Henry A. Dobson Papers


Henry A. Dobson



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Publication Date



A letter from Henry Dobson to his mother about the spread of fever among the soldiers.


Spanish-American War (1898), Military life


4 page letter

Geographic Location

Santiago (Cuba)

Physical Collection

Henry A. Dobson Papers


San Juan Heights,

Santiago de Cuba

July 28, 1898

Dear Mamma:

All ok. Received Papa’s letter with note from you attached, also one from Caroline.

Fever rages here, but not “yellow-jack”, the fever lasts from four days to two weeks, but is not dangerous. 13 men had it yesterday 20 today in our company, “K” has 35. Some of my men are getting well, others are coming down with it. I guess we all will eventually tumble to it. Otherwise, things are improving, we got enough to eat, all right now. It rains every day, is very hot when it don’t rain. A breeze though, 12 hrs, out of 24. Nights very cool. Have slept outdoors in my hammock every night so far in preference to sleeping on the ground in shelter tent. Sleep well, only thing that bothers me is reveille. Sounds too loud. Well, I’ve got to stop writing for a while as I’m called as witness in “court martial” of one of my men charged with sleeping on post. I’m to give his character and career in company. I think he will be cleared. I believe him to be ok and innocent.

August 1st – I am writing by moonlight – it is after taps. We have our large tents up now; I am sitting in front of mine, taking my first opportunity in several days to finish your letter. The moon is very brilliant, you can read a newspaper easily. Rec’d letter from Papa, Dot, and you. Send more, all reach me eventually. I guess our reason that you don’t see Mabel W. anymore in Sabbath school is that she is in Michigan.

I took six men day before yesterday and went down into a sunken road on the field. Two boys of the 6th Inf. had been killed there and had simply been covered with earth as they had fallen. The rain had washed the earth away and the buzzards were starting their work. We finished the uncovering and dug two Christian graves and put them in. Terrible work. Got official news today of Towner’s death.

Food getting better. I’m holding my own now. Stomach O.K. I got the fever day before yesterday. Ate quinine and knocked it. little weak yet but I didn’t give in.

Expect that we will move soon. Rations for tomorrow.

Coffee, sugar, fresh Beef, Bacon, soft bread (baked in Santiago) and tomatoes. An extra gravy issue. Bread 3 times per wk. Missing all changed Sgts. mess by themselves. Each squad together.

Breakfast today for Sgts. Mess – Rice cakes, bacon, “slum-gullion”, coffee and bread. Dinner, good soup, boiled beef, coffee, and bread. (I ate 1 qt. soup 1 qt. coffee, lots of meat and bread). but that was because my meal was interrupted, and I had to take a half hour recess supper.

Steak, rice, coffee + bread, and tomatoes. I’ll write more about our mess, some other time. Well, for the present goodbye.

Give love and regards to everybody. Your loving son

Henry A Dobson.







Media Type

Letters (Correspondence)



Letter, Henry Dobson to Mamma, July 28, 1898



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