Spanish-American War/Conflict

Co. M, 52nd Iowa Volunteers

Kennedy, Watson D. 1875-1942

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LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, June 27, 1898

SENEY: (Special Correspondence)

Seney is proud of the fact that she has four brave boys who have volunteered to give their lives, if necessary, for their country. Watson Kennedy and Will Ewin went to Sheldon Thursday to enlist.

They both passed a satisfactory medical examination and were accepted. They will go to Sheldon Monday morning and will leave for Chickamauga in the afternoon. They will be mustered into company M of the Fifty-second Iowa regiment. Mark and Zip Aukema will also go to Sheldon Monday for the purpose of enlisting. These boys tried to get into the regular army about a year ago, but were rejected on account of slight physical disabilities. Mark underwent a surgical operation some time ago to remove his disability. They both expect to be accepted this time and be able to go to Chickamauga with the other boys. All honor to our brave boys, we wish them Godspeed. May they soon return to us as sound as when they leave.

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, July 10, 1898

SENEY: (Special Correspondence)

The following letter written by Watson Kennedy to the members of the Epworth League will be read with interest by his friends:

Camp Thomas, Ga., July 4, 1898

Dear Leaguers,
Here I am and will try to fulfill my promise. I am enjoying good health. There are about 70,000 men in camp, the first corps will leave soon. The 52nd tried to get transferred to that corps but was not successful. We were not uniformed well. They have not uniformed the new recruits yet. The 52nd is almost full. Company M has been full for several days. We expect Capt. Gooch and the rest of the recruits tomorrow. Only three men of the 52nd are in the hospital and 147 of the 1st Mississippi. The northern boys stand this climate well, it is not so very much different from Iowa. It is about 96 every day from 3 to 4 o'clock p.m., that is the hottest. The nights are cool. It gets dark at 7:30 p.m. Our daily program is get up at 5:30 a.m., roll-call at 5:45, mess call at 6, drill 7:30-9:30, clean up tents and so forth until noon. After dinner we rest and write letters until 2:30, drill until 5 o'clock, then get ready for supper and after supper it is rest till nine o'clock when all the lights must be put out. On Wednesday and Saturday nights the 52nd has dress parade, Saturday afternoon inspection by captain and Sunday morning inspection by colonel. That is very nearly the daily routine. Today we have nothing to do except the necessary camp duties.

We had a very pleasant trip. Left Sheldon, Iowa, 5:20 p.m. in a special car. Arrived in Chicago 10:20 a.m., Tuesday, left Chicago 11:45 a.m. and Cincinnati 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, on a special train of thirteen cars and two engines, reached Camp Thomas 10:30 a.m., Wednesday. There is not fifty miles along the line that will compare with Iowa. Crops are getting ripe in the Central part of Indiana, in the southern part they are harvesting, threshing in Kentucky and Tennessee. We passed over level plains, through belts of timber and up river valleys, an ever changing panorama of ever changing beauty. I cannot describe the trip at all. We passed through and over the Cumberland mountains. Sometimes we were hundreds of feet from the ground apparently flying through the air, then we would dash down into a tunnel, sometimes only for a few seconds, some it took five minutes to go through. We went through eighteen after daylight on Wednesday morning. Some of the time we were above the clouds and then we would be in the midst of them, then they were above us hovering on the mountain tops. We passed around curves that passengers in the rear coach could almost reach the engine, then up we would go, the engines could hardly pull the train. Great rocks would hang out from the side of the mountain threatening destruction to the train. Then we would see far below us a negro cabin, one could drop a stone from the car window into the chimney. All they can raise is a little corn and tobacco on the mountain side. Their principal occupation is lumbering. Well, I hope you are all enjoying yourselves. I will be glad to hear from any that will write to me.

Company M, 52nd Iowa Volunteers

LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
November 3, 1898


The Plymouth County contingent of soldiers, members of the Fifty-second Iowa
volunteers, returned home Monday morning on a special train arrived at 3:30,
which conveyed companies H, L, and M from Des Moines. They are home this
time to stay and resume their avocations as private citizens, after having
responded to the call of their country and faithfully performed the duties
which they were called upon to undertake after enlisting. Those who returned
this morning were John Connolly, Peter Wilmes, Henry Mammen, Jos. Mohan, W.
McGillvray, L. McGillvray, A. K. Shoup, W. Kennedy, Gus Forbes, Chas. Burns
Jr, of LeMars; Henry Brandt, of Struble; Dave Langhout, H. Eberhardt, A. K.
Shoup, Merrill; Clarence Moore and H. Ewing (sic William A. Ewin), of Seney.

Of several of the boys seen, they all agreed that if Uncle Sam needed their
services again, they would be willing to step right up to the front and
their only regret was that they never had a chance to go into action.

The LeMars boys on the whole have no complaint to make and in contradiction
to reports have nothing to say in disparagement of their officers and all
speak in highest terms of Colonel Humphrey, the head of the regiment.