thing won't keep up much longer. We are about 25 miles from the capital Mololas. Do not worry mother it is well. If I should fall we will meet on that fairer shore -I will write again soon

 

Yours lovingly

Homer

Mrs.

 

[Page 16]

Dear ones at home:

I suppose the papers have been full of our performances, so I will not write much about it.

 

We are now about a mile or two from Malabon and expect to be here for some time, until reinforcements arrived. Our line describes a half circle and of course the further out we get longer and weaker our line.

 

It is no 22 miles long and that makes just about our regiment to a mile. We are on the extreme left of the regiment and whole line.

 

The battery is in the center of our line, then comes: the mountains, and so on around to Cavite.

 

We have had no fighting since last Friday. The insurgents fire at us from about a mile off every once in

 

[Page 17]

awhile. If they get too noisy the artillery drops a few shots among them and they behave for awhile. I haven't had my clothes off but once for five weeks. A Poncho for covering in our haversack fulf of shells for a pillow; with our hat over our faces to keep off the "skeeters." Is the way we sleep. Probably you just get to sleep which the Mauser bullets began to squeal, and then each fellow grabs old [XX] and gets ready for an expected attack. None has occurred yet tho'. Bigelow is well, but too weak  to stay out here. The other boys are OK. I don't believe the niggers will stand this much longer.

 

I have felt fine all along but hope hostilities will soon end. Tell Fred and the other fellows hello! And I will write soon to them. I am cook police, so haven't much time. Goodbye

 

Love to all-mucha amigo

your loving son & brother

Homer

 

[Page 18]

Joaquin Rodriguez y Luna

Presidente Local de Caloocan

 

[Page 19]

Feb. 17, 1899]

Battle of Caloocan

H.M. Limbird

Co. L.

20th Ks.

 

[Page 20]

Envelope

H. M. Limbird

Co. L. 20th Kansas

 

Miss Belle Limbird

Gardner Kansas

U. S. A.

 

Soldier's letter

J. G. Schlinam shall

Chaplain, 20th Kans.'s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 21]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas

Mar [XX]

 

[Page 22]

In the trenches, near Caloocan, P.I.

 

Why dear folks at home:

I will write you a few lines to let you know I am alive and well. This is the last day of February and we have been in the field nearly a month, under fire nearly the whole time. Last Thursday  morning the insurgents fired two solid shots and us before breakfast, and to our left about 400 yards, we saw coming out of the woods some men, nearly a  hundre. (We were standing around waiting for breakfast) and I first thought those people were captured Spanish soldiers. Even while we were wondering, they lined up like a company and our lieutenants, suspecting something, said "everybody to his trenches." We got almost there when a volley came after us and then things

 

[Page 23]

were hot. ( Co. L. 22nd platoon was to our left in front about 50 yards, along the road leading into Malabon). The niggers started down the road and we commenced our deadly volley firing. Our platoon was ordered to our left about a hundred yards and we had to go through slush up to our waste and lay in it while firing. Things were pretty hot for about an hour, and every time a nigger stuck up his head we plugged at him. Then we were ordered back to our old trenches under a galling fire.

 

There were times when a person thought of home. The artillery 3 1/2 inch guns two ponders and Desey made things interesting for the niggers. About 10 o'clock we ate breakfast under" great difficulties." About noon Lieut. Frye called for six volunteers to go with him. We didn't know were he was going, but six soon responded, I among

 

[Page 24]

the federal number. We slipped out of the trenches but the niggers spied us and lammed loose at us. We went to the rice dykes and got down behind them, so that the niggers couldn't see us. To do this we had to wade in mud and water up to our waists! It was nearly all mud tho' and little water. We had to travel this way at least a quarter of a mile and oh how tired we were. Our idea was to get around to the side of the insurgents trenches. At last we got there and had a fine shot of 400 yards, and by using smokeless powder they couldn't locate us at all. We soon silenced them and got back OK. That night we reinforced the 2nd platoon. We got scarcely no sleep as we had to keep on the lookout and not let them slip up on us. They would yell to beat all and beat tire paus. I think they had some women to help yell too. Then they make a run at us and we would give them volley after volley

 

[Page 25]

till they would quiet down. About every 15 minutes we would have to fire volleys. Only one company against probably several thousand. They kept it up all day and we would have run the risk of getting hit, to get something to eat. There trenches were only two hundred yards from us and at night they would come much closer. We were here till Saturday evening and we were under one continual fire nearly all the time, but for lack of troops, we would not attack them. Saturday night we were relieved by F. Co. and took their place-next to our old trenches. We had three men wounded and F. Co. two killed and one wounded.

 

Sunday things were a little quieter, and Monday and insurgent Lieut. Col. met our Col. halfway under a flag of truce and wanted to surrender 500 men and 100 rifles. It is being considered now-the while there has been no firing along left. A sent ball

 

[Page 26]

hit me in the ribs and I thought I was shot bad-tried to feel were the ball had entered. It only made a bruised spot. Another ball came clear through a bank of dirt, behind which I was sitting and just miss my head. It knocked about a hat full of dirt in my ear and I felt for the ball as usual. It nearly knocked me down.

 

I am not nearly so afraid of bullets as I thought I should be. Of course I don't hanker after them and would be glad if they would quit. I have been right on the firing line all the time and never felt better in my life. The 20th regulars arrived in Port last Saturday night and one battalion is on the firing line already. Did anybody that I know enlist.?

 

We have a rapidfire gun on the line now and it sounds just like a-I don't know what. It fires

 

[Page 27]

About 300 shots per minute. It looks to me like the niggers would give up in despair before long. When they make a charge it means 100 or more killed and they are driven back every time. I have seen enough to convince me like John Sherman-" that war is hell." All the boys are cheerful and never shrink or hang back, when duty calls him. There is a great deal of talk now about us going back by the Suez Canal. I hope we do.

 

The niggers have burned all the bamboo shacks in the suburbs-just what we wish for. Today is Muster day and I am on guard to keep the niggers from getting in our rear-on the dykes. Bigelow is still on guard in town, Billie is on the line. Foster is a sergeant and John is a corporal. I got your letters last Sunday a.m. also one from Bakers and one from Miss Ellis. This is all the paper I have, so goodbye

 

Much love to you all and write soon

yours soldier boy

Homer

 

[Page 28]

Envelope

headquarters Co. L

20th Kansas infantry volunteers

Soldiers letter

J. G. Schliman

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Jerusalem Kansas

 

[Page 29]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas

Aps 7 7 AM

Recd.

 

 

[Page 1]

Manila, P.I. March 11, 1899

 

My dear folks at home:

I have just come into Manila today to send some money home, so will write a few words. I wish you would please let me know immediately after you get the money. I sent $10 home just before I left Frisco and $20 home last pay day and you never said whether you received it or not. I would like to know that it got there safe, that is all. This will make $80 in al so you will know exactly how much. I am well and hearty.

 

I think we will move in a few days-with expectation of a three months campaign so if you here every week don't worry.

 

Yours as ever

Homer

 

[Page 2]

Envelope

soldier letter

 

Richard Limbird

Gardner Kansas

 

[Page 3]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas.

Apr 18 10am

recd.

 

[Page 4]

Manila P.I. March 22, 1899]

 

Richard Limbird Esq.

Gardner, Kansas

 

My dear father and all:

As the mail leaves next Saturday the 25th I will write a few lines to let me know I am alive and well.

 

I received your last letter about a week ago, saying you have heard about our scrapping. We are still in the trenches beyond Caloocan and some think we will be here a month from now, while others say we will advance in a few days.

 

Father will tell you that a private don't usually know the movements of the Army until he gets orders to get ready to advance. We haven't know when we were going forward

 

[Page 5]

Tell we were told to have our canteens filled and two hundred rounds of ammunition in our haversacks-in about fifteen minutes we were going forward.

 

The niggers get restless nearly every night and fire a few shots, but the artillery soon silences them.

 

The 20th & 22nd regulars and the 2nd Oregons advanced 15 miles in twenty-four hours. They lost six killed and twenty wounded.

 

They were what is known as the flying brigade; that is they were sent out in advance of the mainline and swung around.

 

This writing about are doings is so monotonous to me, so I'll tell you about Col Little's commands . He has gotten over his wound is now our battalion commander. We was wondering how he would act when a bullet came pretty

 

[Page 6]

close to him. The bullets whistling over slowly and here comes Mr. Little down the line. Someone says" now watch Little when a bullet comes over." "Ping," says a bullet about ten yards over his head-Donna goes Mr. Little on his belly bruising is breast on the small stones.

 

He looks around silly like, of course we don't laugh, don't dare to. He says, unbuttoning his shirt," do you think a bullet that they hear"-(where he fell on the stone.) Again, a few nights ago, the niggers opened up with volley firing on our left and center.(There is a five barreled-rapidfire gun  1 3/4 pounder to our left.) Col. Little goes down and tells the corporal in charge  to run the gun up

 

[Page 7]

to a horseshoe entrenchment, halfway between us and the niggers, and take a few shots at the niggers. The corporal said the niggers would capture the gun and all (three) of them would be killed, but, he says "Col. if you will go and directly me all go out there, I'll go anywhere you will. The Col. said he'd rather not.

 

I don't know how he'll be in an advance, but the boys were in hopes he wouldn't take command.

 

Your other letters written on my birthday, we received on the 16 of March. . I'll tell you what I was doing on that day. I was on outpost at a block about three milese from our barracks. It was on a canal- on one side was a nigger guard while on the other (about two hundred feet) I was

 

[Page 8]

on guard. We were expecting trouble then, as this was only the Monday before the trouble broke out on Saturday. I thought of all you folks on that day too and said to some of the boys I am 21 today, but what a long way I lack of being my own boss. I had my picture taken by the block house, that day but didn't have time to get one.

 

I will send you the newly gotten up" Philippine Magazine",as soon as I can get one. They show some good pictures of the island and other things. the April magazine will have pictures of the campaign and will still more interesting.

 

No mother I can't kick on the amount of mail I get from home.

 

[Page 9]

 nor did I know I was. Unless it was when I first got over here and then it was a long time before I even got a word. NowI did a letter from you nearly every mail. I try to send a letter or some papers to you on every mail. I think I have gotten all your letters. You can look in the American or Feedom and see when the mail leaves Frisco.

 

I got a letter from Dr. Baker and Harry's wife not long ago. Little George died with stomach trouble, but I will send you the letter. It will almost kill Mrs. Baker, because I never saw a Mother fonder of his son than she was of him. He was a fine boy and one could not help but like him. I run around with him a great deal like him first rate.

 

[Page 10]

Bigelow came out to the lines a little while ago, for good. He is fleshing up a great deal and looks pretty well.

 

He sure had a hard trip of it. They had him in the death corner one night, when he had the smallpox, had his coffin and all. He asks them move that coffin was for-they said for him. He told them they wasn't going to put him in that. Grit is what it takes. There were twelve died out of our battalion, while the other two battalions lost but two with smallpox.

 

Howell, Foster & Thorne are all well. This life is a healthy one but oh how  monotonous. It is sit, sit, sit-all day. Our bones get tired and sore lay around

 

[Page 11]

so much.

 

I will be a pretty handy man when I get back. I have learned the culinary art, can patch my britches so that it would astonish mother and can dig a hole with a bayonet as quick as " father could and 61]"

 

I read my testament and tried to live right, but some of the boys are as tough as ever.

 

We have a good place to take a salt or fresh water bath every day, plenty to eat and some little excitement. I now not only comb my head but my whole face. I have a heavy, fine beard about half an inch long. Give Florence & Oscar and all the rest my love and accept a great share for yourselves

 

Good bye

Yours as ever

H. Martin Limbird's

 

[Page 12]

Envelope

Soldier's letter

J. G. Schlinam

Chaplain, 20th Kans

[XX]

 

Richard Limbird

Gardner Kansas

U.S.A.

 

[Page 13]

Envelope

Gardner Kans

[XX]

 

 

 

[Page 1]

Malalos, Philippine Islands

April 18, 1899]

 

Dear ones at home:

I received your letter of February 24th. yesterday; was of course very glad to hear from you and that you were all well.

 

I received your letter of March 3 about a week ago. That's queer isn't it? But I guess yours written the 24th must have come on old tub of a vessel or perhaps by way of Hong Kong?

 

Well I am still alive and well, and laying in camp north of Malalos

 

. We have had a fight since I wrote last, and we didn't have to go after them either. Our outposts were four hundred yds. in advance and it was so dark (about 2:00 AM. ) that the Sentinel couldn't see them till they had gotten within fifty yards of him. There were about five hundred niggers, but the outposts fought all the way back to mainline and then we fired a few volleys into them and they lamored. The next morning we found five hundred Mauser  cartridges, a Mauser rifle and belt, a silver watch and compass. They lost six privates and the captain killed and thirty wounded. They left shoes, hats and clothing behind and by the beer bottles, some have full, they were mostly drunk. It seems like they have to get their soldiers drunk to get them to fight.

 

It is affirmed that  Monte Negro was seriously wounded some time ago and has since died. The next night after we had our scrap, niggers got around our right flank [XX]the railroad. One company of the Minn.and one of the Oregon's were stationed  at a bridge. Their outpost  were surrounded several killed. They were stripped by the niggers. They fought all night and still 2 o'clock the next day. The niggers held the

 

[Page 2]

bridge for awhile, but reinforcements were sent to our boys and they run the niggers clear out of the country. They are getting desperate and I don't blame them much. I don't look for this trouble to be settled for a long time; for Aguinaldo and his chiefs know that when they surrender their reign is over and therefore they will resist as long as there army will hold together. We have been in the field nearly three months and I expect to be out here that much longer at least.

 

Did you read Vincent's speech as regard our course in Spanish-American war? If not you should read it. It lists some of those greedy people who are in favor of annexing the Philippines just right. Major Sternberg our paymaster wrote a piece to the "Topeka Mail & Breeze" about the boys of the 20th as to their saving money, good fighters and good drillers. He wants to get those who wish to mustered out here. I wish they would discharge us here. It means about four hundred dollars transportation money.

 

I could get a ticket back for less than that and come home the way I wish, and have a more pleasant trip too.

 

I think it will be sometime tho' before we can hope for starting for the home, so I'll not make any plans. I have gotten so I don't think much about when we are going to start for home. We have trouble enough. Trouble without looking for trouble I'll know all right time enough before we leave, so that we can get ready.

 

The Pennsylvania boys have gone into Manila for a time at least. Were relieved from field duty this morning. They may go aboard a transport within a week, nobody can tell. They go to another island, they go home or maybe they just went him to rest up awhile.

 

Uncle Sammie's boys all look like men or rather like tramps. Whiskers all over her face, you would hardly know me now-I have a fine Van Dyke. Our adjutant, when we were in town issued an order that all must be properly Barbered. Now he is about the shaggy's fellow in the Regiment.

 

When we wash our underclothes we have put on our outside close till they dry. I average one good wash per week.

 

We can draw new close, shoes or anything if we like, and don't get anything we want to eat at the commissary; if we have the money. Payday will soon be here once more.

 

I have made several Mauser whistles(whistles out of Mauser cartridges). These whistles the Niggers use in their guard duties. The Cpl. blows a whistle about every five minut and then the guards call off-Una, Dos, Trace, Quarto, Cinco, Seis, (  one, two, three, four, five, six.) I will send one in a newspapers sometime, as a souvenir. Some of the boys take every little trinket they come across, as it should be here. They would fill their haversacks full of trinkets and then complain of the cartridges being so heavy. We were supposed to carry one hundred and fifty cartridges, but several" ditched" about halfand that night we run into lots of

 

[Page 3]

niggers  and in course of half hot firing sme the boys ran out of ammunition.

 

We quit firing then saving the rest for an emergency, but luckily the niggers quit firing.

 

 I received a letter not long ago from Dr. Baker's saying that Harry & Tena Hays had left for Merriam to see Mr. Slater: I suppose you have heard that Slater fell and broke his thigh & arm and wasn't expected to live. I will enclose a letter.

 

I do hold to mail letters out hear but have managed to answer the all. I lately wrote to Miss Ellis, Gertrude Rhea and Henry Smith.

 

If they allow us to take a box back with us I will bring you all and Orient present.

 

I just had ripe bunch of bananas. Belle Hall would you like to go up to a bunch of bananas and help yourself. I have about a half box of souvenirs. I expect they will reach you when you are beginning to think about planting corn. Imagine the walking up and down a boat or sitting on a railroad bridge fighting mosquitoes and watching for niggers. Will do not worry about me I somewhat enjoy this life after all. It is an out of the door life and one can see so many new things and learn a great deal of the same time. We live in hopes that we will meet again on earth, but if not we can meet in heaven. I hope this finds you all well,

 

Give my love to all

Yours very dearly

Homer's

 

[Page 4]

Envelope

 Soldiers letter

Charles C Stone

Post chaplain, U. S. Army

Co. L. 20th Kans

U.S.A.

 

[XX]

April 15 5pm

 

Miss Rose Limbird

 Gardner Kansas,

U. S. A.

 

[Page 5]

Envelope

Gardner,Kas.

May 19 10 AM

Recd.

 

[Page 6]

Malal, Philippine Islands,

April 22, 1899

 

Dear ones at home:

As stationary is very scarce I will write small as possible. Probably you can read it by adjusting the microscope. I received your letter dated March 10 last night-it was dark when mail reached camp, but we built up a fire and all gathered around to read their letters. I got my share I guess-from one from Henry Smith, one from Charlie Miller and one from Lewis McShane. Lewis also sent a big bundle of papers, which I appreciated very much. Couldn't you send a bunch sometime-just an old paper or some of the magazines-they only cost $1]0 apiece-it would only cost a few cents to send a big bundle and you can't imagine how much I would appreciate them. You must remember we don't get such things in quantity over here, and then they cost three times as much.

 

Charlie Miller said in his letter that he had a good notion of joining some Regiment coming to the Philippines. In fact he said we need to be surprised if we saw him before long. If he hasn't already joined when this reaches him, tell him to take my advice and stay at home. Because he will serve three years sure enough if he joins the regulars and most of that time will be put in over here.

 

I know it is a great temptation and a chance to see lots of the world without any expense but this country is no place for a white man to soldier in. If a man was free and could do as he pleased, this wouldn't be such a bad place after all; especially back here in the interior close to the mountains. Here we can get fresh air, while in Manila a person could smell the air tainted with rotten vegetable matter. I don't blame Charlie much for wanting to come, but the thought of being a regular soldier for three long years. That proves what as many men say, who have served so long in the Army viz: when a boy has a few years in the Army, no matter how radical he is in saying he will never reenlist. When they are out of the service a few weeks, they wish they were back. I hope I will never be foolish enough to reenlist.

 

A great many of the boys who have come over lately say, they think this is a fine place in when there three years are up, they intend to get a discharge here. I'll bet when they have been here a few months their minds will change considerable. Some of the miners and adventures of our company intend to get there their discharge here but in all cases it is those fellows who have always bummed around. There may be fortunes up in the mountains to be dug up, but these niggers will be troublesome for a few years and then I'm not a good enough miner anyway. You can read in the" American" the offer that Uncle Sammy has given us when we get ready to go home: but the paper come out the next day saying they had made a mistake and that it should read five hundred dollars premium in transportation and travel pay. The way they had it at first, one could realize nearly a thousand dollars, while the others it would simply be a little over five hundred dollars and stay over here. That's money to a man over here. Everything is old-fashioned and dull.

 

[Page 7]

Here it is the last of April and not much more show of going home than ever I don't believe. We have so many rumors that I believe any of them. We read that the regulars will relieve us, but it looks like the regulars, except a few regiments, white as well be in the United States and for all the good they do us. They stay in the reserve all the time, but I think in the next advance, which will be in a few days, the regulars will have their turn. General Lawton, is Chief in command in the field, and they don't think the volunteers are any good so I suppose he will be counted out. I would be awful glad anyway-I have seen all the fighting I want to.

 

The 10th Penn.regiment were relieve from field duty and are now in Cavite. The Iowans took their place in the field.

 

Well the company just had their picture taken by the agent of " Campaigning in the Philippines," which will be a great book before long. They will have book that have a roster, history etc of each regiment company with many beautiful pictures. When we are ordered home the book will be completed and ready for sale-$20 each.

 

I suppose ere this reaches you Mr. Slater will have recovered or dead. Harry and his wife intend to make you a visit on their trip and you will like them both. They intend spending several months back east before returning. If they visit you soon give them my best regards. Everything has been unusually quiet for the last two or three weeks and all we do is to go on guard about once for weeks and lay around the rest of the time.

 

Our squad eight men went in together and bought some cornmeal so now we have mush and milk(condensed), fried mush or pancakes whenever the company don't feed us to suit. We got some gingersnaps, tomatoes, jam, canned apples and etc-also-so you see we are not liable to starve.

 

We read in the paper that the state had appropriated $5 per month extra for each soldier that had served in Spanish war. I hope it is so-that means at least $60 more for me. If I can get out of this war with two hundred ahead-way I won't think I have done so badly after all will you. The next town ahead is Calumpit, about three miles. Talk is that we will advance tomorrow or Monday and that when we capture that city our work will be over. There is a water station there for engines-the only one in Manila. Hence the reason for capturing it. The Chinos told our guards in Malalos where two guns were buried by the Filipinos. They dug down and sure enough to six inch coast defence guns-sixteen feet long, but the breach blocks were gone. I am well and hearty feel like a fighting cock, hope you are all well. Give my love to all the relatives and neighbors accept good share for yourself.

 

Goodbye for this time

Your far away loving son and brother,

Homer

 

[Page 8]

Evelope

Soldier's letter

Charles C. Dreisce

Chaplain, U.S. army

 

[XX] Station No. 1

Apr 23 1899

Manila, P I.

 

Mr. Ralph Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

U. S. A.

 

[Page 9]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas.

May 28 9am

Recd

 

[Page 10]

Apalit, P.I. April 30, '99

 

Dear ones at home:

I will write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I received your letter saying you had received my letter of February 11, also Rosie's of the 17th.

 

They found the feeling OK and in good spirits. Mother's letter was received about 8 o'clock last Wednesday, where the bullets whistling and we were laying low.

 

We left our camp at Malolos on the 25th and we knew we were going to run up against something. There were five regiments on the line and good fighters too. Kansas, Montana, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska. The night before the engineer corps with two miles ahead and within half a mile of the niggers trenches, and put in four sections of the railroad track. Luckily the niggers never trouble them.

 

[Page 11]

This was done so that the armored cars could get along with us.

 

The next day we advanced the columns of four for almost two miles, having an advance guard out. When we got into the woods we took a deep ditch, forming a skirmish line-thus keeping out of view. We went down this stitch for about a mile, then stopped for dinner. As a prearranged signal the armored cars opened up with their six pounders, gatling, Hotchis and Colts rapid fire. The Utah light artillery put in there say and I never hear such a mess of cannons in my life. I just laid back and laughed. The armored car advanced firing all the time and our companies (K.) went with them. The niggers have about 2 miles of trenches along the other side of the river and they were trenches too. Below the surface of the ground and covered with railroad irons.

 

[Page 12]

They had port holes and everything for protection, but they wouldn't stay. Some of these small cannons shot went right the port holes. The niggers vanmosed, but not till they had left about a hundred killed. We stopped at the river, which was about two hundred yards, and took a much-needed swim washing our clothes and left them dry while we were bathing.

 

The niggers the last spam of the steel bridge and dropped it into the river. Of course we couldn't cross less we swam, but by 5 o'clock the engineer corps had constructed a series of steps so that we could cross.

 

We ran across a sweet potato patch and had potatoes aplenty for breakfast.

 

The next morning we crossed the river and stretched out in a skirmish line and started after the niggers again. We didn't have far to go-about two

 

[Page 13]

miles-to the next river. All this way about every two hundred yards the niggers had trenches, but they thought they would be treated across the next river where they could make their getaway. The pickets got about a hundred yards of the river before the niggers  fired on them. We advanced up to the riverbank and layed in cover of the woods. Here they had three rows of trenches one above the other and they also had to cannons and a rapidfire gun. I think their idea was to lay low and let us attempt to cross on the bridge, and fired very few shots. We have rushed a cross bridges before, that if they would have laid low they could have murdered us. We only fired a few shots and waited till p.m. till the artillery came up. They fired till dark, but couldn't do much damage as they were below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 14]

the level of the ground and had plenty of really old over them. They would answer with their cannons and just missed some of the boys a few yards. Some of their shells would burst too. It seemed for a while that we had met something pretty tough.

 

Here it was that the insurgents had only a few months before, captured about 8000 Spanish prisoners and drove the rest clear into the walled city of Manila.

 

We laid low till morning and then the artillery opened up proper-knocking earthworks and brush high up in the air. The Springfields and the Krags would fill in the intervals, but the niggers kept a brisk fir and stayed at their post. About noon Col. Funston asked permission to take ten and cross. Nobody could go unless they had a Krag-so

 

[Page 15]

me not having a Krag-couldn't go. They went down about 300 yards below the bridge were there wouldn't be quite so much to contend with.

 

About a company lined up on the bank and fired as fast as they could undercover of this fire, five boys swam the river with the rope and tied it to the niggers trenches, then they got down in the water and let the boys shoot over their heads. They started a raft across with Col. Funston & ten men-another raft took ten more men across. When fifty and cross the Col. got restless and started toward the niggers trenches to flank them. They had another river to cross, but the niggers saw them and vamosed, leading one cannon behind, also many Mauser rifles. So you see what fifty men can do, if they go at it right. The other fifty men then crossed and went the other way.

 

[Page 16]                                                                                            

When   the niggers salt what a small force had crossed they turned and were coming back. We rushed across the bridge doubletime,and had nothing to walk on but a four by four. We had to hang on to the side with one arm and hold on to our gun with the other. I came almost falling off in the middle-water was about two hundred feet below and the thermometer up to about 120°.

 

When they saw us they be treated in a pretty "a" skirmish line as we even put up. We could see some officer on the big black horse riding up and down directing his troops. We took several shots at him, but it was too far. As soon as we crossed we started after them again and they shot at us as only the defeated Army could. They made a stand about a mile from the bride, but we advanced steadily and they gave away.

 

[Page 17]

We could see their train just pulling out of Apalit, but it was too far away for us to reach it to any affect.

 

The niggers retreated and stopped firing so our main line halted and eight men from each company were wanted to volunteer as scouts to go ahead. I volunteered and we went on about a mile and a half and got and saw the niggers going down the track we took several shots at them.

 

Funston was exhausted when we crossed the bridge and had to rest.

 

Gen. MacArthur & Wheaton put their arms around him and thanked him for what he had done. It is reported that he has been promoted to Brig. General.

 

That night the regular rainstorm and heavy wind give us a good taste of camp life in the field. We were wet to the skin, but as soon as it slacked up, we built a big fire and dried. At night

 

[Page 18]

you could have seen me under a piece of bamboo covered with straw in the shape. (drawing) Nothing but a poncho over me and a little bunch of straw under me. The next morning I looked like a drowned rat.

 

That morning and insurgents Col.(adjutant Gen.) a Lieut. Col. and a bugler came through our lines and said they wanted a two-week cessation of hostilities till their Congress could meet and decide whether they were ready to quit. Gen. Otis said he would accept nothing but an immediate and unconditional surrender. He gave them a few days to decide and to decide once for all.

 

Some think the war is ended, but I won't believe it till I see them coming in. I hope and pray that it is over, because I'm tired of fighting on this black island.

 

Yesterday we fell back to Apalit and

 

[Page 19]

now you can find us in a native shack. We(two squads) have a real neat shack. You can now make us a visit and will promise you good dishes and a table to eat from.  I am writing from a candle stuck in an old brass candle stick. We will be paid again soon. The river, which is about three hundred yards wide, is only about fifty feet from our house. It is about twenty five feet deep and fine swimming.

 

Rose I left Alpha read your letter; he laughed about that "Happy Event". He said you had ought to have got tied up by Mr. Spier. Talk about your late spring-have you ere seen corn coming up-two feet high, waist high, just in tassel and corn in roasting ears.

 

Tell Walter to take my advice and stay where he is. He will rue the day if you join the regular Army. All the boys are well-

 

Are you will have close

give my love to all, dearly

Homer L.

 

 

[Page 1]

San Fernando, P.I.

May 25, 1899]

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Gardner, Kansas.

 

Dear father and all: writing:

This is a cool, cloudy day and looks very much like rain. It has been raining for several days almost continually-I guess the rainy season has surely began.

 

I wrote Florence the letter about a week ago. Tell her Sergt. Kelly got a letter from Bud Ooley, which the let me read.

 

I received your very welcome letters about ten days ago. Your letters get here on an average of 30 days trip. Some it takes longer and others shorter. I am not in a writing humor today, but perhaps I can write a short letter.

 

 I am still in the kitchen-learning the trade-and enjoy it.

 

We feed pretty good now, have hominy, potatoes, cornstarch, condensed milk and etc. and of course we cooks have something on the side, as pancakes, maple syrup or butter. Sometimes take the tender loin out of the beef for an eatin. You know we don't get in the cook shack very often.

 

The railroad is reparied up to San Fernando and there are three trains come out daily, Bringing supplies also fresh meat and bread and takes back sick or wounded.

 

We can send our mail in every day now, there being a special mail car.

 

[Page 2]

The niggers got funny yesterday and started to come in town. The cavalary, artillery, two battalions of the Kansas, three companies of South Dakota and Montana were sent after them. Our boys went down a sunken road and sneaked up to within one hundred yards of the end of the niggers trenches (flanked them) before they were discovered. The Montana flanked them at the left and the Dakotas came up in front.

 

There was a wholesale slaughter of niggers. Some stayed in the trenchesr until their guns were wrenched from their hands others started to run but were shot down. There were fifty dead ones counted in the trenches and about thirty out in the field a carload of mangled ones were sent to Manila. There were about ten of our boys wounded-one mortally.

 

They chase the niggers for about five miles and then came back.

 

The outcome of this trouble looks pretty distant yet; still Lawton has pushed clear through to Mt. Ayrant and another general came up on the other side and they didn't seem to run up against a very hard obstacle. I believe they have broken up in little bands and intend to just keep worrying us for several months. They know very well what their destiny is and

 

[Page 3]

has been for some time. They will keep monkeying around trying to get all the rights guaranteed they can and then finally surrender.

 

The big man know their day is done as soon as they give up and thus it is very hard for them to give up forever.

 

Well I don't believe we will be on the island when the surrender is made, unless it is made shortly. We have got orders to be relieved this week and we will go back-I think to Caloocan or Manila. The Nebraska's have been relieved-the Montana's next them South Dakota and the old Kansas.

 

It is reported that the California's, Oregon's and Minnesotans will sail for home ere that time.

 

 Rose if you see Prof. Darnell give him my best regards and tell him I have been waiting for a letter from him all the time.

 

Where is Bob Victor going to what is he going to do now-having sold out. I expect the strawberries are beginning to ripen. Never mind while you eat strawberries just think of me eating mangoes, excellent and have a flavor like a weak parsnip.

 

[Page 4]

Very cost two for five cents. The tribe of natives called Macababas living West of San Fernando are friendly to U. S. and they are allowed inside of the lines or anywhere.

 

They sell eggs, six for ten cents, bananas ten for five cents and mangoes. There are about five hundred salesman.

 

Oh I almost forgot to tell you that we got our spondulix the 20th. We were paid off in greenbacks, the first time. The reason, it is said, was that the chinos got all the gold and it goes to Hong Kong never to return.

 

I won't any home for awhile, until I see whether we will have another payday on these islands or not. If we don't why I want enough so that I can get something to eat on our return trip. I want to live better than I did coming over if it takes all the money I ever had.

 

The boys are all well as usual and I am feeling tolerably well.

 

As it is about time to begin getting dinner I will close. Hoping this will find you all enjoying good health

 

I remain your very dear Homer L.

Give my love to all.

 

[Page 5]

Col L 20th Kan

U.S. Vol

May 25

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Gardner Kansas

U. S. A.

 

[Page 6]

Gardner, Kas

June 17

Recd

 

 

[Page 1]

Manila, P. I.,

June 7, 1899,

 

Richard Limbird

Gardner, Kansas.

 

Dear father and all:

this is Wednesday and a rainy day also, rained last night & night before. Looks like the loan look for, but much dreaded rainy season has set in. The began a month earlie last year and rained for about [XX] months.

 

The Oregons haven't left yet, but the paper says they will leave in a very few days(?)

 

We expect the  Gran in a few days with troops & mail.

 

I wasn't feeling very well so I got leave, last Sunday to come to Manila to rest up for a while. I am feeling much better now and in a few days

 

[Page 2]

will be as well as ever The regiment is still at San Fernando-every is comparatively quiet, except now and then a little scrap. The 17th & 22nd regulars are going into quarters for the rainy season at San Fernando and I think our regiment will soon be relieved. The lines east and south of town advanced last week and it was the same old story-the niggers kept at a good distanc. Our boys captured half-dozen important towns and one of the niggers batteries.

 

Manila is as busy as ever and even more inviting. A great deal of American goods are in-such as lemons, apples, peaches and dry goods. This is the first time I have been in Manila since the first of March.

 

They get these light brown"cacky" or "kacky" uniforms with a standup collar and cane, and if you would meet one of them you would think they were some millionaires son. The canes are of every shape and description and arevery numerous and stylish. But how can you blame them-there's no enjoyment no place to go and all you can do is to promenade.

 

About the accounts I said home, I heard about nearly all. The one Dr. Baker sent I never heard, but you say it amounts to $80 & that's correct, so we want guarded over it. If you want to use it go ahead-you are perfectly welcome to it. But the" diaries", did you receive them?

 

Do not think or worry about our hard life because we have met with none.

 

I received a letter from Dr. Baker, saying that Harry was bothered with the stomach

 

[Page 3]

Trouble again, and thought he would have to return to California immediately. You know that is is trouble. Have they bee up to see you folks yet?

 

The other boys are OK and on the line.

 

I guess Jim McCleary has given up joining the Army hasn't he. He is wise in so doing. Three years in these islands would mean a whole lot to me. I am glad Walter likes his job and I'd think they would save some money. He is getting along at that age.

 

Well I guess we won't get home in time to celebrate the fourth of July but hope to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving turkey at house.

 

When you write to grandma give her my love, also all the other folks. Tell Oscar & Florence hello. Will close for this time

 

Son & brother

Homer Limbird

 

[Page 4]

Envelope

 

Mail Sta. No. 1 

Philippine Islands Manila

June 8, 1899 10 AM

 

Richard Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

U. S. A.

 

[Page 5]

Manila, P. I.

June 16, 1899

 

Dear ones at home:

As the mail leaves for the states in a few days, I will drop you a few lines to let you know that I'm still alive and well.

 

I am still in Manila and expect to stay here as long as possible. It is so much more agreeable, and I have a nice spring cot with mattress and a pillow. I was feeling pretty tough when I came in, a week ago last Sunday, all knocked out by the heat and my stomach was all out of order. But now I am feeling fine and stout.

 

[Page 6]

The regiment has been idle out at San Fernando-all they do is outpost duty.

The Montana in Kansas regiment dwindled down to such a small number of men fit for duty that the line regiments are acting as one now.

 

Besides these two, there are at San Fernando the 17th and 22nd regulars and the 51st Iowas.

 

It looks as though our regiment wouldn't be sent in till we are ordered to embark for home and of civilization.

 

You never saw it is sicker law the board is in your lives, that the recruits for the regular Army who have nearly three years of service to put in on the island.

 

Arch McAllister nor Ed Smith haven't arrived yet. They will get here in about two weeks. I pity them poor boys. Of course they are just like us-crazy to see the 

Philippines but we had the assurance of not being compelled to serve over a year here. Still I have never regretted the step I took very much. If there would only let us go now, but I'll not complain. I'll take my medicine like a man.

 

I am not ashamed of my career as a soldier and I have profited by a many good lesson. Oh well this won't interest you-will I get started already strain I am liable not to quit right away.

 

We have a rained every night or rather a water spout. It don't begin to rain till about 8 PM. and oh what delightful evening before. It is dark about 6 o'clock so one can have a

 

[Page  7]

pleasant three hours.

 

I took a walk down to the Luneta last night and listened to a band concert. The Luneta is one of the most beautiful places my eyes have rested on. It covers about ten acres, covered with grass and through it are nice made foot paths and driveway.

 

Along the right side dashes the clear cool waters of Manila Bay; in the center is a big bandstand with chairs all around it, where you can sit and listen to the band concerts and enjoy the fine, exhilarating breezes of Manila Bay. To the north you can see the once dark and gloomy wall of old as walled Manila. On top of these walls you can see old

 

[Page 8]

Spanish cannons bristling from every point. Look again over the bay-first you can see the transports which makes one think of home; next the hospital ship relief and foreign war vessels; off across the bay, toward Cavite, through the haze, you can dimly make out the outlines of" our grand display of warships."

 

To our South one can notice Malate, a suburb of Manila, and a very pretty city. Here a greater part of the well-to-do Spanish people live.

 

[Page 9]

After one gazes all these fine pictures one cannot but help to think" what grandeur for such a God forsaken land of ignorant people."

 

Well the South line have been having about a week hard fighting and are still after the niggers. It is said that two companies of the 21st regulars, all on the line were regulars, got out of ammunition and the niggers started after them and throw them into the bay up to their necks, and if it hadn't have been for the gunboats appearing on the scene, they would have drowned. It is also said that the 13th reg. utterly refused to go and help the 14th reg when

 

They were heavily pushed. The 14th reg are good fighters-all of them have been here nearly a year, but the other regiments are composed almost wholly of new recruits.

 

When they first got over here they were going to show" those volunteers how to fight."

 

We haven't been run by niggers yet. There was about fifteen boys killed and nearly a hundred wounded, but the niggers were laying so thick that their trenches wouldn't hold the dead. Eight smooth bore cannons were captured, four hundred pounds of black powder and two prisoners taken.

 

The boys run up against some of Aggies " terrible first Regiment" and the blue legged 12th. They are now near Cavite Viego and expect to surround them.

 

[Page 10]

Well I got five letters this week. One from Dr. Baker, Bert Bigelow, Fred Johnson, Florence & yours.

 

I got a letter from Gertrude Rhea last week dated Oct. 7th 1898] I should have got it before I left Frisco. It layed in Frisco awhile and Hong Kong finally reached OK.

 

The Oregons started for Frisco about a week ago. The Nebraskas expect to leave soon.

 

All the boys are getting along OK.

 

This is a fine cool p.m. and undoubtedly rain tonight.

 

Tell Florence I will write before long to her, give them my love, also all the neighbors.

 

I will say goodbye for this time.

Loving son and brother

Homer

 

 

[Page 11]

Envelope

H. M. Limbird

Co. L. 20th Kans.

U. S.  Vol

 

Mail Sta. No1]

Philippines Manila

June 19, 1899 10 AM

 

Richard Limbird, Esq.

Gardner, Kansas

U. S. A.

 

[Page 12] 

Gardner, Kas.

Aug 3 11 AM

Recd.

 

[Page 13]

Manila, Philippines, I. S.

June 25, 1899]

 

Dear ones across the sea:

I hope this may find you all as well as it leaves me.

 

I am regaining my health and will soon be my old self once more.

 

I will tell you what pleases me most. Our regiment has, at last, been relieved and came to Manila yesterday on the train. They are all happy as in all probability we will not go on any more extensive trips. They go out for a few days or something like that, but I hope our hiking is over. We are assigned to guard in the walled city, seventy guards on the first day.

 

Very have fine quarters, good kitchens, water and a big parade ground in the center of the square.

 

[Page 14]

We may not stay here but a few days tho' things are so uncertain now.

 

Today is Sunday, but I never attended services. I went to prayer meeting last Wednesday.

 

I am not on duty yet and so not with the company.

 

All the boys are well, Bigelow on guard.  Thorne was looking well, I didn't see Foster or Howell but John said that they  were OK._­­­

 

I got a letter from Will Murray a few days ago. Said he had been over to your place and found you all well. He wrote a real interesting letter.

 

I also got a letter from Gertrude & Aunt Lib. Gertrude said they had their corn planted, over 125 acres and plowed nearly twice and only May 15] Also about their strawberrys

 

[Page 15]

Were ripe and that they were only worth $.05 per quart. That made my mouth water, you may but. Aunt Lib seemed almost discouraged with the condition that she is in. Said she almost wished she were dead. She has to be wheeled around, can't walk a step.

 

Geo. Rhea must have made some money building a new house and etc, Gertrude said that Dick had gone to Oklahoma to harvest a wheat crop for another man and put one in this fall for himself. Irvin has built a new house on his 80 acres and moved into it.

 

Elwin as a new buggy. I have seen Arch a couple of times since I have been in. He has been here a month and says he likes to first rate. He has been in to quarters with his company doing

 

[Page 16]

guard duty. Co. C. 14th regulars.

 

He hasn't heard the " ping" of the Mauser yet. I don't care run with much as he prefers different company that I do. Of course I'll treat him all right. I didn't get to see Ed Smith. He was assigned to the 18th or 23rd regulars, off on another island and left several days ago. I didn't know the boys were over here, until I saw Arche's smiling face. You would know him anywhere.

 

Well volunteers are slowly but surely going home. The Nebraska's go tomorrow, Pennsylvanias  and Utah's expect to go Tuesday and the Californians it about ten days. But our time is too far ahead to mention yet. I guess sometime in September will about catch us.

 

[Page 17]

Three months will soon roll around tho' and then look out for us. If this was a fit country to live in I believe I could get a good job. There are many quirks one for the commissary dept. and one could easily get a job of driving mules on the ambulance at $50 per month. The government has passed a law prohibiting any discharge soldiers engaging in business here.

 

Now if that isn't an unjust law I never saw any. After a soldier has spent a year in this country half of which was spent in defending the flag and then refuse a poor soldier who has escaped bullets and disease, and right to try his chances of making a living here. I tell you sometimes I think that Uncle Sam is afraid his citizens will make

 

[Page 18]

a living. We are the same as under a monarchy now.

 

The Gov. Gen. sits up there in his chair and rules the island. What he says goes-as the officials at Washington think that he knows more about the state of affairs and then they take his word for it. He issued 35,000 rations of rice and roast canned beef to the starting (?) niggers and after a fierce fight with the insurgents, all of the empty cans were found in the insurgents trenches. (The "amigos" had given or sold it to the insurgents.).

 

If that isn't giving the enemy aid and comfort I don't know why. All of the " white clothed" niggers are insurgents. When they see that they are going to be captured they change their clothes and are friendly niggers.

 

[Page 19]

I know this to be a fact, as we have caught them in the act.

 

If they get a chance they will show what bloodthirsty demons they are. Read the last paper that will give you an example. Do not have any of this published-as I could be almost court-martialed for it. Remember I am a soldier, but I'll not always be.

 

Things have been pretty quiet for the past week. It is rumored that Old Aggie was killed, but I guess it's only another rumor.

 

Our captain's wife came over on a liner about a week ago. He had a wife in Kansas, and the boys that knew him said he wasn't divorced from her yet.

 

The last woman live in San Francisco. She is well off and very pretty.

 

[Page 20]

Gen. Funston was relieved from duty out north by Gen. Grant. I don't know whether he is U.S. Grant son or not.

 

The various associations are preparing to have a little celebration here the 4th, but I don't suppose it will be much more than general band concert and speaking.

 

I understand the Omaha expedition is to open up again this fall. Maybe I'll get to see it yet.

 

A big rain is about to burst up the land-a very common occurrence now.

 

Well I will close for this time. The of all folks who love and best wishes and accept a good share for yourself.

 

I am as ever loving son & brother

Homer.

 

[Page 21]

Envelope

Homer Limbird

Col. L. 20th Kansas

U.S. Vol.

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner, Kansas

U. S. A.

 

[Page 22]

Gardner Kas.

Aug 6 11am

Recd.

Manila, Philippines Is.

July, 13th, 1899]

 

Richard Limbird, Esq,

Gardner, Kansas.

 

Dear father and all:

I will endeavor to scribble you a few lines, if the "Skeeter" will permit it.

 

I am once more with my company after five weeks of hospital life. I am well and regaining my health and weight quite fast.

 

This has been a very nice; only sprinkling a little (something unusual)

 

For over a week, ending yesterday morning, there was almost a continual downpour. It was raining all the time. I thought I had saw it rain in Kansas, but Kansas' storms are not in it, and keep it up just like a water spout.

 

[Page 2]

It only rained 12 inches in 48 hours. How's that?

 

We had to mount guard under the porches of the barracks. Clothes molded in quarters and it was a perfect flood everywhere. The bay was a regular whirlpool, and no small boats could venture out. The Pasig came almost getting Adm. Watson. I came home from Cavite last Sunday on a small boat and it was the roughest hour I ever seen on the water.

 

I wrote to Florence about a week ago, and told her about Cavite.

 

We have five quarters here, good bath house, kitchen and cots to sleep on, but awful hard.(Bamboo).

 

[Page 3]

The 3rd Battalion (Jno. and Nat's Co.) Also Billie Howell went out to Paranague yesterday morning. It is about twelve miles south of here in about twelve miles from the firing line. So I guess they won't see any fighting.

 

I guess the " generous" people of Kansas won't get us home in a body to show off before them. We will be in Frisco about a month after we arrive, so if we get home by October or November I'll be surprised.

 

Well we got our " dinero" yesterday a.m. of which I will send $30]

 

There are usual drunks and crap teams. The Army is well represented by professional gamblers.

 

[Page 4]

Why clothing allowance for the year is $31]25] Every thing helps you know.

 

Oh for some of those strawberries or red raspberries.

 

Quiet a number are making a fool out of themselves every day-reinlisting in Maj. Bell's Regiment, five from my company. The trouble. It's so tempting-$460.00. It tempts me sometimes, but if I get out of this regiment alive, I guess I'll call it quit.

 

I got a good letter from Henry with yours. He is OK.

 

Several regiments are expected to get away with them two weeks.

 

The boys are doing OK. I am well and happy but will be happier when the word GO comes-yours

 

Homer Limbird

 

[Page 5]

Envelope

Col. L

20th Kansas

 U. S. Vol. Infty.

 

Mr. Richard Limbird

Gardner Kansas

U.S. A.

Aug. 20 4 PM

Recd.

 

[Page 7]

San Francisco

 

My dear Homer July 13 1899

Your good letter of the 30th May is just come in, presumably on the Newport or Ohio as the team together yesterday afternoon with the Oregon & California signal Corps on board they have not unloaded yet, expect to about noon today, don't know whether they will be mustered out here or sent to Portland the Portland people are very anxious that they should go there as an organization so that they can welcoming them in the body, but it means a good deal of money to the them to be turned loose here. Personally I would much rather they were sent to Oregon as a body for if  turned loose here with lots of money & no restraint, the town will hardly hold them & will suffer consequence. I notice by the morning paper that the post office has orders from Washington to hold all mail for volunteers that come here after this week, so that this is probably the last letter from Frisco before you start hold & judging from this your prospects of getting home soon are very good, I notice a tone of sadness in your last

 

[Page 8]

which I don't like at all, you must keep up your grit at all cost, you will be relieved very shortly without any doubt & after going through all the fighting which you have already, you must not allow yourself to be sick from homesickness. Harry & Tena are back here & living with us, they are both quite well, very is working at his trade has given up selling "compound". I don't know if I wrote you that he had blossomed out into a full-fledged salesman of boiler compound, he did remarkably well at it for a while, but got tired of it & quit. Their grandfather Mr. Slater is still alive & I believe doing very well though I think will never walk again, he has a wheelchair & manages to get around by himself in that Harry & Tena are rather sore as the result of their trip last. Harry gave up a good job to go & used up a lot of money & got nothing but their trouble for their fairs. According to the morning paper Newport & Ohio had an exceptionally pleasant trip across. They kept in company all the way & came into the Bay together, neither lost a man nor had a single case of sickness all the way over, this I think is something very remarkable, & I think it is another evidence that God is on our side in this war & that the American people are simply carrying out his wishes in the campaign. I think this has been very evident

 

[Page 9]

all through the war from the very first I notice by the papers that Aguinaldo is making a great handle of the return of the volunteers taking the move as an evidence that we are licked & retreating-but when he begins his advance to occupy the place abandoned (?) by the Americans forces he will find his mistake eh? Suppose Mrs. Farnsworth is in great spirits today over the prospects of seeing her"Jack". I suppose he is on board with the rest of the Oregons. Nothing is known here as to the movement of the first Californias nobody seems to know whether they have left Manila for home or not I sincerely hope you will be mustered out here with the 20th Kans. comes home, we'll give you a" right smart" welcome as they would say in Missouri. You ought to be an expert cook when you get back, will expect you to make more dishes out of a can of canned beef than were ever dreamed of before. Tena got awfully fat while she was back it was very hot there before she came back but she put on flesh right along. The

 

[Page 10]

other day she & Harry went out to the park for a bicycle ride & she got so short of breath & sick that she had to lie down on one of the seats in the park said she thought she was going to die-but she didn't & she has been out several times since & does better each time it was simply a case of too much fat around the heart-it was really dangerous of course but was rather laughable for all that. I should judge you you were better off in the cook shack then on the line of course don't know anything about it-perhaps you have to take more abuse from the men for the poor food that you like-I don't mean poor cooking don't get mad. How is Lee getting on. Give my regards to the chaplain & tell him I should be more than pleased to hear from him, if he has time to write it of course. I realize it is of necessity a very busy man I wonder what happened to"red headed" Chase? Keep a stiff upper lip old man & don't get blue, just think of the time you will have when you get back & what a hero will be in the eyes of the boys who didn't go to the front-just think of parading at all the county fairs in Kansas & being pointed out as a veteran of the Spanish war & one of Funston's men. God bless you & preserve you my boy is the prayer of all your friends.

 

Sincerely your friend

Geo.S. Baker

 

 

[Page 11]

"Quartel De Infantria"

Manila, Philippine Isles.

July 23, 1899]

 

Dear ones at home:

I write you a few lines this beautiful Sabbath morning to let you know how I am faring in this far off island. I feel good nowand hope I will continue in that line. I done company clerks duty till I felt able to do duty.  I done my first guard duty day before yesterday, that I have done for over six weeks.

 

I was guard out to Bilibid a prison, about a mile and a half from barracks.

 

In this prison are convicts-Chinos, Filipinos, Spaniards and dishonorably discharged soldiers, also soldiers who have been sentenced to three to nine months. There are lots of soldiers and other prisoners.

 

[Page 12]

We have two from our company in there, one gets three months and thirty dollars and discharge with the regiment while the other gets one year, dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.

 

Then he deserted the firing line-cowards in other words and that is their punishment.

 

It lets up raining yesterday for a wonder. It had rained for four days steady. One day, twenty-four hours, it only rained 12:02 inches. We had to wade water up to our knees for a greater of a mile to get to Bilibio present and by then the guardhouse the water was up to one's knees.

 

We took off our shoes rolled up our pants and dived in.

 

The old Pasig was just boiling and had overflowed its banks in some places. It can raining here all right.

 

[Page 13]

These new regimetns are getting filled up rapidly. They are known as the 36th Maj. Bell, 37th Col. Wallace and 38]th Capt. Lockett of the 4th cavalry and on Gen. MacArthur's staff.

 

Bell's regiment is to have one troop of cavalry and one battery of light artillery and the rest infantry. They are going to make its skeleton companies with the men who reenlist and then they are to be filled up with recruits from the states to the strength of 128] The Kansas boys will be one company or two if enough Washington in others and so one separate you know.

 

Wallace goes to Ilailo and Lockett will have a cavalry regiment here.

 

A great many of the boys have nearly gone

 

[Page 14]

wild over the" great chance."

 

Some are getting commission out of it and privates are getting to be non-cones, but with it all I have determined not to be so crazy to reenlist.

 

If I had that good health and several other "iffs", I might reenlist, but do not worry, I promise not to do it.

 

I was greatly surprised to hear Alpha say this morning that he had a good notion to enlist. I give him a great talk and tried hard to get the notion out of his head, but Alpha is very strong willed and will do as he pleases. John is talking a little it to. Here is what a private would make. Transportation to Frisco-$328 travel pay Kansas $82] two months pay $31]20, total $464]20]

 

[Page 15]

Of course that is big pay even should they have to stay the two years, but look at the climate, exposure and diseases. I would think Bigelow had had enough escapes from death. I told him his father was getting old and it would almost kill him to hear that he had reenlisted. He said he would they go over it.

 

What is five hundred dollars to a man if he lose his life?

 

Our 1st Lieut. has got to be a captain in Bell's, also Craig, Mack's brother. Mack will be 1st Sgt. or 2nd Lieut. Maj, Bishop, Capt. Orwig, Capt. Glasgow and about a dozen lieutenants of our regiments will join these new regiments, so you see the Kansas boys will be few in number when we reach home. I have had enough of it all, for my part.

 

[Page 16]

We are expecting the Sheridan it a few days and then we will get the mail.

 

There are several boats due the next two weeks.

 

After the Sheridan comments the Zealandia, Valencia, Pennsylvania and City of Para. it is thought we will be assigned to the City of Para but of course we can't tell. I think we have got the worst of it all the way through and will still get the worst of it.

 

You remember I wrote about three months ago that if we got home by Thanksgiving we would do well; see how far I miss it.

 

The commanding officer is very slow in getting us started homeward, but two months will soon roll around and they will all look alike when I get out of

 

[Page 17]

The service. We will start the latter part of August or the 1st of September,(if not later.) We have been expecting to go homel ever since we landed and it hardly seems right that it should at last come true.

 

I will send some Kodak pictures that were taken during the campaign. They are small but I can tell you where it is and how I felt at that place.

 

The 3rd Battalion is still at Paranaque.

 

I hope this will find you well as it leaves me.

 

We have biscuits, good ones too twice a day, and fresh beef now. Oatmeal for breakfast and such stuff you know to eat. Bigelow is fairly well. Well I have all I know so guess I will close. Do not worry over my reenlisting,

 

Your loving son and brother,

Homer

 

[Page 18]

Envelope

soldier's letter

Jul 25 1899

Manila

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner Kansas

U. S. A.

 

[Page 19]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas.

Aug 28

Recd.

 

 

 

[Page 1]

Quartel De Espana

Manila, Philippine Is.

August 13th 1899]

 

Dear ones at home:

A nice cool Sabbath and I am well, as are the other boys.

 

One year ago today city of Manila fell into the hands of the Americans.

 

Just think what great things have happened since that time.

 

The 3rd Battalion was relieved from duty out at Paranaque several days ago and came back to their old quarters in the Quartel. We thought that would lighten our duty, but they hunted up some more places to guard. No relief till we get on the boat.

 

We have been(or rather the officers) expecting an outbreak here in town for the last two weeks. I don't expect it, because they were taught such a good lesson the twenty third of February that they are afraid to repeat it.

 

The City of Para arrived in the bay last Thursday, bringing me your letter, also Florenceth of, one from Dr. Baker, Lewis McShane and a bundle of papers

 

[Page 2]

from Fred Johnston. I expect it will be last mail till we reach Frisco, as I hear all the volunteers mail was to be held after 18 July. We expected to be assigned to the Para, but later reports say we will not, but get the Tartar which hasn't arrived yet. The rumor says we will start September 5th.

 

All men wishing to be discharged here has to have their application in by tomorrow, so our time is a very long. There will be about ten from my company get their discharge here. Bigelow has given up all hope of reenlisting. I tried my best to show him what he would miss by stayng.

 

The line out at San Fernando have advanced about eight or ten  miles and routed the niggers. The American loss was six killed and forty wounded.

 

I think this commences the new campaign. It will be pushed to the end as rapidly as possible.( Maj) Col. Bell is always in the

 

[Page 3]

thickest with his veteran regiments.

 

The boys didn't expect to be fighting so soon when they reenlisted. The $500 looks pretty small already, I'll bet. Two have already been killed.

 

In the letter I received from Dr. Baker he said Harry and wife were living with them again and Harry was working at his old job.

 

Baker says Perry seems pretty "sore"about his trip back east.

 

He had to stand the whole expense lost his job and time while he was gone and got nothing for it.

 

I don't suppose he felt in a humorto come up and see you folks. That was a trick for Slater to do I must say.

 

That was one of the saddest accidents I ever heard of, Art Groves death. I almost expected him to meet death in a horrible matter. I pity his folks most. He had such mice sisters and parents.

 

That ought to be a warning to the smaller boys who hop trains.

 

[Page 4]

I am so sorry to hear that Arch Hannon is in the condition he is. I would like to get back to see him before he dies, poor boy.

 

So another Hartshorn married another Kiser didn't he? Now if John marries one they will be all right, eh Rose?

 

We had  mutton, peas and corn for dinner, how's that.

 

We get the best fresh beef over here that I ever ate. We never got any at home that would near compare with it.

 

Before this reaches you, no doubt we will be bouncing along on the deep blue sea.

 

All of your mail should be directed to Frisco now. I will write a couple of times before we leave.

 

Dr. Baker says I am to have a great time when I reach Frisco. I will close this time. Goodbye, your loving son and brother

Homer

 

P.S. I wrote Ina a letter and sent my congratulations. Also sent uncle Jerry a couple of papers from here.

Homer

 

[Page 5]

Envelope

soldiers letter

Aug 14  1899 10 AM

Manila

 

Miss Rose Limbird

Gardner Kansas

"U.S A."

 

[Page 6]

Envelope

Gardner, Kas.

Sep 26 11 a.m.

 

[Page 7]

Quartel De Espana

Manila, Philippine Isles

August 19, 1899,

 

Dear ones across the Pacific:

I am feeling good and fleshing up once more. I hope I will have my normal weight ere I reach home.

 

There is still some fighting going on. The lines are advancing slowly but surely and it will be but a question of a few months before their will be" no mas combatic." I see the few new regiments will all be here by October then things can be pushed more

 

[Page 8]

more effectively. I see also Gen. Otis is to be returned. I am glad the Washington officials think a great deal of him because he hasn't hardly a friend along the boys.

 

You may be doing better tho' that many another could do and I expect the government is wise after all. About three weeks ago two spies(Filpinos) were captured, who had on their person maps showing all American positions, number of troops at each and all outposts. They were kept in a little while and turned loose. Vets the kind of war fare we are carrying on. The niggers know very well they won't be harmed if caught. The abuse our kindness by being treacherous. When they are cured by our hospital they return and try it again.

 

If old England have these islands these niggers would either give up pretty quick or I would pity their fate.

 

Uncle Sam is too good to them that it makes me mad to see the poor soldiers dying with disease in bullets for so long, when it could have been settled a great deal sooner.

 

[Page 9]

The Zealandia with six companies of Montana's sailed today the remaining six companies will sail on the Valencia next Tuesday. Then only the Washingtons are ahead of us. Some think we will sail first but I don't think so. We have turned in our ticks and shelter tents and the man who wish to be discharged here will dip their discharge next Tuesday. Those are indications of getting ready to pull out. Time seems to go awful slow and it makes it fellow think of whole more than I wish he was there.

 

[Page 10]

Several of the boys are going to take monkeys home with them. I would like to bring Elmer one but the poor thing would freeze to death, reaching Kansas when we will.

 

There are about a dozen around quarters and a perfect nuisance. They despise the niggers and will bite their feet or even jump on their backs. The 13th regulars had to kill Old Dewey for a pot

 

[Page 11]

pie. If we could have cost them killing, I'd have pitied them. G. still have their bulldog.

 

The Newport has lately arrived making her fourth trip to the Philippines. We may get her on our return trip.

 

We haven't got any email for two weeks-our mail has been stopped at Frisco.

 

A great deal is expected of Joe Wheeler. He and his daughter visited the various hospitals the day after he landed.

 

I see the home papers are beginning to hear what a fake Gen. Otis has been. I knew when the volunteers returned home he would get wrote up. If you want to read a scorcher on him by James Creelman, read the Chicago Record. I think his time in the Philippines is short indeed.

 

The fighting has ceased for the past ten days and the troops are quietly resting.

 

Within the next ten days a big fight will be on again. The insurgents will soon go up into the mountains and they will have to be hunted like beasts.

 

[Page 12]

The, apparently, friendly nation of Japan is undoubtedly aiding the insurgents. If an expedition is sighted by one of our gunboats I pity her crew.(Japanese)

 

I thought I wouldn't send this until we were officially assigned, but I thought perhaps it would be so long that you would feel worried.

 

I am feeling fine and believe I will stand the ocean voyage fine. Just take one month of nothing but water, but each day will bring us closer to home and friends.

 

[Page 13]

August, 21st

and still we are unassigned but before I send this we will be or else I will send it.

 

The Washington boys were today assigned to the Penn.

 

She is down at Iloilo, but is expected back daily and the Washington boys will soon embark. And there, unless the authorities decide to send the discharged Was regular home on the City of Para, why we will sail on her. Rumor says she is to sail a week from Thursday, but don't say who will go home on her.

 

[Page 14]

No regiments are officially assigned to a boat longer than a week before she sails.

 

Everything seems to look like we would get the City of Para all right. Each day brings us that much closer, but just think of them long, monotonous month aboard the ship. I expect to enjoy myself at Nagasaki if possible. We are having some rainy, rough weather the past week.

 

I am feeling tiptop now and have a fine appetite too. The grubb is better than it was a few weeks. Mutton once a week.

 

August 26th

and still we are inhabitants of the Philippine Islands.

 

We have lost all hope of the City of Para and the Pennsylvania.

 

The Washingtonians are assigned to the former and will leave within a week. The Pennsylvania will carry discharged war volunteers and probably the first Tennessee.

 

There are only about three hundred of the Tenn. the rest reenlisted. There is an order at headquarters saying we are assigned to the Tartar and will sail on 1 September or very soon after. The Tartar is a very swift vessel and will beat the Pennsylvania and perhaps the City of Para into Frisco. We will go to Hong Kong instead

 

[Page 15]

of Nagasaki, to coal, but we will stop at Yokahama.

 

If we stay at Hong Kong several days, I expect to take a car ride up to Canton, if it isn't too far. I want to enjoy myself and see all there is to be seen on the return trip. Think of me boat riding on the Yang Tse Kiang or Hoango Ho.

 

I have a good overcoat, three blankets and have under ware to use when we strike Frisco. All have so much to tell about when I get home that it will take a year to tell it all.

 

Kong Kong will be antique but interesting, while Yokahama will be partly American-like.

 

Aug 27th We are ordered to be relieved and will sail on the Tartar on the 1st or soon after. This is official. I will write again just before we leave.

 

I hope this will find you all well and enjoying life. Give my love to all and accept the big share for ourselves

 

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 16]

Envelope

soldiers letter

 

Richard Limbird Esq.

Gardner, Kansas

U. S.A.

 

[Page 17]

Gardner, Kas.

Sep 26 11am

Recd.

 

[Page 1]

Yokohama, Japan

Sept. 24th 1899

 

Dear ones at home:

we left Hong Kong 13th arrived here last Thursday and have been on the shore every sense-will leave here early tomorrow morn. We went of to Toyko yesterday 18 miles from here, by rail, and seeing some great sights. Went all through the Mikado grounds, sacred grounds, theaters etc etc. the English and American ladies are very good to us and you may bet we appreciated it. Yokohama is a beautiful city and the climate cool, I believe I could be satisfied here. The Japanese are such enviable people-kind and polite. Sixteen days and we will see Frisco- Ha ha. I am getting fat and field tiptop.

 

Yours

Homer

 

[Page 2]

Envelope

Richard Limbird,

Gardner Kansas

U. S. A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Page 1]

October 14, 1899

Presidio

 

Dear father and all:

Well I am beginning to get settled once more and have about quieted down to camp life. We landed Tuesday at 2 PM and march in regimental formation, headed by the officer and Gov. Stanley. The people cheered in the cannons cracked, while the whistles screamed. The states (Kansas) reception committee came out in the stream Tuesday A.M. and throwed apples and grapes out us. They tasted fine.

 

[Page 2]

They also give us a large artificial sunflower and the Red Cross ladies gave us a flower to put it our gun barrels. The crowd was so thick that it kept the police busy to clear the streets. When we arrived at the Presidio the Montana's had an elaborate dinner waiting for us-and the way we eat wouldn't bother you at all.

 

While eating, Dr. Baker came up and I went home with him and stayed all night. They treated me fine and told me to make that my home. Harry and wife are down at Oroville where he was before he left for the east. He is on the dredger again. The reason they didn't come up to visit you folks was that he had a fuss with Slater. Slater agreed to pay all of Harry expenses if he would come to see him and instead he didn't give him a cent.

 

Baker said Harry was so mad he couldn't talk and said Slater could die next time and he would not be very sorry. They were very sorry not to be here when I arrived. Baker's have

 

[Page 3]

moved up to 1213 Golden Gate Ave. and are well pleased. Bigelow and I were down to spend the the evening last night.

 

We have everything real nice here now-head tick with straw,floors in tents, sidewalks down each Company St., stove in each tent and no fatigue to do and only four guard all together. Roll call at 8 o'clock in regimental parade once per week, we can go anywhere the rest of the time. But Kansas and Montana regiments went over to Oakland today and we were treated royally

 

[Page 4]

Free car ride and boat ride a good dinner and a hardy welcome.

 

We paraded without arms in the forenoon accompanied by the G. A. R. and California M. G. Funston and several others made speeches. Gen. Shafter sat on the stage and gazed at us. I'll tell you the California people think we are OK. The Montana's will be mustered out next Tuesday and leave for home Wednesday.

 

I was greatly surprised to hear that you had bought property in town

 

[Page 5]

but I think as you say, it is much handier for educational purposes also close to church for you. Well I haven't decided what I will do when I get home, but I am still the same old notion I want to be a clerk go in to the mercantile business sometime. Father's advice about my finals was very good, but that was what I intended to do anyway.

 

That's too bad about Charlie Miller isn't it? I say the is a very foolish boy and he will he lies mistake ere long. Did he reenlist or have they heard from him?

 

Mindy has a great bear hasn't she? I thought Cliff would have Eldon Armstrong or some big bug going with his daughter.

 

I only got 15 letters the day we landed and you may bet I was awful glad to read them. I am getting awfully tired having such a " fuss" made over the (or us), but we haven't seen a marker of it yet. When we reach Kansas I expect all the girls will "hobsonize" us.

 

[Page 6]

After we get through at Topeka you may look for me on any old train, perhaps a freight. I hate being made a fool over, and I suppose Gardner will "bout go crazy". We have fine eating eggs, tomatoes, butter, milk, pickles, cabbage Etc etc. living like Lords. We have a regular kitchen with a range stove, dining room and all.

 

I am well, but have a cold-am getting fat. Baker says I look better than when I left. Give Flo and Oscar's my love I will have to close

 

Homer Limbird

 

[Page 7]

Presidio, San Francisco Cal;

October 22, 1899

 

Dear folks at home:

I received your letter a few days ago and was very glad to hear from you.

 

It found me well and growing fat and by the time I reach home I will not be any the worst for my year and a half soldiering. I have been very busy writing for the past week, helping to make out the discharge and muster rolls.

 

There are five of us working all the time and then we will have to rustle to get everything finished by next Saturday, the day we are to be mustered out.

 

You can hardly imagine the work connected with mustering out of a company. Everything that ever happened has to be copied. I think we will get extra pay. We sure deserve it.

 

I don't know whether you received

 

[Page 8]

my first letter or not. I sent it the night we arrived here, but it had one of those U. S. Philippine stamps on it, and I found out later that they wouldn't carry a letter here; but I suppose you received my 2nd OK.

 

Well Harry and his wife came up from Oroville last Sunday and left today at 4 PM. Very scratched his hand and blood poisoning set in and he came up here to be treated.

 

Very were both well and will real glad to see me. I got a kiss from Harry's wife. We all(Dr. Baker too) went to the theater last night but it was poor. Harry wants me to come back here after making you a visit.

 

I received a letter from Harry Ott today-he is in the same old Bay.

 

The boys are all looking fine and I expect to have a great time at Topeka and going home. I am glad the boys are coming-we are to parade their and it will be nice.

 

[Page 9]

We are to give a drill in Mechanic's pavilion this Tuesday night.

 

This kind of soldiering is not so bad, but I don't care to enlist anymore.

 

I see the people of Johnson Co. are fixing to give us a great blowout, but blowouts are getting pretty old. We have the respect and goodwill of the people over Frisco.

 

We are having nasty, rainy weather now and the sooner we get out of here the better.

 

This is what they call the rainy season.

 

Tell Florence & Oscar hello for me and call this a letter to them also. I will be there in person for the next if I have good luck and don't get squeezed to death

 

[Page 10]

by the girls, going home.

 

Our training will be in three sections I don't know which we will be on.

 

The Iowas came in today, I think: so last will be the Tenn. The Montana's went home nearly a week ago, so the Washingtons and the us us are the only ones here.

 

Tell all the people whole

Your loving son & brother

Homer.

 

[Page 11]

Envelope

Army department

H.M. Limbird.

 

Presdio Cal Oct 20

12:20 p.m.

 

Richard Limbird

Gardner Kansas.

 

[Page 12]

Gardner, Kansas

Oct 27 11am

Recd.

 

 

[Page 1]

Jerusalem, Kansas

 Nov. 28th 1900

 

Dearest Martha.

As I do not know for sure whether I will be up to choir practice or not, I will write you per agreement.

 

I will say " put my name in the box", for less it rains awfully hard, I'll be out there on time tomorrow eve.

 

Haven't heard from my friends yet, so if they come they'll  have to to entertain themselves.

 

Hope the cold is better

 

As ever,

yours-Homer

 

[Page 2]

Jerusalem Kas.

Nov 28 1900

 

Miss Mattie Hodges

Gardner Kansas

 

 

[The following documents are undated, and their chronologies within this collection are unknown]

 

 

[Page 1]

This document is a hand-drawn map showing a section of the Pasig River in the Philippines, plus diagrams of the positions of both American and Insurgent troops)

 

[Page 2]

Unmarked envelope

 

[Page 3]

The sin of liquor selling-how end it.

 

We can hardly realize what a great send it is to sell liquor. He who runs a saloon and deals out liquor is in my imagination the greatest sinner on earth. Just to think of the many each year a drunkards [XX] and then think how quickly the ranks are filled, yes doubly filled. Oh the pain, remorse and suffering caused by husband or father becoming a slave to the liquor habit.

 

I have heard that a great many liquor dealers of our large cities give liquor free to the small boys. When asked how he could afford to give so much liquor away said"Oh I will make them all back when they get older-yes a thousand fold.

 

The great many liquor loving parents send their children to get a bucket of beer-and it isn't anymore that natural that these innocent chilren taste this beer just to find out how it tastes and thus lay the foundation of a drunkards career.

 

The saloons have free lunches, icewater

 

[Page 4]

etc-laying a trap for the unsuspecting. I have heard the argument that Kansas is as bad to sell liquor and the people drink as much as it a licensed state. Every sane person who has been out of Kansas knows this to be untrue.

 

There is one thing-there is the open saloon to tempt the otherwise beginner or the boys who imagines to be a man he must drink.

 

To put down the saloon we Christian people and opposed to liquor sellers| must keep our colors flying. All the reasons that some cities of Kansas have almost open saloons is because the Christian people are either too cowardly or weak to come right out and stand for the right.

 

When we see the sick and suffering caused by liquor all around us it seems like we would be stronger to fight the fiend to the end.

 

[Page 5]

road the land was a regular swamp. The wagon road bridges and part of the railroad bridges are torn up. The bridge across the Bagdag bridge, twelve miles back, hasn't been repaired yet and so all of our supplies has to be brought up chiefly by bull carts. At one river we carried the goods across on the footbridge and swam the bull-leading him with a long rope on the footbridge. Then we got a little canoe, about two feet wide and fifteen long, and put our cart a straddle and floated it across-swimming alongside to guide it. The first after we left Calumpit we come through a country that was nothing but swamps and all the water was salty and sun just boiling down.

 

Our canteens were soon emptied and we couldn't get any more till 5 PM. Oh how parched our throats were-and nothing to eat either till night. We draw travel rations in the field. These consist of the famous " embalmed beef, beans, tomatoes

 

[Page 6]

hardtack and coffee. We get a two pound can of beef and a quart of beans or tomatoes for a meal to a squad of eight men. That don't seem like a very big meal does it?

 

Col. Funston was wounded in the hand. Also the Sgt. Major-when we took Santo Thomas. He went to Manila, but says " boys I'll be with you in a few days." I don't feel just right unless he is along with us.

 

The talk is that we are going to establish general headquarters and have this for the base of supplies. That we are going to take two small towns ten miles to our left and then we will stay here till the regulars all arrive and we will be relieved.

 

I have heard so many reports that I can't believe any of them. In other words they have to cite me. It has been the report every since we left Malolos. The volunteers will take the next town and then they will be relieved. It has been talked about so

 

[Page 7]

He divided the money or part of it, among the people who had been elevated by the by the tax collector. The trouble commenced again and was kept up with internals, till our troops landed. In the year 1896 one Johnson, a Sergt. Major in the Hawaii  Army and a well-known friend of ours first Sgt. Schule who also served in the Hawaiian Army, was discharged from the Hawaiian Army and came to the island of Luzon and enlisted with the rebels. He was a smart man, a good tactic instructor and civil engineer. He soon rose to be a Colonel acting Adjutant General. He helped in all the campaigns against the Spanish with Aquinaldo and finally drove the Spanish into the walled city of Manila, just before the Americans came ashore.

 

The insurgents entrenched themselves all around the city. Aquinaldo was in Hong Kong when Dewey sent his Marines ashore at Cavite, and Johnson was the interpreter for the insurgents. He introduced him self to the Marines, showing the positions of his army and also the Spanish army. The Americans and the insurgents fought side-by-side against the Spanish. When the Spanish surrendered, Dewey gave Aguinaldo several thousand stands of arms and he  [XX] [XX] [XX] till the treaty peace should be signed between Spain and the U. S.

 

When trouble seemed likely to occur between Americans and the Filipinos, Johnson told Aguinaldo that should trouble occur, he wanted to resign because he wouldn't fight the Americans. About this time(November, 1898) Johnson had bargained with Japan to buy several thousand stand of arms. Dewey sent word to Aggie not to buy any more arms and he would like to have those he had already, stationed in Cavite arsenal. Aggie didn't like to do this, but promised to keep them in Malolos, heavily guarded, a certain fellow who had been living in Johnson overheard some conversation

 

[Page 8]

between Johnson and Aggie, which he thought was detrimental to the U. S. He threatened to tell Gen. Otis the old thing unless Johnson should give him several thousand dollars. Johnson politely kicked the fellow down the stairs and out of the hotel. The fellow told Otis the whole thing, but Johnson went to Otis explaining the whole thing and giving Otis his word of honor that he would pull off from Aggie should trouble commence. Soon after Aguinaldo declared himself president of these Islands and said he would fight any nation that disputed the fact. Johnson at once ask for his resignation which was granted by Aggie. Saying that Johnson was a gentleman of honor and credit. He came to Otis to prove his word and Otis wanted to give him some good position, but he refused saying " I have been with these people several years and I can't fight them." He was given first-class travel pay back to Honolulu, his request,

 

By Sgt. Schule

Co. L. 20th Ks.

 

P.S. I will send you a sample of papers and my diary up to the last of March. It may get lost but I'll risk it.

 

The story was told to me by my first Sgt. and is true. It will give you a little idea of Aguinaldo.

H.M.L.

 

[Page 9]

Envelope

H.M.Limbird

Co. L. 20th Kansas Inft., U.S.V.

San Francisco Cala

July 9 1 PM

 

Miss Belle Limbird

Jerusalem, Kansas.

 

[Page 10]

Gardner, Kas.

July 13

11 AM

 

[Page 11]

Commencing at the beginning of my [XX] I will endeavor to note some things that were in my observation.

 

A week after arriving at San Francisco [XX] assigned to my original company [XX] to a tenant along made in the [XX] we [XX] there was a crap game going and several bottles of whiskey [XX] their easy reach and the fellows "[XX] to be"were apparently enjoying

 

The main ones in the game was our noncommissioned officer in several of [XX] ones. Thus setting an example to [XX] of the company. These games were [XX] running sometimes nearly all night [XX] to who had the most money [XX] of Course the lights were kept burning was very hard to get any sleep. They could have been reported them, but the noncommissioned officers can get even with you in frill or any [XX]

 

I thought as I lay there trying to get some sleep, a soldier has lots to put

 

[The following [Pages are from Limbird's Diary, Jan.-March,1899]

 

 

[Page 1.]

Photo of the Diary's  cover.

 

[Page 2.]

Seatoris-$15

Blackberrry-1.00

[XX]

Belt-

Magazines

6870

H. Limbir

Jan 1st, 189

 

[Page 3]

Mayor-20

Stuteville-51

Ingenthorne-45

Miller-20

1.36

Limbird

 

Bigelow-50

Squires-35

Ricketts's-2 1/2

87 1/2

 

Hagan 1.00

Sergent Craig-50

Bat. Wash.-15

Boldie-45

Banks-12 1/2

$2.22 1/2

 

[Page 4.]

Box

Shoes

Stamps

Sox

Soap

____________________

Stuteville-50 all will

Mayor-35

Ingenthorne-45

Miller-20

1.15

Baldwin-15

Canteen-2.15

2.80

C 1.60

$1.20

(random arithmetic)

 

[Page 5. ]

Prily Co L-$1.50

Barrett  Co B-1.50

Hinkle-50

Lamasney-50

Donohoe-25

 

[Page 6.]

Jan. 1st, 1899 PM

 

1st Col. ordered to be ready to leave by 11 o'clock Jan 2nd, under sealed orders. We boys feel somewhat shaky as we go on guard, but load up old Betsy and resolve to shoot the first suspicious looking native.

 

Cot are supplied each guard. Zeigler and I take a stroll along the wharf and "josh" the Chinamen.

 

Go on a ship and get some genuine home made sugar.

 

Come off guard and take a good old

 

[Page 7.]

fashioned bath.

 

My feet are pretty sore and I am sleepy aplenty. P.M. Have battalions drill and Colonel Little makes several brakes.

 

Go to bed about 7 PM so as to catch up in sleep. The 1st. Cal get further order and get their pay January 3rd at 2 o'clock. A.M. One company in 2nd Bat. made a mistake in the payroll, so we didn't get paid till today. Have orders to be ready 9:30, but being the 2ndt from the last, we didn't get paid till 3 PM. As we marched over to the 2nd Bat. each with his side arm and full white suit and leggings on, we made a very good showing.

 

Ranking non-coms first and then privates alphabetically.

 

Some owed the canteen others various boys and thus a great deal of money changed hands pretty soon. We marched to the bank, where we got $2.08 Mex for each dollar. Then we strike for Mahog. boxes and you could see natives strung out down the street

 

[Page 8.]

carrying bones to the various barracks, crap games are very numerous, but Taps puts and end to them. Call to quarter goes about 8 o'clock, as the colonel has another scare. Mayor and I get a warm loaf of bread and some butter and enjoy ourselves for a while.

 

The artillery takes several guns and a lot of ammunition and on the picket lines. It looks a little like trouble.

 

Jan 4th. Goal on fatigue and do my share of work, of course,(XX)

 

Have morning drill in the dining room as it is too muddy outside.

 

"Freddy" which in the kitchen Monday and we get more and better grubb.

 

Biscuits for supper. Go down to the 3rd Battalion to Y.M.C.A. where we have good meeting.

 

I join the society and am put on the program com.

 

Baldie had his trial at 3 PM. He made $100 last month.

 

Rambo wins out in crap game. Shave off my beard and

 

[Page 9.]

the "boys" hardly know me.

 

The native band serenades us nearly every night.

 

Jan. 5th! Mount guard Schule is pretty well jagged but manages to mount guard. He call "Abrams" the Frisco hobo and makes lots of fun.

 

After guard mount go up to the post office and get a money order for twenty dollars, which I send home. Go on guard at 1 PM. Mail goes to U. S. At 12:30.

 

 Baldie gets thirty days and thinks he is quite lucky.

 

Feel awful tough when I go on at 1 AM. It seems like two hours will never pass away.

 

Baes from F. Co, dies of smallpox. Squires and Seaton are taken to hospital. Suspects of smallpox.

 

Jan 6th. Garrity and a fellow from Co. B. almost have a scrap over the cat.

 

Gen. Otis issued a proclamation, giving the purpose of the Americans. It is posted up in prominent places and is printed in English, Spanish and Filipino. Come off guard and feel pretty tough but take a good old cool bath

 

[Page 10.]

and feel OK again. Two more roll settled down while last night I realized been published on Jalalabad the crucial my leg to know if it did what the should got up and felt the bed as I got for that to change that are willing enough I feel inside is not what so I decided well I just go back to bed so it came back in the handling of the public spotlight of some I'm thinking I was on my side this is where I am probably leaked out

of each report out of you is probably total inside glad if you will begin to drive to and I watched lost midst of Jesus and will you and about how the world is a look at the guidance that you will grant this in logical you would have the biggest pad in the front little portable way that will be bought so as to the calls to answer to.

 

Write two letters to Albuquerque but word that we will get mail tomorrow. Sailhammer and Schule on a tear. Crapshooting the chief amusement. Raining a nice little shower. The Filipinos tear down the proclamation and are very angry refusing to accept it.

 

Jan. 7th. Room orderly today: sweep over section and commence to scrub, when orders come to pack up and move over to the 1st Cal. Barracks.

 

Then begins the usual confusion of leaving up. We load about five carts with stuff, and eight men from each company are detailed to march along the side of the cart guard the stuff. Col. Little loses his head and cusses everybody insight.

 

As we start for the other barracks (about a mile) one could not help but notice what a peculiar procession we made, going along at a snails speed. We get there at last and the first thing we do is to make a [XX] around.

 

The barracks are fine, regular Spanish barracks, Calvary, infantry with gun

 

[Page 11]

racks, shower baths and cook shack. (a drawing of the cook shack.) We all get settled by retreat and Col. Little makes a spiel. Bigelow & and Hand pretty sick.

 

Take a bath, and have a time going to town in the rain.

 

Dec 8th. Get up to Reville and it looked dark for Seilhammer to see the roll, so he dismisses us.

 

Aguinaldo serves they procl. contrary to Gen. Otis: he urges the insurgents to fight for liberty, so we are looking for a fight most any time.

 

Rambo, Abrams, Garrity and I hire " a vehicle" and fly to the ferryboat going to Cavite, afraid we will be too late, but find we have plenty of time. Find about a dozen other Co.L fellows on the boat. Start at 8:30 and make it ill about an hour. Pass the 1st Cl. boys, in the bay waiting for further orders. Also see part of Dewey's fleet among which are the Olympia, Boston, Monsdnock, Monterey and two others the Concord, Baltimore, Petrel and one other are at Iloilo.

 

Rumold, Mayor and I strike off together and soon began to get hungry

 

[Page 12.]

Go to a Chinese restaurant and get hotcakes, chicken, maple syrup, fried potatoes and apple pie. There we take a walk over the city. Got up on the walls, see the big guns, dungeons, powder magazines, torpedo stations and etc. Inside the walls we could see where the Spanish had shot prisoners to death.

 

In a circle around Cavite are the smashed up Spanish war vessels about ten in number. Here is Cavite: (hand drawing of Cavite)

 

I got several relics some from an old church that was built in 1643.

 

The Americans refused to let any soldiers across the river, for fear the natives will kill them. They (the natives) have a flag raising here not long ago, and they have several companies of soldiers here.

 

Start back at 2 PM and land at 3 PM, walked to the barracks, pretty well tired out. Ed hand is taken to the hospital. Rothmeyer died with smallpox today.

 

Jan 9th. Go on guard, have to mount with the other two battalions

 

[Page 13.]

same as usual.

 

Capt. Christy cusses us and then tries to scare us to death. He says guard duty is been two slack. Post No. 20, two extra guards or put on at night on this post.

 

At about 10 o'clock call to arms goes in the first Battalion. All is excitement and Col. Little gets Sgt. Majors sword, and they claim he had to change pants. The guard baths are filled up and every regiment is under arms, with two days rations and two hundred rounds of ammunition.

 

Dewey runs one of his gunboats up close the insurgents lines.

 

Monday PM the first Cal. (Gallant 1st.) came back to quarters and tell the Col. they want their quarters that night, b will will will ut the Col. says (nit}. Every guard is wide awake (nit) and on the alert.

 

Jan. 10. and nobody killed except native that attempted to cut one of the outposts. It is reported that the insurgents are firing on the outposts. Bigelow is pretty sick, but when called to arms went

 

[Page 14.]

He was one of the first in line. He was taken to the hospital this morning, suspect smallpox. Two men from F died with it today.

 

1st Battalion has to move back to old quarters. All are very sorry. The old guard down go over to the Cal. barracks and thus get out of helping to pack up. Mayor and I jump on our cart and go over to Cal. Barracks. See that our stuff is packed and then bluff a guard and " hike" uptown.

 

Here we get a cream by pie(?) about as big as a dollar and all crust. Also some cake.

 

Go to barracks and feel pretty blue. Cause-vaccination. Boys get over about three p.m. Miller & Rambo has the scrap. Winner-Rambo.

 

Still feel pretty tough& headache, etc. About 10 AM some fellow comes from uptown saying that " the war has commenced." The natives are running pell mell, Chinamen or closing stores, dropping your loads running for their lives. Soldiers are lined up across

 

[Page 15]

bridge stopping every body from crossing. The fellow rushes upstairs shouting " get your guns, boys". Some are asleep, others reading or writing, but they quickly put everything aside, grab their guns and cartridge belt, rushingl pell mell downstairs, shouting at every jump. It is only a scare and soon things are of the usual order.

 

Seilhammer drills the Co. 3 sets of fours and we have a big time. I feel awful tough but drill just the same. My arm hurts so bad I can hardly sleep. Cpl. Gibson pretty sick.

 

Jan.12, Seilhammer drills the company again. Go on sick report, but sick call & drill call goes before breakfast is over so I drill as usual.

 

Milam taken to the hospital with a cigarette in his mouth. Blair, Co. A, died today. At drill call, we stack arms and our arms are

 

[Page 16.]

Inspected by the doctors. About five are all right, mine among them.

 

Jan 13, all off-duty are lined up and taken out east 3 miles to be vaccinated; right from the matter out of some or affected heifer. Most of the boys ride back.

 

My arm is swelled on top and underneath, but I go on Battalion guard justice the same. These guards are to be on the lookout around the barracks, and the Col. even has one guard on the barracks to watch by insurgents signals; such as balloons and etc.

 

We hear all kind of reports as to the insurgents attacking us. A lieutenant of the 10 Penn. is shot in the thigh, but not before he gets two and wounds another.

 

About three hundred insurgents run our outpost into the block house and then hike. They have their bayonets fixed and guns cocked.

 

The kids have to keep away from the mess room at mess, when I am on guard there at night, posters are put saying that" the Americans ought to give up the Philippines."

 

[Page 17.]

The Minn. police and our boys lay for him, but failed to catch him. Mail goes to U. S. Jan 14, Get off guard at 7 AM the Col. has a little Battalion guard mount of his own.

 

The Cpl. is officer of the day & guard & Sgt. Cpl. and etc, etc.

 

Here that Bigelow is no worse. Mayor and I go over town and have some hot cakes. As come back and see the Co. falling in for inspection and make a sneak to the rear to get up to get our gun without the officers seeing us. We see the guardhouse staring us in the face, but luckily the Co. is dismissed.

 

We are told not to leave quarters till tomorrow night as we are expected to clash with the Filipinos.

 

Jan. 15. Big rain last night and it rains nearly all fornoon.

 

We woke up this morning very much surprised that we didn't have a scrap last night. U the. S. Has six top a little gunboat sides covered as a Mauser bullet wont go through it, to go up the Pasig River, in case of trouble and blow the insurgents block house up.

 

Squires  Co. L. died last night.

 

[Page  18.]

with smallpox.

 

 Kearns Cp. F. cured of the smallpox.

 

Mayor & I go downtown and get chicken, hotcakes, pie, bread & butter and potatoes for dinner for $.25.

 

We sneak away, by hiking out the back way.(We are not allowed to leave barracks.)

 

Jan 16.

Go on guard.(Guard duty comes every other day and makes life interesting) I feel pretty tough, but don't miss any duty. The date is uneventful, except I got a post where I sit all day. Great many Spanish officers and soldiers leave for Spain. Baldie gets on a trunk and the guard has to knock him in the head. The guards have a great time shooting craps. Campbell taken to hospital.

 

Jan 17.

Got relieved about 9:30, and take my usual bath after which I sleep the rest of the day. The mail came last night but I didn't get anything.

 

Drill in the p.m. Filipinos are quieting down some and things look brighter.

 

Jan. 18.

When we fall in for drill our Co. consists of one set of forms and one man.

 

[Page 19.]

Schule says four left, port arms, dismissed.

 

Mayor and I go over to see Lieut. Col. Thompson of the 23rd reg, over in the walled city and in the palace.

 

Schule wants to fight Tate to ready duel. Has his pistols and cartridge is already. Reported that Col. Little shot himself in the leg on outposts last night. Schule wishes he had shot his head off. Cpl. Ansbough and Setzer come upstairs drunk, hollering and tearing up the furniture. The officers soon settled them.

 

Raining to beat all. Taylor put out in the suspect tent. Boys nearly all have sore arms.

 

Jan 19.

Mount guard 3rd relief. Post No. 5. along waterfront. Mayor and I go up and get some hotcakes for dinner. Word comes that Ed Hand died last night.

 

Go on guard at 10 o'clock. The officers take fining the boys for misdemeanors, instead of putting them in the guardhouse, as some get in there to get out of guard duty.(night) A Tenn. fellow is drunk and tearing around on my beat.(They are in camp across the river.) So I take him to a native boat

 

[Page 20.]

and give the native $.04 to take him across, as I didn't want to run him in. An insurgent officer is killed because he don't stop when the guard tells him to.

 

Jan 20.

Did relieved about 9:30, go home and take my usual bath. Dave Campbell died last night. Smallpox as usual. Spend the forenoon sleeping also part of the p.m. Corps' Dagetig and Rumold and I go down to the Y.M. C. A. Library. It starts in to raining and rains nearly all night, but we have a good crowd and also a good program. The question for debate " resolved that we retain the Filipinos" decided in favor of the negative.

 

Came back and find the boys having a stag dance.

 

Jan 21. Have inspection at 10 AM and quarters inspected immediately afterwords. Capt. Watson in command of Battalion. Boys writing letters home, as the mail goes the 23rd. Get orders to go out on outposts duty.(Mayor, Kling, Medert and I) Have to report to Sgt. Major at the second Battalion at 6 o'clock. Eat supper about

 

[Page 21.]

5 PM and get over to 2nd Battalion about 5:30. There are about four fellows from each co. so we make a pretty good co. A Sgt. takes us to the outpost guardhouse, where some of us go to the block house, others double the old guard and still others spoke still in the notes to portable control the whole circuit of beat.

 

I have a another fellow with me, and our beat is between two rice swamps, on a path about a foot wide. Our bed is a flat car. We go on twice, two hours each, and get back to barracks for breakfast. We sleep nearly all day as we have to go out again tonight.

 

Capt. Buchan and wife and Capt.Orwig comes over to visit the Battalion. Start out again at 6 o'clock. Mayor, Chaplain & I get the patrol tonight. Go on at 9 o'clock and it takes good two hours to go the rounds.

 

Capt. Bishop is officer of the day and he is as crappy as ever.

 

We hold everybody and search natives. We walk in single file, about ten paces apart. The first one hollers, halt! while we other two

 

[Page 22.]

cover him with our guns. When we holler halt to the natives, they say Filipino, Filipino and throw up their hands. We all keep our guns loaded, and from three to five it is dark as pitch and pretty hard to keep on the narrow paths.

 

Jan 23rd. Eat breakfast in bed and then sleep, sleep, sleep. Take a good old bath and read some Mirror that Craig gave me.

 

Not allowed to leave quarters. Report that we are going to move out in the country in tents. Report that Capt. Christie has resigned and is going home. Mail goes to U.S. today.

 

A 10 Penn. Hosp. Corpman from the smallpox hospital comes over to get Bigelow's slippers. He says he was the first fellow to take the smallpox. He says all of L. Co. boys are getting along nicely. He said Bigelow want to look in a looking glass to see how he looked with the smallpox. After looking at the said" I am damned better looking fellow than ever before".

 

Lieut. Franks taken to last house with smallpox.

 

Jan 24. Drill in a.m. Tate & Hart have quite a scrap or a crap game. Corp. Amabarge

 

[Page 23.]

recovers a dead native floating down the Pasig. He is on guard and the Sentinel discovered the dead native floating and calls the Cpl., who goes out in a canoe and brings him ashore. Report that Major Whitman has been transferred to Leavenworth also that Col. Funston had ask for a furlough.

 

Mayor and I capture a canoe with one paddle, a bamboo pole and dipper. We start out to the U. S. Battleship Charleston, to about halfway (1/2 mile) when the canoe turnes over. The expression on our faces was laughable, but the water was only up to  our armpits. In about a half an hour we had dipped the water out and gotten in  ready to start back. When finally we did, we thought we had been duly punished for taking the canoe. Of course we had to change cloths I went down to the 3rd Battalion to hear a band concert. Thorne is still Cook in Co. I.

 

Jan. 25. God orders last night to have everything packed ready to move by 7 AM.

 

Breakfast over everything is Topsy Turvy. Everybody tries to best the other. Our knapsacks and boxes also cots are all over on carts. We are to move

 

[Page 24.]

over to the barracks formally occupied by the Montanans. We eat an early dinner and march over in companies. Each fellow has to carry his haversack, canteen and guns. The distance is about a mile and a half. Across the Pasig and the on the Cal. barracks about 1/4 mile. In the center is a vacant square, around this are the barracks. Cook shack and bathroom in the rear. L & F on the west B on the south and A on the east.

 

Mayor and I go over in the walled city in the p.m. There we see some very pretty Spanish ladies. Get back in time for retreat. Eat supper and then go up to the Alhambra and have some sarsaparilla and listen to the music.

 

Jan 26. Capt. Buchan will soon be back to his company and will act Major of the first Battalion.

 

Co. L. on fatigue, sweep and scrub the quarters. Then have to carry trash and dirt till 11 o'clock. We go in the old Spanish arsenal to get some old relics. I get my share, but couldn't get a helmet to fit my big head.

 

[Page 25.]

Mail comes in from U. S. About 8:30. When we see it coming everybody yells as if wild.

 

But alas the first is nothing but papers. In about an hour the letters are brought in and then you could see eager boys gather around to get the letters from friends so dear. Nearly every fellow got at least one and some half a dozen.

 

The three boys that have gone to rest, had several letters coming to them. Their names were read out sadly.

The mail for the boys on guard was sent over to the guardhouse immediately. (Evening} Bill Howell and I go over to the first house to give the boys there, their mail.

 

All are getting along fine. From there we go up on the Launita to hear a band concert by the 14th Reg. (One band plays there every night.)

 

Come back and go to meeting. Wyatt appointed Co. clerk.

 

Jan 27. Go on Reg. guard. Have to leave by 7:30 and walk over to 3rd Battalion, about 1 1/2 miles. Capt. Bishop officer of the day. On 1st relief post No 2, duties turn out the guard for officers of the day.

 

Get a jacking up.

 

[Page 26.]

Nine till eleven seems like about four hours.

 

A regular across the river fires his gun at something and the bullet comes across just above my head, hits a stone glances and hits the third Battalion barracks.

 

Jan 28 Guards turn in about a dozen drunks stiffs. Urie captures a knife on a native. Aguinaldo sends in word to vacate the city by Sunday. Of course we do not.

 

Utah artillery go out in the trenches. Report that Lieut. Franks died with smallpox last night. Meyer resigned lance corparlship and Sherwood was appointed in his place.

 

The floor scrubbed and everything gotten ready for inspection, but old guards are not compelled to stand inspection.

 

Mayor, Rumald and I go up to hear a band concert. The mail comes about ten o'clock, nearly everybody is in bed, but out they jump to get there loving epistles from home. Of course I got one.

 

Jan 29. I am orderly today, we have to sweep, scrub and filter water. I do my part, then Mayor and I hike out. Before Shule said nobody should leave quarters

 

[Page 27.]

unless excused by the company commander. The clerk got up the list of those that wanted to go out sent it to the captain and he refused to sign it. So we hike out and run the consequences. We go out to Ft. Malalo about 1 1/2 miles, and we go through some very pretty suburbs. The wealthier class of Spanish live out here.

 

The Ft. covers about 1/2 acres, has a wall about 6 feet wide by 20' high. The Spanish have intrenchments around this fort.

 

On the South of the fort about 1/4 mile is the insurgents lines. We wanted to go down to an old Spanish battleship lying on the beach. It was inside of the insurgents lines and the Cpl. said we could go but we would have to stand the consequences. We decided we didn't want to go.

 

After dinner Howell and I go over to this post house to see the boys. See Bigelow, Taylor, Myers and others. All look well but scarred up a great deal. Lieut. Franks getting better. Cooper and Snodgrass of B. Co. not expected to

 

[Page 28.]

live till morning. Bigelow as ornery as ever.

 

Mayor and I go up to the band concert tonight. Brig. Gen. Otis inspects over quarters. Co. L. All on a drunk Steinniety gets full, also Neighbor. Garrity wants to lick the whole company.

 

Three British battleships lie in the bay. The Monaduock is above the Luaneta, while the Boston hear a band concert and a small gunboat lie out from the Kansas outpost.

 

Mayor and I go up to hear a band concert.

 

Jan. 30th. My birthday am 21, but oh how far from being my own boss. Blesh, Ingenthorne and I go on outpost duty, and being among the first six, get the block house. We take raw potatoes with us to fry when we get out there.

 

Go over to the second Bat. where all the outposts assemble and are inspected. The first six, with a Sgt. are sent to the dock house. We have a March of about 5 miles along the beach and at last reach our destination. We find the old guard somewhat scarred. They

 

[Page 29.]

tell of their experiences of the day before, which are exciting, and tell us we are sure to have a scrap with the insurgents. They have a box of cartridges at each porthole already. You can imagine how we felt, seven against over a hundred and several thousand within a mile. I am on 3rd relief post No. 2 along the canal and across the canal, not two hundred feet distant is the insurgent guard and guardhouse.

 

We fry potatoes for dinner and a big fish for supper, which costs 1 peso. I start to fry some bacon and the grease flies open my eye, about putting it out. It pains me so I can't sleep. Several of us have our pictures taken at the block house. (night) the guard doubled. "Liz" & Stubeville come out from L. "Liz" goes on guard with me and has so much rum in him that he almost goes to sleep. They go back at 7 o'clock.

 

Jan 3. Get relieved at 9 o'clock and then commence our long march back. Arrive back about 10 o'clock pretty well petered out. Take a bath and

 

[Page 30.]

go to bed and sleep till dinner. After dinner I sleep till 4 PM. The Baker commences to bake pies which are sold at the canteen for $.20. When they come, they go like hot cakes at $.20 too.

 

The band comes over and gives us a concert which is greatly appreciated. Cooper of Co. B. died with smallpox today.

 

Feb 1st. Feel pretty tough, but, after drill feel considerable better. Mail leaves for U. S. today. Iowas come back from Iloilo. Hobson expected to arrive from Hong Kong today. The police captures a ship with $3000 in gold, also a lot of Mauser rifles and ammunition, which was intended for the insurgents at Iloila.

 

The Iowas land at Cavite and relieve the two battalions of the Tenn. the Iowas were on board 92 days and it is needless to say they were glad to land. The regulars and battleships are left at Iloilo.

 

The Snodgrass, Co. B. and Maxwell Co. K. died of smallpox.

 

Feb 2nd. Co. drill in a.m. I blow myself for half a pie. The insurgents getting pretty bold. Battalion drill In P.M. Capt. Buchan commanding. Of course we had plenty of

 

[Page 31.]

double time. The boys all remember him of " old Presidio Hill" fame. After supper we take our usual scroll up on the Luneta. (night) I am almost asleep, it being ten o'clock, when we hear F, Co. tearing around getting their equipment ready. About ten minutes Lieut. Fry comes in and tells us to fill our canteen and put all our ammunition in our haversack's and fall in. Everything is excitement. We fall in and get our places. We are the 1st co. out and have 58 men in line. The Capt. says we can fall out, but sleep with our accouterments on; but in a half hour we are told that we can take off our clothes.

 

This Garrett is caused by about 50 armed insurgents driving our outposts back.

 

Febr 3rd. Go on regimental guard. Get second relief post 14.(Quite a snap)

 

Reports that Rambo is shot on outpost. He was only badly scarred by being covered by an insurgent guard. It seems that they practice aiming at our guards.

 

For dinner we have " blinded Robin" and beans. (night) guards run in a drunken Englishman. He abused the Americans and offered to fight one of the prisoners. England makes a rush at a prisoner, who knocks him down twice.

 

[Page 32. ]

The officer of the day stopped further ceremonies by sending him over to the Minn. police station. The boys have a great time josling Steinmetz.

 

Febr 4th. So cold last night that we had to walk a good gait. " Blind Robin" some potatoes for breakfast.

 

Trouble expected on the sixth. The Iowas came to Manila today and will camp south of the luneta. Baldie gets out of jail. He goes on guard today and faints while on post. Boys go up on luneta but call to arms goes in some of the regiments and everybody runs for camp. We all go to bed and just get to sleep about 10 o'clock when called to arms sounds in our camp. We get 160 rounds of ammo one day rations and canteen. Joins the Battalion and out we go for the 2nd Battalion on doubletime. The Nebraskans start the scrap and it goes clear around the line. We can hear the roar of cannon and musketry fire. We go to 2nd Battalion (the 2nd, 3rd already with Co.B & F. patrol around 3rd Bat. Co. A. takes a communication train out to the line and L. patrols center of town.

 

Rambo is scarred nearly to death on the way out. Peter Griffin shows what kind of stuff there is in him.

 

[Page 33.]

We get to sleep about two hours at a time on the hard pavement. The insurgents constantly giving away.

Feb 5.  We still patrol. The insurgents have captured the waterworks. The Tenn. boys get out from under the control of the officers. Dewey & the Utah artillery playing havoc with the insurgents. P.M. L. & F. start for the lines searching every shack as they go. We capture officers and soldiers find knives and etc. stop at the guardhouse about five minutes and then go on the firing line. We lay down behind the Utah artillery, behind the fence and the way Mauser bullets whistled by us was a caution.

 

Soon orders were given to advance. We fell in with Co. M. and F. and made a charge on the niggers and carried everything before us.

 

Crossed the bridge and was still after them, when orders came to retreat, as we had gone 1000 yards further than ordered. Col. Funston was wrathy. Capt. Bishop, Christy and Martin did fine work. Pratt, Co. M. killed and several wounded.

 

Nebr.capture the waterworks.

 

[Page 34.]

We take up our position in for the night. We are across the railroad. Throw up the intrenchments and get prepared for the night.

 

The Col. & Generals compliment us. I take a fall in a well. Keep up volley firing at intervals.

 

Feb 6. Hardtack, beef and coffee for breakfast. About 9 o'clock we advance. The advance guard shook a little but we don't have nothing to do.

 

We advance our lines about a mile and throw up breastworks. Hear  a few bullets whistled over our heads, but otherwise no excitement. Dewey and the artillery still talking.

 

Feb 7. The guards in town still plugging the natives. The niggers shoot at us from windows. The excitement. Minn. boys and Oregon's come out to see the fun.(P M)

 

Co's B. C. & I. make a charge ahead for the mile and kill niggers aplenty. Lieut. Alfred killed and Sgt. Shelton mortally wounded. They retreat back to their former position, but burned all the shacks.

 

Dewey turns loose on the niggers. We are now about four miles from Malabone.

 

[Page 35.]

Feb  8. Simmons, Schlinder, Johnson & I detailed to guard ammunition. Report to the adjutant and with about forty others, go over to headquarters after a load of shovels. Here is the graveyard and old church, also a block house. Here they had quite a scrap. The Intrenchments are strengthened, as we expect an attack tonight.

 

Sheldon died today. Simmons, the photographer and I go into the barracks. Get a good supper, take a bath and sleep fine on our cots.

 

Feb 9. We wake up about 6 o'clock and eat a fine breakfast and ride the street car and our train out to the line. The fellows had a little fun, but no one was hurt.

 

Get relieved from guard on wagon train and go back to the trenches. No excitement except a few shots.(P.M.) Take a report of Co. over to Sgt. Major. Bigelow, Milam and Taylor come out to the trenches. Give them a cheer. Callahan promoted to first Lieut. of Co. G. Scott to Capt. and 1st Sgt. of C. to 2nd Lieut. of  Co. L. Mail comes out to the boys which makes them all happy.  Put out outposts in advance about 200 yards.

 

[Page 36.]

About 11 clock the firing commences and is kept up all night, but the pickets hold fast and show them a merry time.

 

The Mausers whistled over us a plenty. Sgt. Morris Co. K. is wounded.

 

Feb 10. "Battle of Caloocon"  put on guard to the guard wagon train. Lay around all a.m. The 6th artillery, one battalion of 23rd regulars and to Co. of Idaho's reinforce us and the fun is soon to commence. Dewey opens up on the left. The Utah & 6th artillery in the center and right. They bombard for about an hour and then advance is ordered all along the line. Soon the fight is hot and wounded men are brought in.

 

Our hosp. corpsman is killed at headquarters as he is bringing in a wounded soldier. With a cheer the boys rush onward-capture their intrenchments and on to Coloocon-which they burn and move onward about a mile having advanced about four miles. At sundown we move the wagon train up and give the boys something to eat, then fall back about half

 

[Page 37.]

[This Page contains a hand-drawn map of the battle ground.]

 

[Page 38.]

a mile and start to guard for the night. Ricketts Co. I is killed.

 

No excitement at night.

 

Feb 11. Write letter home. The morning begins with an attack by insurgents on two companies of Idaho's, but are easily held back. One Capt. and two privates wounded. Our wagon train is directly to the rear and bullets , whistling over us hitting pretty close. After about half an hour dodging Mauser bullets we move the wagon train back a half-mile to Coloocon , where headquarters are and the train runs near here as the big machine stops  railroad headquarters and  pumping station. Near the station is the insurgents old gun which we captured. About a hundred niggers were killed near here, also a Lieut. Col. Dewey done great damage to Coloocon. Our railroad is known as U. & K. short R.R.L. The boys back. Their line about 1/4 miles. No shooting today.

 

Get our guard ready for the night; only have five hours each.

 

Feb 12. Sunday opens up with a few shots, but no one hurt. Get relieved about 9 o'clock.

 

[Page 39.]

Report to the Co. Yesterday several of Co. B. were overcome with heat. Sgt. Seilhammer is overcome with heat and looses his head. The chaplain still stays on the line and can boast of killing a nigger.

 

Idaho's relieved by Co. B. Have a nice little shower. A Spaniard who was held prisoner by the insurgents, comes into our lines and tells us some scarry things. Every time we crawl out of our " holes" to eat or talk, up on the knoll, the niggers take a wack at us. Go down to the bay and take a salt water bath. The pump is put into good condition and the whistle blows at 6 o'clock and noon; puts one in mind of working hours once more. (night) 12 men I among them, have to report for outpost duty. We go out three hundred yards in advance. Four on guard at a time. The others are held as and reserve. At 9 o'clock the insurgents commence shooting distance-1800 yards. Johnson, Murry and I are on duty, laying behind a tree, bullets whistling a plenty. Rambo tries to be brave, but decides to crawl it his hole. Hurd says the bullets say "gang way". Soon the bullets cease to fly

 

[Page 40.]

After B. Co. give them a few volleys. Get relieved at 7 o'clock.

 

Feb 13. Several of us fellows volunteer to go over and fill sacks with dirt to make a fortification for protection of the cannons. We expect to lay here for some time, as we need reinforcements. The niggers opened fire on the battery and shoot the second Lieut. through the leg.

 

Co. A. relieves Co. B. Every time the niggers shoot the battery silences them. Have a couple little showers. Fear that the rainy season as set in. Cook of Co. A. Is shot through the arm and leg.

 

Feb 14. Valentine's Day. Eight months since I enlisted. Wake up and am almost remain wet. Got no sleep to speak of. Boys gather around for breakfast and bullets whistle around. Everybody calls in his hole, but it is soon over. (Yesterday)

 

Pabst Brewing Co. sends out a barrel of beer to each company and all have a good drink. Have to go on outpost at 10 o'clock.

 

Togier tells some of his school experiences. Fake we see some niggers out in the woods, but we get the field glasses and settle it. Schule says the insurgents have seventeen guns planted. Have beef stake and oat meal for dinner. Hurd gets off some great jokes.

 

[Page 41.]

No excitement so I lay around and sleep the p. Schule comes around and says he wants a good-looking man to report for guard at 6 o'clock at Mag. Gen. MacArthur's head quarters. He spots me and of course I have to go. Got one night's sleep out of five.

 

Feb15. Laying quiet for reinforcements. Word received the Iloila has been captured with slight loss. Still a few stray shots fly over. I feel like getting homesick, almost P.M. the insurgents are congregating down the railroad track. The artillery sends three shots at them, the last landing right among them, settling them.

 

One year since the Main was blown up proper. Get relieved at 6 o'clock from guard. The "Coloocan and Manila" R. R. starts up in business. The 2nd platoon does guard duty on the left flank. The band gives us some music every night.

 

Feb 16. Johnson and I are reminded that we are cook police, about 5:30 AM. Have a great time starting a fire. No excitement but get plenty to eat.

 

(night) Miller is taken sick with cramps and taken to hospital. Murray and I have a nice pillow to sleep on.

 

Feb 17. Put up a bamboo frame and cover it with banana leaves, which makes it a nice shade to rest under.

 

A lady visits camp. Have beef stake and good bread for

 

[Page 42.] dinner. First California have quite a scrap on Pasig Island yesterday. The insurgents attempt to capture the Monaduock with cannons. Atty. Gen & private sectry. of Aguinaldo's , captured. Murray  finds several interesting military documents at Coloocon. Boys write letters home on cartridge boxes. The Buffalo doc. does some deadly work beyond Malate. Have fried fish for supper. Gallupp and the Capt. has a little fuss. Co.'s A. & B. All regarding the prison near town. (night) Hve a small shower, but expect a flood. A small amount of mail comes.

 

Feb. 18. A nice, cool, cloudy day. About six are allowed to go to the barracks uty for two hours and here I am now. Calahan, Para take a stroll up ahead of the outpost about a mile, scouting around to see what they can see. The insurgents constantly throwing up entrenchments over to the right of the road leading into Malabon. No excitement but plenty of " detail" work to do.

 

The boys collect on the Little Knoll and tell stories.

 

Feb. 19. Sunday and I get leave with several others to go to town. Have to polish up camp first tho'. Take the U. & Ks. S. L. The streetcar and thence to

 

[Page 43.]

our barracks. The conductor knows we have in any "janine." The streetcar it is so full that some have to get off and push as not to kill the pony.

 

Take a bath, shave and write a letter home. The Baker brings sixty-five pies in the canteen and they are soon gone. Bigelow looks as spotted as a giraffe.

 

Get tired of the barracks and start back at 2 PM. Find the boys playing poker and reading. Expect an attack tonight, as the outposts are doubled. We got out and fix are breastworks better. At 8:45 several volleys are fired and us, but we don't return it. We think scrap is on but that is the last we hear of them. The insurgents are throwing up rockets signaling. This p.m. they fired a six inch solid shot at us but it went away over. Our artillery sent a half-dozen shots at them. Dewey keeps his searchlight going all night.

 

Feb 20. As soon as breakfast is over and having been on outpost all night we are told to build our breastworks higher and stronger. It seems like soldiering proper now. Lay around till p.m. then build some more breastworks. The nggers

 

[Page 44.]

send several volleys at us, the bullets striking pretty close. Calahan's platoon fires several volley at them and they vamos. Mail comes from U. S. I got none, but got to read the other boys papers. Outpost cut down to six again. Have fresh radishes again.

 

Feb 21. As soon as I eat breakfast, it is " come on and help carry some water from stations". Get back rest about an hour and then go on outpost till 12 o'clock. Schule tells us some interesting stories about Sharpey when they were sailors together on the Philadelphia. Have mutton chops for dinner. The Nebraskans, California's, Colorado's and Idaho's still scrapping. The insurgents charge saying " Americano, gangway". They get within fifty yards before our boys shoot; then they are just slaughtered.

 

Gen. Marte Negro in charge of the insurrection. The nigers do some signaling with rockets. The niggers opened fire on us and we have to "vamos" from our summer kitchen. Calahan's platoon soon settles them. Poco burned by the insurgents. Go on outpost duty tonight. No excitement.

 

Washington's birthday-the first Washington's celebrate in the trenches. The niggers try their artillery again without affect. Word received that a battalion of the 23rd

 

[Page 45.]

regulars are to reinforce us and we will take Malabon soon. Report that a German ship, flying an British flag had landed with arms & ammunition, on the other side of Luzon, for the insurgents.

 

Foster promoted to a Sgt. and Thorne to a corporal. Expect a scrap tonight.

 

Feb 23. Everything quiet last night, but at daylight the insurgents open up with live Cannon shots at us. The Utah artillery soon settles them. We glance to our left and all at once about fifty niggers appear on the dykes about 400 yards away. They soon open fire and we get to our trenches ready for business. The insurgents start up all around the line. Our first platoon is ordered to the left about 50 yards-through mud about the deep and then lay down in the water and crack loose at the niggers, and they send a good fire in return. Every time we see a straw hat, we plug it. The niggers yell and we think they are coming. Soon we are ordered back to our old entrenchments. Then we have bullets to dodge a plenty. We get there without anybody getting hurt and then the fight is hot and furious.

 

Noth & Black are wounded in L. and Monroe is killed and one man wounded in F. Co. Lieut. Frye called for

 

[Page 46.]

Six volunteers to go with him, of course he's to the number. Price, Arhall, Lt. Frye, Stutville, Bohannon, Sgt. Murray and I are selected. We make a run on the trenches and the nigger sharpshooters have at us. Our idea was to slip around to the enemies left flank. We speak through the brush for half a mile and then we wade all in the mud and water up to our waste for half a mile, keeping down behind the dykes. Oh how tired we got and muddy. Get behind the good dyke and play the sharpshooter. We do some fine shooting, and & and silence them. Two of Dewey's shells come uncomfortably close to us and we "vamos,." back to the trenches. Things have somewhat quieted down and we wash our clothes, waiting for them to dry. Got dinner about 3 PM in the trenches.

 

6 PM. Shooting begins again in earnest. Eat supper under the great difficulties. the niggers make a charge on the second platoon and push them pretty lively. The 1st platoon ordered reinforce the 2nd, which we do under a heavy fire. We send volley after volley into them and they return a good fire. We keep shooting all night at intervals. The niggers cuss us

 

[Page 47.]

and we josh in return. They asked us if we will surrender, of course we say yes. Have some narrow escapes.

 

Feb 27. The firing is still kept up. When they stick their heads up we crack loose, and they do the same. We have to eat, or rather get our meals under great difficulties?

 

Lieut. Callahan is shot through the leg with a Mauser. Murray gets up in a tree and watches the "Coons." The two pounder is placed near our old cook shack. The Utah artillery does some work. Zigler and I have a narrow escape from a bullet coming through the bank of dirt. Yesterday night the 23rd regulars Oregon's and Minn. boys captured about 600 prisoners, by way of Malabon & Binondo district.

 

The 20th regulars come in and go to the wall city. Eight hundred sacks of mail come in on the Scandia. Our mail comes so late that we wait till morning to distribute it. The " gallant first" squad is put on outpost on the left flank. We each take turns of five hours. About 8:30 the fight begins and volleys are sent to each side. It lasts for about an hour and is kept up till about 2 AM at intervals. A spent ball strikes me in

 

[Page 48.]

 the side give me a good scare. Get little sleep.

 

Feb 25. Mail distributed and the boys can be seen eagerly reading papers and letters. Desultory firing going on. Three Spaniards come out and, with a white flag of truce, go into the insurgents lines to try to get Spanish prisoners released. This stops nearly all firing and we can get some rest and run around a little. We can see niggers a plenty, about two hundred yards throwing up entrenchments and etc. Dewey does some good work over near Malabon. 17 Minnesota boys come out to see the fun. Major Metcalf gets a slight wound and a corporal from K. and a private from D. are killed.

 

Expect a fierce attack tonight. F. Co. Leaves us and we take their trenches. Not a bit sorry either, as we have been pretty busy for three days. Not much excitement tonight, but the artillery sends some pot shots at them. Get a good nights sleep, and sleep with my shoes off for the second time since trouble began.

 

Feb 26. Sunday-little firing all day. Co. F. man shot in the stomach. Read K. Co. Stars and magazines to pass away the time. Boys playing

 

[Page 49.]

poker and bus passing away the time. Go up to commissary with Stuteville and get some canned fruit. Have beefsteak for supper. Things  pretty quiet tonight. Some shooting on right, but on left things comparatively quiet. A Co. and parts of other companies reinforce F. Co.

 

Feb 27.

Opens up by a little shooting, but the Spanish flag of truce comes back and firing is quiet on the left of the artillery. The niggers take advantage and one comes out with a white handkerchief and one of our boys go out to talk with him. He says they want to surrender; so Col. Funston go over and talks with a Lieut. Col., getting a good view of their entrenchments. The Lieut. Col. says he will surrender 500 men and 100 guns; also that he will quit shooting today if we do. That he and his command goes off duty at 6 o'clock. His offer is thought over and no firing on the left is done all day. Meanwhile the boys go over several times and talk with them until several are arrested not having leave go. Our battalion of the 20th regulars come out to the firing line on the right of the 1st Montana's. Several of the sick boys come out. Eighteen thousand Krag-Gorgleson rifles come

 

[Page 50.]

on the Scandia. Things quite on the left but firing on the right. About 10 o'clock the niggers fired a cannon. The ball goes over us about a hundred feet and sounds like an engine going uphill. Our artillery opens up and fires a few [XX]. An insurgent bugler plays " the Star Spangled Banner, Marching Through Georgia and Stand Up for Jesus." We give him a great cheer. Otes died today.

 

Feb 28. Nice bright day and I go on outpost up on the dyke, have to stay all day. Whistner 1st Sgt. of B. Co. promoted to 2nd Lieut.

 

Feb 29 (night) A. R. Stutevile had just fired his gun when a Mauser bullet entered the barrel of his gun and blew the breech block off, also the Mauser bullet was melted. The officers will try very hard to keep the gun or send it to Washington Museum. Capt. Elliott killed. B. S. Yorktown arrived in port.

 

Muster today. Considerable fighting on the right of the Utah artillery. The Concord and Monadnok change places near Malabon. Blish and I can't find the adjutant and so can't muster. A. Co. Guards around the church. One battalion of 23rd regulars sent to occupy Cebun Isle.

 

March 1st. Get leave to go to town. Bathe, patch white pants and have to cook my own dinner. Garrity and I

 

[Page 51.]

go to see if we know any 20th regulars. Sid Barber died day before yesterday with smallpox. The wounded boys getting along OK. We ride the special-5:30 out to the lines. The old town don't look like the same place. Mail goes to U. S. Brig. Gen. Wheaton relieves general King of the 2nd brigade.

 

March 2nd. Nice bright day. Some of the boys playing poker others enlarging their trenches. Expect a fierce fight soon-the niggers are so quiet. Little Smith comes out again. Gen. Otis says he expects to lose a thousand men the next move (?) Setzer makes lots of fun. Morgan City arrives in port. Battalion of 1st Cal. Kongedo Island. Marsh sent to Kongedo Island Hospital. The Marines have two rapidfire Colt guns near Utah artillery. They shoot 300 shots permit-shell 23 caliber similar to a Mauser. Miller cooks today.

 

March 3rd. On an outpost in advance of company. Have a pair of field glasses and can see plenty of niggers. With the glasses they appear right by you, almost within reach, and it makes us feel like shooting, but have orders not to shoot unless shot at.

 

Kuntz acting Sgt. Expect paydays soon. Go up and take a stroll through Coloocan Railroad shop. Make a few cents on a tobacco

 

[Page 52.]

deal. Go on outpost up on dykes-have to stay all night. Three of us in one intrenchment. Everything quiet tonight.

 

March 4th. Morning opens up early on right with quite a fight. Get relieved at 8 o'clock. An Insurgents cannon at Malabon opens up on the Bennington tries to lick her. The gunboats sent all kind of shots into Malabon and vicinity. Soon the town goes up in smoke-cause not known. The insurgents in front, appear in the road with a white flag. Col. Funston goes halfway and four Spanish prisoners are given over to us-two men a woman and little girl. Said they had been prisoners in Malabon for eight months. Nearly tickled to death because they were freed. U. S. Cruiser Baltimore comes in from Hong Kong, having been on drydock. She brings U. S. Investigating commission on three members. It consists of Adm. Dewey, Gen. Otis, professor of Ann Arbor University and two other civilians. Adm. Dewey gets a salute from all the boats in the bay in honor of Dewey having made top Adm.

 

The boats fire shots into and over Malabon all P. M. The insurgents plant a cannon on  Malabon road. The transport Senator arriving with two battalions of the 20th infantry-day camp on the Luneta. Things comparatively quiet tonight. Mayor and

 

[Page 53.]

I have have quite a talk about the times we used to have. The band gives us some music on the lines.

 

March 5th. Morning cloudy and cool. Johnny Cotton and Ma' Dunn came out last night. Fire in Malabon & Manila last night. Fighting on right all day-near the waterworks. The cannons and rapidfire guns talk a plenty.

 

Have Co. have religious meeting tonight. The rest of the 22nd infantry comes in on the Ohio. They take their place on the right of the line. First Sgt. of H. Co. will be our 2nd Lieut.

 

March 6th. Johnny Cotton and I am the cook shack. Get mail from U. S. Folks has heard from me for the first time. Have a [XX] and a have to chew on. Have pancakes for breakfast. Schule details the whole company to carry wood-Schule tries to show us how to fry mutton chops. I make some gravy on [XX], which the boys think is fine. Hurd brings out "Rastus" to stay with us awhile. Col. Little  comes out to take command. Everything quiet.

 

March 7th. Inspection and payday. Seilhammer shows us how he like jam. Boys playing poker in great shape, before getting paid. Johnson comes back from visiting the General. Paid two months wages at 2 PM. Some of the boys make deposits

 

[Page 54.]

with the paymaster. Major Buchanan orders no crapshooting in the trenches. Of course they don't. Mail goes to U. S.

 

Ginger snaps quite a favorite with the boys. Lieut. Simson comes to Co. L Nebraska have a scrap over the waterworks. Lots of niggers killed. On outpost tonight. Niggers holler "Una, dios, trace, quarto, cinco ". No excitement.

 

March 8th. Some boys get passes to go into town.

 

Guard duty changed to 24 hours. Take a several good peeps at the niggers through field glasses from a tree.

 

Pfregin, Fitts, Sgt. Murray and I get some "[XX]" at the Com. in partnership.

 

Bar stand is opened up on Dogupan R.R. dear camp, but it is soon closed.

 

March 9th Roll calls are observed so once more we have to get up before we get ready. 

 

Schlitz, presents barrels of beer to the Co. Take a bath in a big well. Niggers pretty quiet all along the lines.

 

Soldiers drink a plenty in town.

 

Old Capt. set up the whiskey-one bottle to each squad. He says" take a drink on your Pa." The two pounder is exchanged for a 5 barreled Hotchkiss rapidfire gun. The Arizona sales for U. S. with wounded soldiers and mail.

 

March 10th. Detailed to help cut down some trees in front so the rapidfire gun could get a better swap.

 

[Page 55.]

Getting underclothes & it's to last us, with expectation of a three months campaign.

 

The insurgents are building intrenchments, they are told to quit, but refuse and we are ordered in our "holes.", preparatory to cannon [XX] the niggers. Co. B. & F. Fire a few volleys, but the niggers don't return it very much.

 

Co. Funston waves a red handkerchief and the Utah artillery turns loose and land on the nigger trenches. Several more shots are fired and the niggers keep quiet. Several of us are sent afterword in p.m., about 1000 yards from the niggers.They spy on us and give us a warm time, but we are so far off that we can easily dodge the bullets. Things pretty quiet tonight except desultory firing. The 17th and one battalion of the 4th infantry come into post. They came by way of Suez Canal. The Tocoma came in several days ago with 84 horses and 110 big mules.

 

The artillery our drilling every day and will astonish the niggers soon by suddenly appearing in close quarters with them.

 

March 11. A few cannon shots are fired at the coon, otherwise things are pretty quiet. Get leave to go to [XX] Lake 11 o'clock train. Send $25 home and get Seaton a $15 money order. Get a good dinner, then jump the streetcar and go over to barracks. See Lieut. Calahan, take

 

[Page 56.]

a bath and then go down to the lighthouse and see Bigelow. He goes up to waterfront with me to the 5:30 o'clock train. Here Schule & Wilson are drunk. We hear that Oscar Thorne of Co. F. is killed and find that he was brought in on train. Shot through his head killed instantly-brother takes it very hard. Soon our train starts-reminds us of a freight train back home. Get to trenches about dark-some firing going on yet. One battalion of 4th go out online. Have a little talk with Taylor.

 

March 12. Sunday-help unload some ammunition up at the station before breakfast. Have three eggs for breakfast. Quiet a rain last night and a great deal

question of reenlistment, transportation, etc. agreement-Govt to soldiers. If we reenlist for 6 mo. commencing June 1st 1899 we will get $500 and passage back to the U. S. Govt. has to give us our discharge by June 1st. All but two G. Co. agree to stay-L. Co. about a dozen would stay.

 

3 P.M. Utah fired their shots at niggers and quieted them. Gen. Lawton relieved Maj. Gen.Otis. Otis is appointed Gov. Gen.

 

On advanced outpost with Johnson-a few scattering shots. Co. C. boy wounded

 

[Page 57.]

in shoulder along dyke.

 

March 13.

A cloudy day with a little raining. Battery men change hands. Crockett reads an Irish story. In this service Sharpshooters keep up with her firing. Kline is standing by the battery, when a mauser hits him in the head, killing him instantly, Co. L. Is grief stricken as it is our first killed.

 

Desultory firing kept up all day. Rambo tries to convince me that I am in the wrong trench. Dewey opens up on the left of Malabon with a few shots. I start in to supper. The niggers spy me and shoot at me five times before I gain the trenches, a narrow escape.Great deal of fighting on the center.

 

March 14. Nine months in this service. The rapidfire gun and the cannons open up on the nigger sharpshooters and soon quiet them.

 

The 20th regulars(one bat.) In the fight near center and have eight wounded.

 

Report that flying brigade on right, captured 3000 niggers and the general. Bullets getting pretty close and outposts called in. Everything quiet along the left. This evening Cpl. Kelley promoted to Sgt. Lance Corporal Sherwood to a full Cpl., and McRill to Lance Corporal. Little rain for past three days-looks like rain season has set in

 

[Page 58.]

raining tonight.

 

March 15. Rains all last night and still damp. Niggers very quiet. Three sailors(drunk) off U. S. S. Grant come along wanting to see the sights, but bullets make them keep low. Rumor-that the Grant will sail the 20th inst. for the U. S. with the 10 Penn. and one battalion of the 20th Kansas. Col. Little takes full command of the first bat,.and we know that means work. He commences by having a big trench to cook shack [XX].

 

Niggers open up about 8 o'clock-proper. The outpost came in and we give them some fine volleys. In an hour everything is quiet. Four L. Co. fellows court-martialed for staying in town overtime.

 

March 16th.

Mail comes from U. S. as consequence all the boys are happy. My letters were written on my birthday.

 

Desultory firing all day. The center(near waterworks) still fighting. The bodies of Lieut. Alford, Capt. Elliott and Col. Smith sent home on U. S. S. Morgan City. Washington's capture over 300 niggers. 2nd Oregon's send out on the line. Col. Little Jack's one of the boys up for exposing himself. He is a great "Old Boy." Rains nearly all day.

 

Several nigger Minn. boys come out to get a shot at the niggers. Chino's are of sick along the lines selling

 

[Page 59.]

lemondade, sarsaparilla, cigarettes, [XX] or peanuts. On outpost with Ryan tonight. Commences to rain in earnest, so Rambo, who is to "busy"to fix a shelter doubles up with Stuteville and I.

 

Go on guard at 9 PM and it rains the whole time, but am protected with my poncho.

 

March 17th. St. Patrick's day. At 4:30 the niggers open up on us with volley firing. Ryan and I are on advanced outpost. All other outposts run in, but we stay till we are called in. Co. L. fires a you volleys, also other Co.'s. My buddy and I put tin roof on our shack.

 

The niggers fire a few volleys, but the artillery soon quiet them. The Freedom comes in green paint and sell like hot cakes. Sgt. Sielheimer and Murray puts Paddy, Ryan, Fitts and I take a stroll over the old battlefield then back to our old intrenchments. See lots of niggers " rotting in the sun."

 

See the old cripple Chinaman and watch the treadmill pass water from one pond to another.Sielhammer and Fitts try their luck. On the way back we buy some cabbage. Expect an attack tonight.

 

March 18th. Stuteville fools us and don't go on guard. I wake him, give him my watch and box of matches, but drops asleep soon after and in the morning we hear a great laugh. Change our slacks and put them all together. Rambo and I almost

 

[Page 60.]

have a scrap. We get it onto him anyway. The Col. compliments us on our new shack. Stuteville tells us how to" pronounce" some words. Miller & Seilheimer have a jangle over there bed. Mail comes from U. S. First papers received from U. telling of our scrap. Frisco papers tell about the " Gallant First". News that little George Baker had died on January 26th.

 

Battleship Oregon arrived in Port. Very little firing to tonight.

 

March 19th. (Sunday) Roll call again. Get up ready for inspection. Sielheimer goes to town. Several of us go up along dykes to take the swim. Niggers spy us when we are about undressed and we have to dodge a few, but we have our swim nonetheless. Report that the 22nd infantry loss six killed, twenty wounded and seventeen captured-hope it's only a rumor. Setzer and Tate have a high time. Whole company detailed to go after wood. I make a Chinaman carry the load for me. Niggers open up with volley firing on dykes and in front. Mail comes from U. S. Col. Little wants the Cpl. of the battery to take the rapidfire out to the "Horseshoe". We don't fire a shot and return. 3rd squad sent out to reinforce the dyke outpost.

 

March 20th. Several of the boys go to town today. Niggers very quiet. Mayor detached as operative and headquarters. Bigelow comes out on a visit and gets some Kodak pictures. Sgt. Sielheimer & Murray, Paddy, Ryan and I go a swimming and then take a stroll back

 

[Page 61.]

to the Goo Goo apples. Murray makes a" bull frog" jump and gets wet. Get back just in time for supper. Stuteville comes home on a drunk-also Price. Things quiet tonight.

 

Last Saturday & Sunday Gen. Wheaton's brigade made an advance of 15 miles.

 

March 21st. Mail leaves for U. S. Largest since Xmas. No excitement, except desultory firing. Take our daily swim. Miller goes to town(no one allowed to go.) Quiet tonight.

 

March 22nd. Spend the day reading and writing. Take a swim in the old well. Seilheimer has a great time with the Chinos. Maj. Gen. MacArthur, Brig. Gen. Wheaton and Col. Funston take a stroll along the lines. Fatty Neidert refuses to go after water. Gamble, Kutze, Smith & Bigelow report for duty. Fitts, Siegler and Dunlop get a   three day rest.

 

Johnson & I on 1st relief-outpost-things pretty quiet, only the Nebraska start to jelling and the niggers take it up.

 

March 23rd. Niggers fire but it isn't returned. Get orders to be ready to move by 2 o'clock destination not known. 6 PM. Niggers open up about 5 PM in great shape. Sgt. Cohen's & Privt. Murr & a battery man wounded also a chinaman. Orders not to move till tomorrow night. Destination-flying brigade on right of 3rd artillery.

 

[Page 62.]

Purpose-six regiments & flying squadron-circle around and appear in the rear of Palo-a distance of seven miles. Expect to go against 15,000 niggers. My school evening-expect trouble tonight.

 

Things pretty quiet today. Bigelow assigned to first squad. 6 PM. Get everything ready to move. Oregon captain come down to see the position. At dark the Oregon's move into our trenches and we move out. About three miles to Chinese church where our brigade camps.

 

March 25th: Eat breakfast about 4:30 Cavalry, comes up and prepare to move. At 5:30 the ball opens up and we start on the march. The 1st Battalion on reserve. It is doubletime, two hundred yards and then lay down. Soon the" hombres" are on the run. Some boys are killed others wounded & sunstroke.

 

When we get to the river-the niggers make a stand. Capt. Clark is wounded-Seilheimer and Rumold given out.

 

About thirty niggers are killed and several wounded. Co. E. crosses the river under a heavy fire. We ford the river and lay at the edge of the brush all p.m. and night. To our right the Niggers had to block houses. For niggers are killed here. Am on advance outpost tonight. See some niggers.

 

March 26th. On the move out about 6 AM. Move to right of

 

[Page 63.]

of Penn. Lay in road till about 10 AM. Move down the road for about two miles to left. Gen. Otis almost strikes one of his aids. The 3rd Art. opens up on left heavily engaged. We form skirmish line and start on doubletime. Several give out. The hombres soon run and we chase them.

 

On support today. Rest awhile. The artillery spots an intrenchment and opens up on it. Soon the infantry go after them-several are wounded, but the niggers soon run. We sleep in their trenches-have chicken and pork for supper.

 

March 27. The firing line went through and took Palo last night. We come up here and eat dinner. Move forward still in reserve. The firing line are soon heavily engaged at the river.

 

The artillery soon makes them run living several good niggers in the field. We move up to the river at stop for a couple of hours. Soon move forward and cross the river & take-and cross the river again on a R. R. bridge. The right wing are swinging around and the niggers are coming toward the 3rd art. We doubletime on the left and open up in earnest. Fire for about a half hour.

 

One fellow killed and one wounded on the bridge. Things are pretty quiet, so we cook our chicken and pork. Have straw bed and a pillow. Setzer is shot in arm.

 

[Page 64]

March 28th  If I fall on the battlefield please send word to R. Limbird Gardner, Kansas. Send this book to same address.

 

"Cathlin" Co. M. 2nd Oregon

 

Homer Limbird.

 

[Page 65.]

[This [Page shows the back of Limbird's Diary.]

 

[Limbird Diary from Aug. 19 to Oct 25, 1899]

 

[Page 1.]

Aug. 19. Schuele treats the boys to some  " booze" and several had" bad dreams" last night. Got diarrhea so bad that I go on sick report-give marked quarters. Liz, Pimkie, Steven and Tatie decide to do duty for a change. The Zealandia expects to sail today for Nagasaki where she will go into dry dock and probably leave for Frisco when the Valencia reaches there (Nagasaki). One battalion of the 21st infantry went to Calauila to relieve the first Washingtons. The Washington will come down to Pasig and began packing up for home.

 

The north line capture Angeles also three engines and thirty cars.

 

The 2nd Div. Hospital at San Fernando moved to Angeles. The fine rai this p.m. the boxing contest at "Teatro Libertad goes off this p.m. Kansas furnishes Beppler, heavyweight and White, lightweight. All fights in a drawl. The Hooker&    cable boat is abandoned off Corregidor Island. She is filling with water.

 

[Page 2.]

Aug.20th.(Sunday). Guard detail from L. Co. all go to Bilibid for guard.

 

Chief Bugler and first Sgt. Northrup promoted to 2nd Lieut. 2nd Lieut. Simpson and Burton promoted to first Lieut. Steamer Butuan leaves for Iloilo and Cebu with recruits. Wyatt back as company clerk. Report that we will get to months pay this payday as usual.

 

Where are we going home is all that interests us now. Wash for me. Oysters for supper. No parade tonight.

 

Aug. 21st. Get marked duty and I feel pretty good. Washingtons are assigned to the Pennsylvania, which will arrive from the South in a few days. They will embark on her as soon as she arrives. Our turn is next and we are patiently waiting for the glad news.Maxay leaves the hospital and joins the regiment (36th) at San Fernando. Rumold, and Mayor and  I take a good walk out sight seeing today.

 

Nasty, drizzling whether today and the bay is pretty rough. One battalion of the 16th relieved the Montana's at Cavite. L's guard detail goes to Bilibid again today. Another boat gets stuck off Corregidor island. Rambo visits the U. S. S. Oregon. Our local guard tomrrow. All the boys playing poker passed away the time.

 

August 22nd. Mount guard under the porch as it is raining. Get the coal pile above the hospital. The U. S. S. Transport Tartaa or Tazlie came in yesterday bringing two Bat. of the 19th infantry and Maj. Gen. " Joe" Wheeler, his staff and daughter, also 180 sacks of mail. None for volunteers. Second Lieut. Whistuer promoted to a first Sgt. Fox of M. Co. To second Lieut.

 

Ten colored soldiers of the 24th drown at the Deposito in the San Mateo River.

 

All of those go to sleep at 8:30 and the

 

[Page 3.]

coal pile has to take care of itself. The Mayor of Baluiag gets caught in his scheme has to spend twenty-two years in Bilibid. Bay on a whizz.

 

Aug 23rd Rains all day steady. See two bodies floating down the river. One is a colored soldier.

 

Sick and weak as a baby all day. Miller goes in the kitchen and we expect to feed better in the future. Gen. Wheeler and daughter makes a visit through the hospitals.

 

Mayor and I get "bit" at the palace restaurant.Gallup "joshes" Lieut. Hopkins by hollering " Bring the raft, the raft, the raft!"

 

Aug 24th Morning paper says the Washingtons will go whole on the City of Para and the discharged men on the Penn. The Zealandia and Valencia left yesterday at 10:30 with the Montana's and five hundred discharged men.

 

Kansas will be likely to get the Tartar. Mayor and I take a stroll over town and visit one old La Rosa barracks now a cigarette factory.

 

The Newport comes into the bay today-her fourth trip. We recognize the old Capt. The captain of the Ports. Payroll orders not to be made out until men, who applied for a discharge, are discharged. Col. Metcalf shows how he can run and the boys josh him.

 

August 25th. Newport brings two companies of the 19th infantry and recruits for the various regiments. Makes the trip and 28 days. The US transport Ohio, 29 days from Frisco arrived today. Two companies of the 19th infantry and 380 recruits. Lt. Khouse promoted to a Capt. Lt. Walker promoted to Capt. of B. Co. Literary very interesting. Nice rainy weather-too bad-no dress parades.

 

Draw clothes of all sorts-heavy underwear, blue suit and etc.

 

[Page 4.]

Order posted up what close we must have. Third Battalion turn in their Crags. Going home -poco tiempo.

 

Aug 26th. Come off guard and stand inspection at 10 AM. Raining all a.m. Riker says we will get the " Good Ship" Tartar and will come about 1st September. We will go to Hong Kong to coal.

 

The secret servicemen are gradually thining out the Labrores.

 

Failand, Cook of Co. B. died today. I take the grubb to the guards at Bilibid , Jondo, and Coal pile.

 

Aug 27th. (Sunday) On company fatigue. My wash day. The Pennsylvania arrives from southern ports, bringing 1100 discharged soldiers. Morning paper says we are assigned to Tartar and will leave for home the 1st of September. It gives us quite a blowup. Our official notice says we are relieved from duty. Applicants for discharge will be discharged tomorrow. Sign the payroll today. The Washingtons will leave on the Para the 1st of September(American). Mayor,Rumold and I make a visit through the museum and see some very interesting things. The U. S. A. T. Hooker turns over on her side. Have a rain every evening and night, thus spoiling our walks along the beach.

 

Dodge tires his first at the duty as first Sgt. and makes a big balk.

 

Aug. 28th Boys all busy airing their effects preparatory to packing. Schopp, Neighbor and Dunn return from first reserve hospital and Joe Murray from Corregidor Island. Turn all Krags and extra Springfield's over to the arsenal.

 

Gen. Wheeler visits the North line and expects to take to the field soon. His daughter will be connected with the hospital nurses. First Sgt. Harry Hooper, Sgt.

 

[Page 5.]

J. W. Fritts, Cpl.Bossheimer and Johnson and privates Marsh,Baldwin and J.W. Terry are discharged from Co. L. The Col. and the medical staff go out to the inspect the Tartar. On guard today-hope it's my last on the Philippine Islands

 

Aug. 29th. Rained all last night and all this a.m. Had quite an experience halting a" smart boy" last night. Pack our khaki and blue suit in company boxes. Headquarters and band of the first Washingtons came down from the City of Pasig. Two companies of the 37th regiment goes out to Calamba. Anxiously waiting to be relieved. Mustard today for payday.

 

Aug. 30th. On guard at the first reserve hospital. Report that we will get paid tomorrow and go aboard Friday.

 

The Alcade goes South with recruits and provisions for the troops. The "Sheeny" deliberately licks "Coco" Milam.

 

The Washingtons come down from Pasig City preparatory to going aboard the Pennsylvania.

 

Aug .31st. Sick last night and got no sleep. Get our $31.20 today. 1st Battalion paid first. A. and L. Have to vacate for A. and M. of the 14th infantry, who will relieve us " Manana." Mayor and I take a ride over town and get a good American dinner. Muster at two  o'clock. Dunlop, Bohannon and I are expected to go on the ships guard. The City of Para sails with 900 discharged men and 18th & 19th companies of the signal Corps.

 

Gen. Wheeler is assigned to duty on the North line in the 2nd Div. Expect to load our boys and go aboard tomorrow. Pack my box for the last time. [XX] a good night, as it is my last on shore.

 

[Page 6]

Sept 1st. Commence to load our boxes on the ferry at 8 o'clock. Get a load and pull for the Tartar at 3 PM. Get unloded about 9 PM. Eat our first meal aboard ship. The Tartar is an English ship chartered by U. S. She is a dirty looking old Tub, but a big one. She is 420 feet long and 50 feet wide with a speed of 15 kn per hour. Accommodations are not very good, but the crew are fine fellows. The cooks & firemen are Chinese, while the waiters are Japs. None of the companies come aboard today-now two dinners. The Indiana, with 800 recruits and 168 sacks of mail, comes into port.

 

September 2nd. Get up about 6 o'clock and gaze over the bay. See old Mt. Ayro in the distance. The battalion and C & H Co.'s come aboard about 9 AM and are assigned aft. But band and G. Co's get the top deck. The first Battalion and I & D Co.'s arrive at 4 PM. Co's A. L. & F. are forward B. one deck below with discharged soldiers and I. & D. Co. are aft..

 

The Washingtons expect to leave Tuesday and the Nevada Cav. on Thursday. We expect to sail tomorrow. Have a hot old hole to sleep in.

 

Sept 3rd. About 500 discharged soldiers come aboard and go down on 3rd deck. The Oregon a good in Iloila Bay. Have guard mount-3 million from each company. The Sgt. Major and Sgt. Kerfoot promoted to 2nd Lieut. Johnson, Fitts & Baldwin our going home with us. Second Lieut. Warner promoted to 1st Lieut. Mail and Bobtailed soldiers come aboard - will pull out pretty pronto. Bob Tailad-Thompson and Neibert will go with us.

 

Pull up anchor at 5 PM and start out at 5:30 PM the English sailors on the English

 

[Page 7.]

cruiser Andamone give us three cheers and we send three cheers for them. Their band plays Star-Spangled Banner and our band answers with the same. Pass Corregidor and out of Manila Bay at 8 PM. The China Sea is nice and smooth and we are sailing along smoothly.

 

Sept. 4th. Last night was cool and the sea was smooth. None of the boys sick. Still in sight of land. Site a vessel off starboard side. "Spuds with jackets on, saw belly good bread and coffee for breakfast. Meet and pass the vessel off port side. Looks like a U.S. Patrol boat. A storm comes up and the old boat pitches and keeps it up all p.m. about half of the boys heave up. I get sick but don't heave up.

 

The monkeys, parrots and dogs are all sickthe sea settles considerably by morning.

 

Sept 4th. On fatigue and have to work like a Trojan. Scrubbing deck, carrying boxes below, peeling vegetable and carrying water. Site a coral reef off port side. The sea is smooth again. Sixteen patients in the hospital. I'm reading "Mayor of Casterfield."

 

Sept. 6th. Sight land about midnight and enter the harbors of Hong Kong about 6 AM. All can go ashore but guards, fatigue and sick men.

 

The harbor is narrow with jagged rocks on either side. Chinese boats all around us. Pull out in center of bay and drop anchor. We will have to wait a few days before we can get into the drydock. Witness a brutal white man yank a Chinaman around by the cue. About half of the boys go ashore taking Chinese boats-$.10 Hong Kong money. Go over the city and see the city. Markets, gardens, get plenty to eat for 12 1/2 cents U. S. We take the elevated railroad up the mountain as far as it goes and then walk to the top-tired? Well I guess. On  the top is an English lookout, zoological gardens and cannon.

 

[Page 8.]

This mountain is about 3500 feet above the sea level. Nearly to the top are English barracks where 350 soldiers are quartered. They are not allowed down in the city except in the body, owing to the plague. We have a real nice conversation with them. Burton and I break away from the crowd and come back to the ship at 8:30. Hear that Lee from F. Co. died at 5 PM with dysentery. He was a particular friend of mine that it was quite a surprise. He will be embalmed and taken home.

 

Sept.7th. The Chinos have been lowering ballast down in the hold all night and making such a noise that sleep was impossible.

 

Expect to go into drydock sometime today. Are super-[XX] today. Leave for Aberdeen day dock at 8 AM. There are about 7 miles from Hong Kong and two uy land-just on the opposite side of the mountain. The Chow Tai is in one dock and we go in the other.

 

The water is pumped out and we are soon high and dry. About sixty chinos are employed to scrape the barnacles off the bottom. They (barnacles) are about three feet(?) long on the Tartars bottom. I take a good fresh water bath and wash my clothes. Take a stroll over Aberdeen. Mayor and Rumold have an adventure with Chino-sedan carriers.

 

Most of the boys sleep out on the ground tonight. Johnson and Cooper are very sick in the hospital. Trembly (here) promoted to a corporal. One of the sailors tells us of his experience in Kansas City.

 

Sept. 8th. On guard today. Starts in raining-just it will rain all day. A great many of the boys go to Hong Kong today. The band of the " famous 20th Kansas reg." is billed to play at the theater in Hong Kong tonight. The officers and a great many of the boys go. They say the band was thought to be the proper stuff. The English R. A. M. C. Sergeants invite our sergeants out to a smoking party.

 

[Page 9.]

Sgt. Blackley gives the toast of our regiment. The boys report a jolly good time. Rumold and Mayor had quite an adventure with Chinamen. The coolies finish scraping and painting the boat at 7 PM and we float out in the bay at 11 PM and tie up to the buoys and stay till morn.

 

Sept. 9th. Pull for Hong Kong at 9 AM and tie  up at Koloon (Blakhead dock) to coal. Rumold, Mayor and I go over to Hong Kong and bum around till we are tired. Take the launch to the boat at Kaloon.P.M. Make a visit to the H. M. S. Powerful and are politely shown over the vessel, shown the guns, their working the mess room and everything. She has two-9.2 inch guns, six 6 inch, 4 twelve pounders and a great many smaller guns. Take a Jiurichisha ride clear out to the suburbs then hear the 1st Reg. Hong Kong band-get to the boat at 10 PM and decide to sleep

 

( At this point in the Diary, several numbered Pages are missing; namely, pgs. 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37. The remainder of [Page 9 is out of chronological order, as are some of the Pages to follow.)

 

of the English army-the fried one.

 

At 2:30 we pull out in the stream and anchor till morning-as the consuls are awaiting orders.

 

Funston says the discharged soldiers demanded to be sent home on the Tartar and now they were kicking. He also writes several other shows on the discharge men. Funston and Capt. Boltwood almost come to blows by discussing promotions made. Women scream and they have a great time. The band furnishes some music.

 

Sept. 14th. A few of the discharged men decide to take a liner home. Question whether the Tartar is a merchant ship-in which case 750 passengers are the limit, or a troop ship, when she could carry 1300 souls. The consul comes aboard and the life preservers are overhauled and counted. The bill of fare is posted, consisting of paper and pencil marks and slum.

 

[Page 10.]

The sailing flag is run up at 2 PM, amid mild cheers. The bacon we have been eating once a day was accidentally noticed to be "peculiar looking" by our officer. Maj. Doctor Rafter, Maj. Whitman and Maj. Daval examined it - Whitman says it must go over board. Part did. Pull up achor and start for Japan. at 5:45 PM, amid yelling, screaming of whistles and band playing.

 

We strike the China sea about 7 pm and rough she is-several are sick.

 

Sept 15th. Sea pretty rough this morning, but I eat a big breakfast. Sailed 140 knots from 6 pm to 6 am. We missed a Chinese junk about three feet last night. Boys continue sick all day. I feel tip top. We pass islands and whole fleet of junks all day. Pass a big steamerabout noon. Sea very rough and spray coming over.the hurricane deck, drenching several. A fine supper tonight.................fashion and then fill our stomachs.

 

Take a Jiurickishau ride all over town and see the sights. Engage a bed for the night and play croconote till bed time-also attend C.E. prayer meeting.

 

Sept 23rd. Eat an early breakfast, make arrangements with Rev. Finch nd a Japanese Christian convert to go to Tokyo on the 10:05 train and then take a bicycle ride over town till rain time. A big line getting tickets, but we just get ours in time. The train was Old English style and 2nd class. Stations passed-Kanagawa, Tsurinni, Kawa saki, Omori and Shiniagawa. The country we passed through was level bordered by hills. The ground is fertile-four crops per year-rice, millet, vegetables, corn, melons and pear tree trelises.

 

Reach Toyko about 11:00am-our party consists of eighteen in all-take Richishaw and go to park Shiba and see the Gods, sacred temples; take a ride through the Wikadas parks, grounds, etc. See the Royal Treasury

 

[Page 11.]

place, Imperial buildings, Govt. buildings, Foreign buikdings, moats, walls etc etc, See the tree that Gen. Grant planted and eat dinner close here. At end of this meal we sing America and God save the Queen. Go all through the Shiba temples see the five gods or shrines, also Shogum tomb, three regimens of Japanese soldiers left Tokyo today for Formosa, were trouble is expected with Russia.

 

See the statue of Siago, the Washington of Japan. Finish our sightseeing at 6 PM and pay our Karumyas 1 yen 10 Seu.

 

We visited the Kwan-Hoba or bazaar and was well paid. We also visited Uino Park. We get back to Yokohoma at 8:30 and put up at Seamens Mission.

 

Sept 24th. Sunday. The boys off the Warren come ashore today. We go to church and hear a fine sermon, after which we dine at the German restaurant and get a fine meal. Mayor and Bohannon go cycling and Rumold and I go up to the Kansas band concert................... our bricks and sleep is impossible. Reading" Little Cuban Rebel."

 

Oct 3rd. Feel pretty well shaken up and stiff as a rail. Sliding, on deck, all the fashion. The enlisted men with the band give the officers and entertainment tonight. Cool Little makes a witty speech saying the 20th regiment had a few remarkable men who were-Gen.Funston, Col. Metcalf, Maj. Whitman and Shorty Hayes. The propeller is stopped about 12 PM in order to oil the shanks. Only run 268 kn today. Almost due north of Honolulu and 800 miles distant.

 

Oct 4th. The cold, drizzling rain and nasty to be on deck. Counting the days till we will get to Frisco. Expect to pull in through the Golden Gate sometime next Monday.

 

Oct 5th. Am reading "Moody's Sermons". Some of the boys using up their "finals" playing "jaw bone poker." Band concert aft this p.m. Pass a large steamer at 9 PM  Sea mice and smooth.

 

[Page 12.]

Oct 6th. Air our blankets today. Am on company fatigue. Reading " all for love of a fair face". Boys who are dissatisfied about their character slip, put it into an appointed boards hands. Only eleven hundred miles from Frisco at 3 PM. Macaroni for dinner.

 

Oct 7th. Order out that" all officers and enlisted men must not leave the boat till all the baggage is unloaded and then we will March to the Presidio. Discharged men can leave at will". Getting anxious to see Frisco. Have some fried potatoes for "midnight" lunch.

 

Oct. 8th. {Sunday) eleven months since we left Frisco for Manila. Pass a sailboat. On guard - guard prisoners-three are fed on bread and water. The band furnishes some good music and an 18th Reg. man (discharged) pays them well.

 

Oct 9th. Expect to sight land today sometime. Clean up our old "Zuhis" ready for inspection at 4 PM.

 

October 16th. Turn in ordinance except gun and belt. Bigelow, Rumold, Miller and I help on muster out rolls. Entertain Montana's for supper tonight. Beer drinking contest. Have a little fun at roughhouse and shooting.

 

October 17th. Montana's mustered out. Colombian beats the Shamrock. We are examining physically, get our "dinero" for one month. Harry Hayes comes out to see me-greatly surprised. Spend the evening with Dr. Baker and Harry's.

 

Oct 18th. The Montanans leave for home by train tonight. Montana's force the Kansas boys to drink. Stay in camp today- busy in office. Take in shutes.

 

Oct 19th. Rainy, nasty day today. Work in office all day.

 

Oct 20th. Harry Hayes and a friend comes out and eats dinner off U. Sam. I go home with him and stay all p.m. and evening. We go through the

 

[Page 13]

museum in p.m. and attend theater at Alcazar.

 

Oct 21st.

Capt. offers me $5 to finish muster rolls-accept and go to work. Harry and wife leave for home tonight. Date of muster out change from Nov.3 to Oct. 28.

 

Oct. 22nd. Sunday and I have to work all day. Go to bed early. All are concerned over the arrival of the Iowa's-think they are lost. Later& the Iowa's arrive at 11 AM on the .U. S. A. J. Senator after the 30 days trip and pretty rough one.

 

Oct. 23rd. The Iowa's land today and are entertained and fed by the first Washington U.S. V. Rumold and I take a stroll down to Dr. Baker's.

 

Oct. 24th. Work, work, work. Only a few more days and Uncle Sams service. Give a drill for benefit of Y. M. C. A  tonight. The U. S. battleship Iowa band furnishes music also. Gen. Shafter reviews us. Bueno Chow Chow.

 

Oct 25th. The 28th Inf. U.S.V. board the Tartar and Newport for Manila today. We Gardner boy have our pictures taken. Finish Muster out rolls. Stay home tonight and listen to Hagen tell stories.

 

 

[The final 13 Pages of this collection consist of newspaper articles about the war, Limbird's expriences and his obituary. Many of the articles are badly fragmented.] 

 

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