Henry A. Dobson Papers


Henry A. Dobson



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A letter from Henry Dobson to his mother complaining about the heat in Tampa.


Spanish-American War (1898), Military life


6 page letter

Geographic Location

Tampa (Fla.)

Physical Collection

Henry A. Dobson Papers


Tampa, Fla.

June 12, 1898.

Dear Mamma:

This is Sunday. Hot, hotter, hottest. I am lying under a live oak from whose massive branches hand the famous “Hanging Moss”. A slight breeze is our only salvations here. I go swimming morning and evening in Tampa Bay; the water is fine and refreshing but does not clean you. I swam 3 miles this A.M, the bottom is like this [drawn wavy lines], lots of chance to rest in shallow water if you get tired. I did not get tired.

I just rec’d. your card. I guess I have received all letters from home, but I don’t have the time to answer. I wish someone would write each day. The days seem so long when I don’t get one letter. Here is my program for the day.

Get up at 5:00 am, wake up the boys at first call 5.10, get them into line at 5.25, Revielle have them uncover while the band plays ‘The star spangles banner’. Call the roll at 5.30, make my report to the commanding officer. Give the company “sittinng-up-exercises” for 10 minutes. Have the sick report made out and sent to the hospital. March the company back to quarters, dismiss them. Call them in again at 6.00 for breakfast, march them to the kitchen, have them fed, then try to eat my own breakfast and at the same time make out and deliver to head-quarters my morning report, and mess report for breakfast. This has to be done by 6.50 because at that time first call for drill sounds and I have to get the boys ready for assembly at 7.00 when I form the company and we drill until 9.00. then I have to dismiss the company and get my bath before 10 AM when the bathing is ordered stopped till 6 PM. Then the streets and tents are cleaned under my direction, and presently it is 11.30 and I have to answer first sergeants call at headquarters, then at 12 comes mess, and it is so hot that you feel flattened to the ground. At 1.30 comes non- commissioned officers school. At 3.30 PM drill with the same performance till 5.00. mess at 5.30, same work, including mess-report to head-qtrs. Then at 6.00 comes 1st call for retreat and inspection. Get the boys ready; at 6.10 forms company, inspection and roll call, dismissal.

Nothing more until 9.00 when the company is formed once more for roll call, then at 9:30 taps, and I must see that all lights go out.

Mixed in with all that I am supposed to wash myself, clothes, dishes, make details and passes, and answering the thousand and one worrying questions of 75 men.

Well, I suppose that I ought to be satisfied, since Uncle Sam pays me $8.40 extra for the extra work per mo. Well, my stomach is getting much better thanks to my being able to procure something better than bacons.

This is quite a nice campground; good bathing 10 rods form our tents – “Tampa Bay”. Drinking water at the company street, and a breeze. The boys are a great deal happier than they were, and everything seems much brighter than it did, did you get the M.O. papa?

The rainy season started yesterday evening, came down by bathtubs full. Our “Pup Tents” make excellent shower baths, sprays the water all over you. Well, this will have to stop here. To be continued to night. Love to all.

Your son,

Henry A. Dobson







Media Type

Letters (Correspondence)



Letter, Henry Dobson to Mamma (June 12, 1898)



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