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Pvt. Herbert Hocamp

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May.3.18

Dear sister & brother,

Received your most welcome letters including check also 2 bundles of papers.  A letter from ma and a postal and the News from Tena.  I was over to Flagler yesterday all afternoon and Herbert came home with me last night.  It rained a little yesterday afternoon and now itís raining good and hard.  Mrs. Christensen & I were going to walk out to Worden this forenoon to do our shopping but couldnít on account of the rain so I guess Iíll write you a letter instead.  Iíll have to write to Sallie next or Iíll get fits.

 Herbert said he never liked the News while home but it looks pretty good now because it comes from home.  He said will have to pay Fred for postage for sending us all those things.  He was crying when he left this morning and said he wished the world would come to an end today so he would be through with this dogís life.  I am going over again tomorrow as Herbert thinks he wonít get any pass this week to come over here.  They are keeping them pretty close and they have taken the 63 Battery off of guard duty and that puts more on the companys. [sic] 

I heard the 63 Battery F would be gone before the 20th of May, and Herb said when they are taken off of guard duty once they will soon be gone.  Iíll get to stay over there then but they are going to take 50 out of the first company and transfer them to Worden to form a new battery and it just keeps a person under fire all the time.  Some one told Herb his name was not on the list but a person never can believe it untill [sic] one is sure because there are all kinds of stories going around.  And when they are once assigned to a battery they will be gone before long.  Think Mike F. is in the 63rd.  Saw him again last Sat. but he doesnít want to speak to me very bad.  Herbert said to tell you he is second class gunner now.  The next step will be first class and the next will be France but I hope it wonít come to that.

I met two more Ia. girls the other day, one from Creston and the other from Fontanelle.  The Mrs. Jorgensen & Christensen that live in this house & myself are just like sisters.  Mrs. Christensen has a brother-in-law living on the old Naylor place.  Their name is Nicholsen or something like that.  And she (Mrs. Christensen) knows where H. Farrellís school house is and so it seems like I have known her for years.  I met Mrs. Crahl and baby the other day (from Atlantic). 

So Ed & Louise have a new boy.  Well she must of rushed things so Clara wouldnít get to go home first.  Ha ha they beat you.  And what about Jake Ernst.   Haint his kopf as klug as it has been.   [ďkopfĒ means head and ďklugĒ means wise in German]

Well I knew you folks would not get to see Emil.  We didnít see any more either than just the box.  Mrs. Dick and I went to the hospital the afternoon after he died and wanted to see him but they wouldnít let us.  Told Mrs. she could see him next morning before he was put in the casket but she thought perhaps she could not stand it, and would then probably be sick on the way home.  Guess she could of bought a casket herself with glass top but she never thought of that and I didnít either, and I guess she isnít sorry about the money any more now.  She was grumbling all the time at first.  Said she was spending more than they could make this year, and so on.  And it wasnít costing her anything to sleep as she slept here with me, only when Herb came over then she had to go to the hotel.  So I donít think she had any reason to grumble, but you know how she is.  Suppose you have been down there by this time so she perhaps told you more than I could write.

I will enclose a post card from Flager.  It is only one end of it but the rest is about like it.  I took this one because the First Co. Barracks are on it and I will mark it so you can tell what they are.

Ma wrote that the German was all stopped there.  Well I guess it is here to [sic].  I washed for a lady here yesterday forenoon.  It helps to pass the days. 

I am glad you didnít write the same time Tena & Julia did or I wouldnít hear for quite a spell.  Am glad you wrote the texts of the funeral.  Geo. & Tena & Julia wrote the no. of the Psalms but the psalms are not in the testament and I had Herbert bring his hymn book over but the 68 is not in there either.  Or at least I could not find it.

Your old hens done well.  Wish I could be doing that again.  The war didnít end in April.  I hope pa is getting along alright.  Mabey [sic] if the weather gets warmer it will help him.  I hope so anyway.

Say before I forget I want to tell you about that Bohning.  Donít know how to spell his name but it [itís] the man they said they left off at Atlantic when the boys came out here.  The one Roy Lemmon was telling us about.  The baby arrived the night before.  Well he came right straight out here, never got off at all and is still here.  Herbert is acquainted with him.  Herbert said he was sure a sad man and some of the others told Herb he looked like he was 45. 

Herbert was nearly all in last night.  They took his co. out for a hike yesterday morning.  Went about 7 mi.  They take 140 steps a minute and 30 in. to the step.  Then when they got in from the hike they had infantry drill and he said that was the hardest forenoon he had since he is here.  They changed their afternoon off from Wed. to Thursday.  Thatís the reason I went yesterday.

Well the sun is trying to shine.  Itís about 12 new time.  Are you saving daylight.  I am.  I go to bed with the chickens and get up when I get ready, but Iíll be glad when I can get my job as I donít like this sitting around.  This house is a regular soldiers home.  Itís full of soldier women.

I can just see Eleonora chasing around there.  Donít she try to catch the little chickens and squeeze them.

Did Willie Krumm have to go.  Write often and tell me all the news.

Heard the other day they were investigating at Ft. Worden as they were having so many deaths thought it was neglect by some one.  But thatís as much as we will ever find out.  And a soldier from Worden told Herbert yesterday on the boat that he heard they didnít think Emil was very sick, and when they did get to work it was to [sic] late.  Well I know it was a case of neglect but what can a fellow do.  You simply have to do just as they say and not one thing more or less.  And the more you try to do the less you get. 

They carried one man to the hospital yesterday while they were drilling.  Herb didnít know what was the matter with him, whether he got a bullet or what happened.

Well I donít know anything else of importance to write about so will draw to a close.  Tell ma I got her letter.  I sent them a postal with Juliaís letter and you girls can tell her what I write as I couldnít say or write much in German.

Guess Iíll go down town and get my check cashed.  Itís 4 weeks today that I got here.  Seems longer than that to me.  Suppose you folks will be planting corn by the time you get this letter.  The neighbors must of surprized [sic] Fagaís some alright.  Seems thatís the style out there.

Well write soon & often and tell us all the news.  As ever your sister & brother,

Herbert & Emma



-source: Cheryl Siebrass. Letters from her Grandmother's sister Emma and Herbert (brother-in-law) while stationed stationed at Fort Worden, WA.

 

-Submitted by Cheryl Siebrass
Iowa GenWeb County Coordinator, Cass http://iagenweb.org/cass/ and Audubon counties http://www.iagenweb.org/audubon/