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A letter from Henry Dobson to his mother on the occasion of his birthday.
Spanish-American War (1898), Military life
June 6, ‘98.
It’s an hour after taps and I’m quite sleepy but as tomorrow is my birthday and as I don’t believe I’ll have a chance to write, I’m at it now. It is quite cool tonight a blanket is quite comfortable. I am half-reclining, curled in my blanket in my “pup” tent. “Jim” Sgt. Larman is snoozing quietly in his half. The stars are very clear, and everything is quiet. We had excellent stew for supper. The boys called it "clean-up" as it contains 3 days scraps. Hard tack and black coﬀee completed supper. That sentence ought to be copy-righted; it’s always true. I was vaccinated today the boys call it branding, it’s sore all right (in, my arm is sore). The boys are catching ﬁsh lately rather large and nice. I went to sleep just then. It’s awfully hot here when the wind don’t blow. Well, its morning or rather afternoon, I went to sleep again, so I put out my tallow and went to sleep right.
Well, this is the strangest birthday I’ve ever had, sand, heat, ﬂy’s, gnats, hunger, dirt, and an intense desire to walk up our front steps at 100-11-N.E.
Some of the boys are writing home about the oranges and bananas and all that, but they are twice as good and twice as cheap in Wash. No, I have not got the blurs, as you may think but I am stating facts. I am actually enjoying myself, but I wish you would lay in a supply of stamps and let me know what is going on at home. I received Dot’s letter and Papa’s also the “dough” which I believe saved me from a severe attack of sickness, because I ate, ate, ate plain food though steak, eggs, potatoes etc. My stomach is getting much better now, and I think it will be O.K..
Tell Papa that I’ll go with the regiment and won’t be left behind. My staying up late was good training I guess as I have to do so now.
I haven’t seen those shirts and drawers etc. The trees here are covered with hanging moss and are very beautiful.
Well, it’s the evening of the 8th now. You see how hard it is for me to write. I’ll start another tomorrow please hand the enclosed “M.O.” payable at any X.O. to Papa. Good night
Love to all,
Dobson, Henry A., "Letter, Henry Dobson to Mamma, June 6, 1898" (1898). Henry A. Dobson Papers. 12.