News Reports of the War,
Written by the Prophetstown Spike newspaper reporter, Clayton Alvin Pense
Submitted by his granddaughter, Carol Brown
Clayton Pense was in the war, as well as a Representative of the Prophetstown Spike
OFF TO THE WAR
A large number of Prophetstown people went to Morrison, Tuesday afternoon and evening, to witness the departure of Co. I, for the front. The company had been receiving new recruits for several days, and among those were eleven from Prophetstown: John Littell, Richmond McKenzie, C.A. Pense, Elmer Maxfield, Chas. Kellett, Frank Kingery, Frank Carlton, Leonard Middleton, William Dahlstrom, George Kohl and Neil Stanley; Henry Adams, of this place, being a member of the Co. A recruiting officer from Morrison arrived here early Tuesday morning and in a short time had secured the above recruits, some of whom had previously sent in their names. The boys were ordered to report at the Armory in Morrison by nine o'clock in the evening, and on account of the short notice, no farewell demonstration was tendered them here before their departure, but many of their friends went to Morrison to assist in wishing them God-Speed. Morrison on that day witnessed one of the most exciting times since the civil war and the boys who were going to offer their services in defense of their country were given a glorious farewell. Just before their departure of 10:30 p.m. Judge Ramsay delivered a short farewell address to the Company, which was eloquent and patriotic and the ringing words will be carried with the boys wherever they may go.
On the same train Co. E. of Sterling, left for the seat of action. Such a wave of enthusiasm and patriotism as swept over Whiteside County on that 26th day of April 1898, has never before been experienced - not even in the "days of 61." We venture to say that should the call come, a regiment could be formed in this county inside of twenty-four hours. While it is to be hoped that the war with Spain will be of short duration, Whiteside County and Prophetstown in particular, will be found ever ready to respond heartily and readily to a call for men to fight for the defense and in honor of "old Glory."
A letter received from C.A. Pense, the Spike's representative, among the soldier boys who enlisted from Prophetstown, states that the boys arrived in Springfield safe and sound. The first night all they had to sleep on were the daily papers they had purchased. But the next night it was different. They are well treated and all are longing to go to Cuba. They are quartered in the Exhibition building. He says there are about 8000 now in Camp Tanner, but says nothing about coming back home or that those who enlisted after April 15 will be obliged to return. If Clate .....
The flag carried by Company I of this city for a number of years, and which was presented to the Company by the citizens of this city, was presented to Alpheus Clark Post Tuesday evening by Capt. Colebaugh, as Co I did not exist any longer as a State organization. The flag was given to the Post upon the condition that it be returned, provided another militia company is organized when the boys return -- Sentinal --
From the Boys in Camp
Camp Tanner Co I 6th Reg.
Springfield ILL. May 5, 1898 -- Editor Spike --
The boys in Camp are having some rainy weather for a change. It has rained nearly every day since our arrival. Camp routine is on a good earnest now, and it's drill, march and drill about all the time. We commenced on two hours drill in the forenoon, at first; last Saturday they gave us five miles and it is to be increased two miles each day until we get 15 miles of it. We carry our guns and belts now but when we get to the 15 mile mark we will put on our baggage, consisting of blanket, overcoat, knapsack, haversack, canteen, etc. Along with this we have guard duties to perform, so you see it is not all play that we are here for. The first man from Prophetstown on guard was C.T. Kellett. He was on Wednesday, May 4, and it rained on him good and hard all night. In all our marching so far, not a man from Co I has had to fall out. We've had war on a small scale already, for two men have been killed since our arrival. One of them tried to run the guard and in turn he had a bayonet run through him. Our Company has tendered its services to the government with the understanding that we can retain our old officers, or when vacancies occur we will have the privilege of electing new officers to fill these vacancies. Capt. Holt, the Quartermaster of the 6th Reg., resigned his position on account of ill health. He had served 14 years in this position, and the boys of the Regiment made up a purse and got him a gold headed cane as a token of respect. It was presented to him on May 3, by Col. Foster. Co I took its first examination April 28 and only 8 men were thrown out. This examination was only on the heart and lungs, but we are to have another and more thorough one, but no one in the ranks knows when it is to come. Camp life is not all work for we have lots of real fun sandwiched in with it. Its lots of fun to eat out in the rain with Mother Earth as a table. Another think; the boys don't care if some one does have his feet on the table, although we know it is not polite. But, in our case, how would it be managed otherwise, I would like to know? Then we have boxing gloves to wake the boys up with. We sing songs, dance and play ... One thing we are longing for, is to go to the front. All the Prophetstown boys say "We'll follow "Old Glory" through anything until proudly she waves over the Island of Cuba." And they mean it too. All of our town boys are well and ready for war in any shape. Not a one will return home unless obliged to on account of sickness or failure to pass the rigid examination we are expecting every day. The local papers and letters from home cheer and remind us that our friends at home are with us in sympathy and will be interested in hearing good reports from Co I., and the Prophetstown boys in particular ---- C.A. Pense
Springfield Ill., May 10, 1898
Co I Sixth Reg. - Camp Tanner
Another week has passed and we are still in camp, but at present we have things more convenient. For one thing, we have troughs to sleep in; that is, 10 in.. boards nailed together in such a way as to form a sort of stall that will hold four men. Then we put straw on the floor and each man has a blanket so by four bunking together, we do very well. We also have a long mess table out of doors, so that the Company can line up and have a place to eat. But when it rains, it is not as nice as home, yet. But still we are content. Last Sunday the excursion trains came in from every direction, loaded with visitors. They were laden with baskets and boxes of cakes, pies, dainties of all kinds. Express wagons were kept busy for a while, delivering the boxes to the different Companies, but as it happened, Co. I was left out in the cold on that deal. We stood about with wistful eyes and watering mouths and watched with rest partake of the luxuries of home. We have plenty such as it is, but then a few dainties from home would not go so bad, especially when the other fellows get them so often. In the evening one can hear most every kind of animal living. About every man in camp can mimic some kind of animal, and when the boys once all get to going, you can probably imagine what kind of a noise we have. Well, we have all had some guard duty, so that now we know a little something about all branches of camp life. But that did not scare us out; we are still willing to go to the front with our Captain, W.F. Colebaugh. There is no better Captain, in the regiment, and all the boys like him. He certainly is the right man in the right place. Regarding an item in the Whiteside Sentinel, Prophetstown Correspondence, referring to Henry Adams. We would like to say that there must be a mistake somewhere as the item referred to says Henry Adams came back home. He is with us and has been here all the time. He will stay as long as any of the boys. He is not one who shows the white feather. He comes from better fighting stock than that. Co I has a mascot. While Serg. Mathews was down town the other day, he captured a dog. We have named him "Tanner" and he is to be our mascot. The Illinois Y.M.C.A. have a tent out on the south side of the Exposition building. Here writing material, newspapers and good books are kept for the free use of all the soldier boys. They hold meetings Sunday eve, at sunset and Song and Gospel services Tuesday evenings. This tent is open from 8:30 a.m. til 9:00 p.m. On Sunday we had preaching in the amphitheater and while the services were in progress, under us on the grounds they were selling hot and cold drinks, ice cream, etc. and continually shouting and yelling for customers. Out in front of us the horsemen were training there trotters, pacers and runners. In fact everything seemed more like the Fourth of July than Sunday, especially when you consider the 60,000 visitors on the grounds. On Tuesday we went up to the State House and took our final examination. Out of the 82 who took the examination 25 were rejected and Richmond McKenzie was one of the 25. My, but he was blue about it and so were we, because he was well liked by the whole Company. How we disliked to see him go; but it could not be helped. A good many of the boys who did not pass, also felt pretty blue, but this weeding out leaves what men we have, good solid men who will be able to withstand most any hardship. Co. I will be one of the best in the Regiment. All men passing the first examination will have to be vaccinated. We expect our issue of clothing now anytime and then will come the move south. When the news came a few days ago that we were likely to be called to Cuba, three of the Erie Patriots (?) from our Company, Mr. Alderond, George W. Hubbart and Wm. H. Hubbart became faint hearted. Sun stroke, consumption and rheumatism were their complaints. On of them had all the diseases known to mankind. We don't know why they ever came down here, but we do know shy they went back again. I am glad to state that not a boy from Prophetstown has shown the white and they won't, either. The following members of the Co I ... were rejected. Sergt. Curtis; Corp. ..ville Kaler, privates Robt. Davis, Wm. ..onroade, Henry W. Clark, Ge. ...hour, Chas. Hyatt, Arthur Stanton, Harry Morse, Theo. McGee, Fred...anson, Henry Vandyke, Emerson...., Otto Harrison, Evan Black, Yarbrough and Claude Shelley; C.H. Birley of Lyndon; Alvin Burch of Fulton; Harry Fisher of Fenton; Richmond McKenzie of Prophetstown; Chas. McGee of Sterling, Wm. Alderoad, George Hubbart and Wm. Hubbart of Erie; Walter Weeks of DeKalb. Now that we have passed our examinations, we know what to expect and among other things, the following is the series of our service calls; First Reville Call 5:30 a.m. Reville 5:45 a.m. Fatigue 6:00 a.m. mess call 6:30 a.m. Sick Call 7:00 a.m. Recall 9:30 a.m. School Call (Officers) 10 a.m. First Serg. Call, 11:00 a.m. Mess Call 12: p.m. Drill Call, 1:30 p.m. Recalls 3:30 p.m. Guard Mount 4:30 p.m. Mess call 5:00 p.m. Assembly Parade 6:00 p.m. Tatoo 9:30 p.m. Taps, 10: 00 p.m. Most of the boys have learned the calls, but I guess we all know the mess calls better than all the rest and are always ready to fall in when we hear its welcome notes. Our mail service is equal to that in cities of from 3,000 to 5,000 inhabitants. Following is the list of the collections and deliveries: Collections 7:15 a.m. 9:15 a.m. 12:M. 4:15 p.m. 8:00 P.m. Deliveries 8:30 a.m. 12:m 2:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 9:15 p.m. e are anxious to be on the move and I hope my next letter will be sent from off the coast of Florida or at least from New Orleans. All are well and happy and think more than ever of "Old Glory".
Regards to all our friends --- C.A. Pense
Some of our men who wanted to go to the front real bad but failed on examination, were given another trial at it and six of them passed. Among the six was Richmond McKenzie, O.. Company now number 83, in officers and men. Wednesday afternoon we were sworn into the service of the United States. We are now Uncle Sam's boys. Our regiment is the first containing 12 full companies ever sworn into the service. Col. Foster says Co. I has the best men in his regiment. We had hard-tack today (Wednesday) for the first time. We have received a pretty straight tip that we are to start for Mobile Ala., on Saturday. Tell all of Dick's friends that he feels considerable better... Clate.
Springfield IL May 17, 1898 - Camp Tanner
Editor Spike: Thursday afternoon May 12, our Regiment marched over to Lincoln's Monument. We marched all round it so that all who had not seen it could get a good look at the last resting place of our martyred President. Can you imagine our feelings when as we passed the north door, we could see, through the grates, the casket? Our hearts were filled with patriotic pride to know that we were marching under that same old banner which Lincoln loved so well, and we thanked God for permitting us to be a part of a great army which shall show to the world that the American people are not all money grabbers and misers, but a people who believe in equal rights and freedom for all mankind. Friday forenoon, May 13, 23 were heartily greeted by Judge Ramsay, Sher.. Fuller, Atty. Stocking and Squire Baird of Morrison, who at dinner partook of hardtack and coffee with us. After dinner our hearts gave a big thump when we learned that these gentlemen were a Committee from Morrison who had come to give us a reception. This reception was no small affair, either. Capt. Colebaugh had us all relieved from duty and had three electric cars at the entrance gate for our disposal. According to program, at seven o'clock we were lined up and marched in the gate where he took the cars for the Leland Hotel. You all know that the Leland is, and it was here that the head officers of the 6th Reg. partook of the biggest supper man ever attempted to get the best of. Course after course and still we stayed right by it. I actually trembled for Littel and Dick McKenzie and thought they never would stop. But all things have an end and of course this did, so after the last course the cigars were passed and while we were seated about the tables, smoking and taking it easy, we listened to several short but patriotic talks by our officers, Atty. Stockint officiating as toastmaster. Then Judge Ramsay addressed us in behalf of the people of Morrison. He bade us Godspeed and wished us a safe return home. He spoke of our friends we were leaving behind, the battles we might be called on to fight, the honor of the State; reminded us that the Illinois boys die from 61 to 65 and above all urged us that, wherever our grand old banner was, not to falter, but to be and stay right with it to the last. At 10 o'clock we returned to Camp, riding back in the street cars like kings. The return trip was lively and we cheered again and again for our officers and our committee from Morrison. Co I went back to Camp feeling better. Now, instead of being looked down upon because we have no friends, we are the envied of all the troops in Camp. I believe Co I will prove itself worthy of the confidence bestowed by our officers and friends at home. On Saturday Capt. Colebaugh appointed the following non-commissioned officers:
First Sergt. D.E. Crouch
Second Sergt Harry Weaver
Com. Sergt A. Matthews
Fourth Sergt J. Rockey
Fifth Sergt. Harry Rockey
Sixth Sergt. A.J. Osborne
Corporals: Henry W. Adams, H. Berry, Evan Black, Lyle Seaton, Scott Leatherman and C.A> Pense. We were all vaccinated and a few days after one could see the men going around with placards on; their left arms, such as "Keep off the grass:" "Glass, will break;" "Beware of the Dog," etc. On Saturday Sergt. Osborne, of Erie, received two boxes containing delicacies of all kinds. One cake was marked "Co. I 6th Reg." It contained buns, canned goods, pie, cakes, chickens, cigars, etc. It was placed in the hands of the cooks for our Sunday dinner. We wish to thank the people of Erie for their generosity. On Monday we took an invoice of everything belonging to the State and turned in everything not serviceable. That evening our Reg. attended an entertainment given by the 1st Cavalry, on the platform in the centre of the exhibition building. It was as good as any 50 cent show on the road. That afternoon we also received orders to be ready to move to Washington D.C. at 9 o'clock the next morning. We did not leave quarters however, until after three o'clock in the afternoon. We were then marched out and received our guns. From there we boarded the "Maine" the nature of our car. It was just 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, when we started out on our journey to Washington, over the Wabash R. Ry. In my next letter I will try and tell you about this trip. Before closing I must not forget to tell you about another feast we had Tuesday evening. Fred Johnson got a box from Morrison containing goodies for several of the boys, from that place and Dick McKenzie, John Littel and the writer received a box from Prophetstown friends. By dividing up we had a good meal all around. The boxes came just in time to give us a good start on our journey. The boys from Prophetstown, together with the entire company, wish to thank their friends for the kind remembrance. We are all happy to at last be off for the front. Yours, with regards all around..... C.A. Pense
Camp Alger May 23, 1898
Falls Church VA - Co I 6th Reg. IL Vol
Editor Spike: According to my promise of last week, I will try to describe our journey east. But now after arrival, I find myself unequal to the task of expressing it all in words; however, the best I can do follows: Our regiment occupied three trains or divisions, each of 12 Wagner sleepers, 4 freight cars and 1 horse car. After leaving Springfield, all was quiet on board our trains as we rolled away over the Illinois prairies, until we reached Danville IL about 5:20 a.m. Wednesday. Here the boys began to tumble out of their berths and by the time we arrived at West Point IN at 6:45 nearly all were up. We crossed the Wabash River at Lockport IN. At Peru IN we began to see oil wells. It was the same all through the low lands until we reached North Baltimore OH where it seems as though there is nothing but oil wells. We must have seen several thousand of them here. At Defiance OH we were switched over on the B & O Railroad. We were also greeted here by a brass ....... about 15 minutes and it rained nearly all the time. But the girls stood the rain bravely and exchanged flowers, hat pins, ribbons, etc., for buttons. We were greeted at nearly all the stations along the line; at some places cigars were passed to the boys. At Wheeling W.VA we crossed the Ohio River and here each division of our train was divided into two sections of seven cars each. After getting a few miles out, Col. Foster became aware that the first section was without a commissioned officer aboard. He then gave Capt. Colebauch of our Company, charge of that section and told him to "catch his train." The Captain telegraphed ahead and had it stopped long enough for him to get aboard. He had charge of that section until we reached Grafton WV where he was relieved and given charge of the second section. Just after leaving Grafton we approached the summit of the Chief Mts. We passed through a tunnel. We also passed through several smaller tunnels. We followed the Chief river through the mountains bearing that name, and some of the scenery along this route is alone well worth a trip down here. Who's hands, but those of the Creator could make such scenery? While crossing the mountain we met a regiment of New York boys on their way to Chickamauga. Some of the grades we went up were pretty steep. One "hill", twelve miles long has an up grade of 100 ft. to the mile. We got our first glimpse of the Potomac river at Terralta WV. From that point we followed the river down to Harpers Ferry. Here we saw John Brown's monument, on the site of the old fort. From here we rode down the Shenandoah Valley. Near Winchester we saw the house where General Sheridan had his headquarters during the memorable campaign in that section. We also saw the old hospital, earthworks and cemetery where several thousand soldiers were buried. At Strausburg VA we were switched over on the "Southern" railroad. From this place we went directly over the Blue Ridge Mts., down to Manassas, where 20,000 grave boys in blue lost their lives. We also saw the site of the first battle of Bull Run. At Alexandria our train was connected again and Capt. Colebaugh was relieved of his charge. We arrived at Dun Loring VA about 10 o'clock Thursday evening. That night we had the use of the cars but at 5 the next morning we left the cars and waited until afternoon for the other two divisions of our train to come up. Upon their arrival we fell in line and marched out to Falls Church, or Camp Alger as it is now named, a distance of three miles, through the broiling hot sun 92 degrees in the shade, they said it was. It was a little more than the boys were accustomed to, and it just about finished some of them. Our rations on the way down were hardtack, coffee, canned beef and canned beans. As you will imagine, there was some tall kicking and it did no good; we were obliged to take it just as it was - and it was half rations. While coming over the mountains we had two, and at one place three engines to pull our section of 7 cars. But now we are in camp at last, and feel better satisfied than at Camp Tanner. We have tents, four men to each tent, and by gathering hemlock branches we have managed to fix up a fairly comfortable place to sleep. None of our company have as yet been seriously ill, but am sorry to say that one of Co A's men just next to us, died last Saturday, of typhoid fever. Our water supply is very poor. If we want a cup of water, we are obliged to walk a half a mile to get it and then it is not the best in the world. We are only 12 miles from Washington and on Saturday we had some visitors from the Capital City. Senator Cullom came out to see us and Senator Mason was out Sunday. Mason inquired about several Prophetstown people. If this section of the country can't beat Illinois and the west in raising another crop, it can beat us in raising toads. I am afraid you will find this letter somewhat mixed but you know I was vaccinated not long since and now my arm is as big as two arms ought to be and besides I have a cold and do not feel extra good; so Mr. SPIKE and kind readers, please make an allowance this time. I will be all right in a day or two. The boys from home are all doing nicely. So far we have the healthiest lot of men in the company. Referring back to the trip, it would take several columns to do it justice, but not wishing to tire your readers and also taking pity on the typesetter, Gerald, Mildred, or who ever it may be,, I will close.. Yours Truly -- C.A. Pense
Falls Church VA
Co I 6th Reg. Ill. Vol. Inf. Camp Ager May 30, 1898
Editor Spice and Friends -- Company I is still making drill and mess the principal features of camp life, and although we do not yet know what the government has agreed to feed us on, we manage to get enough to eat. The boys have learned to take things just as they find them, and there is very little kicking - it does no good to kick, for some one is bound to make it "boodle", and the man that makes it can stand the kicking. Co. I is lucky not to have any members who do not draw rations. We do not know how soon we may have them, but they will surely not be welcome. Some of the companies have had to take them in and some call them the "Co. Pets," others, "crumbs." and still others give them the good old army name "gray-backs".
The Government is having wells sunk at different places on the camp ground, so our water supply will be much better than before. We have been in camp long enough to fix up our "bunks" some, so we are now quite comfortably located. Our bunks are made by driving stakes into the ground, leaving a crotch on the upper end; then by laying on long poles, with cross poles on these and covering the whole with branches and blankets, we have a very comfortable bunk, high and dry.
On Friday, Gen. Graham reviewed the whole camp. Saturday morning all regiments who were not properly equipped were issued blouses, trousers and leggins. A review stand was erected a short distance east of our regiment and Saturday afternoon President McKinley, Vice Pres., Hobart, Secy. Alger, Genl. Miles and several other prominent officials from Washington were out and held a grand review of the 1st N.J. 7th Ohio, 65th N.Y., 8th Mass., 8th Ohio, 8th, 12th and 13th PA, 150th Ind., 6th Pa, S.F. and the 4th MO. In passing in review, the 6th IL held its own with any of them.
Monday we were excused from drill and most of the boys attempted the memorial ceremonies. Capt. Colebaugh is the only officer in our regiment who is a member of G.A.R. There is a Salvation Army tent here where meetings are held every evening and kept open for the use of the boys as a reading and writing room during the day. The boys are waiting anxiously for pay day. I am glad to say that the boys as a general thing are feeling fine and having a good time. The climate down here is very pleasant. We are all ready to go to Cuba any time Uncle Sam says we would. I think the Illinois boys will hold their own with any. The SPIKES were received this afternoon. Please accept thanks form all the boys receiving one. The supplements were used to decorate the camp.
Falls Church VA
Co I 6th Reg. ILL. Vol. Inf. Camp Alger, June 5, 1898
Editor Spike: This week has been exceedingly dull as far as news about the camp is concerned. It's been about the same old routine of duties. Last Tuesday, May 31, a few from each company in our regiment succeeded in securing passes. We went over to Fort Buffalo, where the Second N.Y. were encamped, one winter during the Civil War. We found several relics,including grape shot, Mine balls, buckets, etc. We were there all day and had a fun time; saw several historic places and returned in the evening, tired, but feeling we'd repaid for our trip. Four men and a non-commissioned officer from each company get a pass each day. Some go to Washington and some to the old forts and battlefields to hunt for relics. Friday, June 3, we moved about one-eighth of a mile northwest of where we had been, in order to clear the ground for drill and parade purposes. We are now camping just north of the 8th Ohio. When we were all ready to break camp, just before we moved , all our tents were dropped to the west. This was done at the sound of a drum, and it was a pretty sight to see all those tents drop at once. We hear all sorts of the rumors about going to the front, but we don't know a thing about when or where we will go. At present, rumor says that we are to fill our company up to 106 men or 26 more than we now have, and that we are to get them from Whiteside County. This report is more than likely true, and is occasioned on account of the second call for men. I would here suggest that any good, sound, able bodied men who wish to join Co I 6th Reg., would do well to leave their names with E. G. Mathis, so that when the recruiting officer comes the work of recruiting Prophetstown's quota could be done promptly.
Dick McKenzie has a full crop of whiskers and he seems real proud of them.
L.S. Heath was run in by guard post No. 6 last Tuesday. He got a little extra duty, but we can say he is not like the boy who could not do his share when called on. It was the first time for him and it amused the boys not a little. Chas. H. Birley of Lyndon says H. Warner will come down here he will do him up catching bass.
Most of the boys are feeling hearty and ?? and getting so that they seem as well content with camp life as they were at home. John Littell takes good care of his gun. He sleeps with it to keep anyone anyone else from breting on it for it might rust. John also has an aversion to sleeping with his head down hill. Says he might have a rush of brains to his head. Hilton Wilcox says he does not have to work as hard here as he did at home shoeing horses, but he is not stuck on the grab a little bit. His vaccination has still a grip on his arm, and accordingly he does not feel any too good yet.
Sergt. Osborne eats hard tack as if he knew how. He is all right, and shows that he has been there before. Len Middleton and Neal Staples are doing a ... and make good soldiers. In fact all the boys are doing well, and are ever ready to go to the front. At the same time, when this trouble is settled, we will all be ready to return home and take up the duties of citizen life. The Erie boys with us are keeping up their end with the rest.
The Illinois and Pennsylvania boys have played four games of baseball. Illinois has won 3 and Pennsylvania 1. So lon gor this time and regards to all.
Yours -- C.A. Pense
Camp Alger - June 13, 1898
Falls Church VA - Co I 6th Reg. IL Vol.
Camp Alger is beginning to seem like home, for we have been in Camp long enough to fix things up so that we are quite comfortable. We are still drilling and waiting for orders to move. The morning papers seem to be what every man in camp wants to see. War news is the first thing glanced at and then we look for news of our own camp. The climate down here is warming up considerable. The mercury hovers between 95 degrees and 10 nearly every day. There has been but veery little rain since the first few days we were here, therefore the roads and parade grounds are quite dusty. But notwithstanding, the dry, hot weather, the climate seems to agree with the boys pretty well.
Sergt. A.J. Osborne left here Tuesday June 7, for a trip home after new recruits. We expect to see some of the Prophetstown boys answer the call again and will be much pleased to meet and welcome them. We expect to have 106 men in our company when the recruiting officer returns. Osborne has been in the army three years and knows about what it takes to make a good soldier. On Tuesday, June 7, our battallion (The 1st) was sent out on provost guard; that is, we constituted the outpost. We were issud our provisions in the raw state enough to last us 21 hours. Each company was divided up to squads of from 8 to 12 men with a Sergeant or Corporal in charge of them. Each squad was given some particular place to watch for the 21 hours. When we started out the boys seemed to think we were going to have a hard time of it. But after being out a few hours they changed their opinions and when we returned to camp all were anxious to go out again. It was a decided change from the regular routine of camp duty; there was no lining up for roll call, no drill or mess every two or three hours during the day, but instead, we could get our meals when we wanted to, and cook as we pleased. Although we enjoyed this trip, I do not believe the boys would like to keep it up the year around. On returning to the camp Wednesday the boys were rejoiced to find the pay roll waiting for them to sign; but although we waited patiently till ten o'clock we at last rolled into our bunks, disappointed, for our turn had not come; still we were of good cheer for we knew that the time was near at hand when we should receive our coin from Uncle Sam. The next afternoon we were lined up and marched to the Regimental headquarters where we received our first pay as soldiers of the US in the Spanish American War. The boys can now enjoy some of the luxuries of life and it is noticable that they are now more contented. The camp is pretty well surrounded with stands, or what the old veterans of 61-65 would call "Settlers" and they are all doing a rushing business. Passes still continue to be issued and from four to six from each company get out and go to Washington. J.C. Littell is the lucky one from Prophetstown today. But John seems to be the lucky one from from Prophetstown, anyway, because nearly every time he has been on guard it has rained. It will soon come his turn at guard again and then we may expect more rain. Henry Adams thinks he does not get enough exercise from drill, and so he keeps up his muscle by fixing up our tent, which is No. 8. He built a gun rack today so that John Littell could keep his gun from rusting.
There is a lady barber located just north of our regiment an da good many of the boys have lost their shiskers in her chair since payday. Dick McKenzie was among the first to have work done, but he says the lady did not cut off his whiskers. Now, all those who know Dick can believe either one of us, just as they choose.
Frank Carlton got tired waiting for a pass to go to Washington so last Thursday evening he skipped through the guard line an dwent up to take in the city. Frank says he had a good time.
J.S. Heathels the proudest man in Camp since he received his new uniform.
Sergt. Andrew Matthews and Corp. T.: Seaton who have been confined to the regimental hospital for some time, are getting much better. Corp. Seaton is out and we expect to see the Sergeant back attending to his duties soon.
Private Geo. Peters of Erie, who has been in the divisional hospital with the .... is back in his quarters again although his eyes are troubling him considerable. The Y.M.C.A. and S.A. Tents are used quite extensively by all the boys .
The YMCA have organized a Sunday School class to meet every Sunday at 3:30. They have services for an hour.
The boys on guard sometimes have a little fun with some of the citizens who think themselves priviledged characters around here. We put them in the guard house and show them that although we are in the service of Uncle Sam and wear coarse blue clothes, the dudes from Washington cannot do as they please with us.
Good luck to all Prophetstown on the Fourth of July and may you not have much fireworks as sister Erie had last year.
Best regards -- C.A. Pense
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