Letters Home

Pvt. Herbert Hocamp

Letters Home



Sat. May 18 Ė 1918

.  Got a letter from Tena yesterday.  She said the baby was far.  Well I sure would like to see her.  What does Eleonora say about it.  I hope the baby is good so you will have time to write me as you have been doing better than the rest and it sure seems good to get a letter from home.

I also got a letter from Mrs. Dick yesterday.  She wants me to have the photographer make some more of Emilís pictures.  Mrs. Bonney and I were over to Flagler Thursday afternoon.  Bonney has been K.P. all week.  They get a week at a time in the 13th Co. so he just got off till 4 oíclock, and Herbert had to go on guard at 4.  So Mrs. & I walked around the Fort by ourselves from 4 till 6 oíclock. One has to keep moving around as there is no place for a woman to go to over there and it was so cold we nearly froze.  So we walked around and watched them go on guard mount.  They have to go through a lot of well I donít know what to call it.  Their guns are examined and they have to be dressed up and shaved and have their shoes polished and they have to line up and march a ways.  There were about 50 I guess altogether.  Herbert got the post around the guard house.  Thatís one of the hardest posts because the officers try to sneak up on the guards or Sentury [sic] as they are called.

I went over again yesterday and took some laundry over as this has been a rainy week and I did not get them dry to take over Thursday and thought they would be needed for inspection this morning.  I told Herbert I would bring them over and leave them at the Post Exchange.  So of course the guard house is only a little ways from that and he could see me so he got permission to go to the P.X. and met me and he had his hours put in but he had to stay around the guard house till the new ones went on.  So we visited there a while and then he told me where to go as he had to take something to the office.  So we walked up there together, and he gave me the key to get the mail as he did not dare go himself till after five.  So I got a letter from Mrs. Dick, one from Lena & 1 from Tena and then I put in the rest of the time walking till Herbert was off and he went to the dock with me and waited for the boat.  The water was pretty rough but I didnít get sick.  Herbert is on K.P. today so wonít get over till tomorrow forenoon sometime.

It rained all night, but I think the sun will shine pretty soon now.  Herbert has not been called for oversea examination yet but he said they called a pile of them out of the First Co. and nearly every one passed.  Well I pray they wonít call him. He told me the other night that the Chaplain was transferred to the 69th and will go across with them so I guess I wonít get that job.  Well I donít care.  So they find a place for us over there.  Mrs. Bonney and I will be together and the boys can be with us every night then when they are not on guard.  But of course Herbert said he would wait till this blew over.  Mrs. Dick said in her letter they heard Herbert was gone.  Well I wonder where they get all those things out there.  What do the people think I would be staying out here for if Herbert was gone.  They might know as long as I am here Herbert is here also. 

She wrote about Emilís Ins. again.  Well we can do nothing.  Donít even know where Herbertís are.  I should think she knew how little we can do, she had the experience when she was here.  I wrote them, Emilís Lieut. Address, and perhaps you could tell Dick to have Lynch write to him about it.  We can do nothing.  I went to the photographer right away yesterday and told them to print the pictures.  And I will write to Wedemeyers, and send the pictures just as soon as they are finished.  They are $1.00 a doz. And if they want some Flagler views I can get them some.  They are 5 cents a piece.  She wrote me a German letter but I will write the other kind when I ans. It.  If you get to see them you can tell them what I wrote or phone them as it will be a few days before I write to them and as Herbert says, a fellow donít know anything for sure in the army.

Well I am not working for that Catholic Mrs. anymore.  She wanted me to stay all [the] time, nights, Sundays and all.  And I told her I would do no such thing as I came out here to be with Herb.  And I wouldnít let any work keep me from it.  She was so darn nice anyway and thought she had a greenhorn that she could just work to a finish.  Well she kept a person going every minute and then in the afternoon instead of getting a little rest I had to take the 3 kids for a walk.  And I had to eat in the pantry but that part didnít bother me.  I did not want to eat with them, but she just kept telling how she wanted things done and I got all worked up about it.  And Herbert said every time he came over here I had the headache and the first thing Iíd be down sick and he did not get me out here to be some oneís dog, and especially a Catholic. So he made me promise that I wouldnít go back or he would go there himself and tell, so I quit.  And she said she had a girl coming from Seattle to stay with her all the time so I guess it was just as good.  Donít tell this over the phone though or there will be more stories.

Well when I get back I can tell you how to be clean.  I guess they would think the farmers belonged in the pig pens.  Ha!  Ha!  Well donít blue the childrensí diapers and change their whole outfits twice a day, stockings and all, and of course you donít want anything but white on them.  Well I guess Iíll quit or you will get to [sic] clean.  Ha!  Ha!  Gee but I would like to get her in the cow yard about this time of the year and accidently give her a shove.

Well George wrote me how Eleonora shut the chickens up the Sunday they were there.  Thatís like her alright.  So you took the feather beds off.  Well I guess it donít get that warm here.  Of course we have no feather beds, but they tell me it is always cool here evenings.  A person has about the same amt. of covers on all the year round.  I nearly froze yesterday over at Flagler, and I have a fire this morning.  The climate agrees with me alright. 

Well tomorrow is Pentecost day but I guess I wonít hear any sermon.  That sure was an expensive joy ride for Otto.  Well mabey [sic] they will think of what I told them last winter.  Of course Sallie thought it pretty cute and I told her they would let those kids run the cars until they run them into a ditch.   There hasnít any of them wrote anything about it.  Well in fact the Hocamps are all pretty slow in writing.  You have been doing fine, hope you will continue.  I will enclose a picture of the big gun that Herbert took the examination on.    Do you think he would shoot rocks off the big hill with it.  You donít need to tell the Hocamps about these pictures I am sending you.  They donít hurt themselves doing things for us either.  Just tell them you got a letter or card which ever it is and what they donít know wonít hurt them. 

I made Herbert pretty angry when I told him how they acted all winter.  He wanted to write to them and tell them a few things, but I would not let him.  Herb got a letter from Sallie just a few days before I arrived here and she said, ďWe understand Emma let Fred have the Ford for what you gave for it.Ē  Believe me the first letter I wrote to her I explained a few things to her and asked her what she thought I had a sale for and the expense of having it, if I intended handing the money back and I told her there wasnít anyone handing me $100.00 checks.  I was left to see how I could get along.  Thought perhaps she would get sore but she never said anything about it since.

The sun is shining again.  Now I wanted to get this off this morning but I think the mail man has been around.

Well I guess Iíve written about everything I know this morning so will draw to a close and I hope to hear from you again soon.  And may these lines find you all well as they leave us.  Have you named the baby yet.  John Immel must be in bad shape.  Well I guess the big stout people can get sick just as easy as the weaker ones.  How is your pig crop coming.  You will be all fixed up when we get back, we wonít know you.  Well just so we get back.  Iíll risk the rest.  May the Lord help us to be reunited soon.  Am glad pa is feeling better.  As ever your sister & brother,

H. & Em.

-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/