Dear Folks at Home
Well I finely got down here, landing Thursday, and it is sure some ride, believe me but I stood the trip fine and enjoyed it as there were 565 in the bunch, so a fellow couldn’t get lonesome. In our sleeping car. there were 48 men, we got our meals on the train. They let us off once in a while for exercise, generally in the larger towns. We didn’t get very much to eat coming, but I guess it is better for one when on a long trip. Our feed consisted of corned beef, canned tomatoes, coffee and bread and got food three times a day. When we stopped in towns we were not allowed to go to the stores to buy anything to eat, so there were porters on the train that we bought food from. Of course we had to pay more for it. A pie costing 30 cents, but two or three of us went to together on them so it didn’t cost so much. We surely did get tired of the same thing over and over again. One of the boys that I chummed with had fruit and fried chicken along and he shared with me. He is a tine fellow and we are still together but can’t tell how long it will be. We are liable to be transferred any day, so can’t send you any permanent address until we hear.
Well this is some place. Of course we haven’t seen much of it yet. It is altogether different from Camp Dodge. We are all in tents, nine men in a tent, and it seems as though that is all we can see. But don’t think we are going to freeze. Oh no. The climate here is as warm as summer time up home, but the nights are cool. The climate is fine but the country is a little wild. Sage brush and cactus is about all that can be found here, and its pretty lonesome at times but guess we can stand it. We are two miles from Deming. I wish I could have taken some pictures on the way down. We saw about 1,000 acres of land I wouldn’t take as a gift. It is very hilly and dry and it beats all the poor people living there. I don’t believe they have enough money to get away from there, or I am sure they would.
If you take the map you can trace our trip. We took the Wabash to Kansas City, then the Santa Fe to Deming. Tell pa we got to see the country around Amarillo. We got off there and went down town, It’s a nice place and they raise good crops but farming would be better if the ground had more moisture. We also saw the oil wells in Kansas. From Elderato to Augusta was great. There were thousands of them and one would think that gas and oil would be as cheap as water but it is as high as at home. We are 1500 miles from home. The boys that have been here for several months are awfully brown and expect that is the way we will look. There is no end to sand here. I don’t wonder that Iowa land is so high. There is so much waste land here.
Well folks I’d like to write more of the country if I could. I must tell you that our time is one hour and fifteen minutes faster than down here. I had to set my watch back, Well folks I am fine and dandy. The water here is good and the meals are better than at Camp Dodge. Don’t worry as Chuck is all right. With longing thoughts to all.
59 Depot Brigade.
14 Training Co.
Camp Cody, Deming. N. M
from “Iowa Recorder” 5/12/1917.