Letters to Superintendent Paddelford from Former Pupils of the
1915 - 1917
Dear Sir Denver, Colo., January 2, 1917
I will write you a few lines to let you know that I am getting along fine. I started to work for the D & R. G. Railroad December 5th and I am still working there. How are all the boys and officers there? I saw Nelson the other day. I attended the Salvation Army meetings every night and sometimes take charge of the meeting. I will be sworn in as lieutenant drum-sergeant next week. I play the snare drum. I will have to close now. Please send some Pickings and magazines.
Your Pupil, R. E. D.
My Dear Friend Deming, New Mex., October 20, 1916
In view of the fact that it has been such a long time since I have written
you or seen you, I think tonight would be as good a time as any to drop you a
line and let your know how things stand with one of your old pupils.
I am with the Guard, as you know, and we are stationed at Demming, New Mexico. I am with the Artillery branch of the service, on the Headquarters Company, (the brains of the Battalion.) In time of peace I am the battalion clerk; when out on marches and in time of warfare I am a scout. The battalion went out on a march, and another scout and I were detailed to go in an opposite direction and locate and draw maps of any road on which the battalion might return. At 12 o'clock we were exactly 20 miles from the balance of the battalion. We had ridden all day in a vain effort to locate new roads but without avail; returning to camp sometime in the evening very tired but much wiser. I don't know whether the major framed up a deal on us or not.
The day you saw me on the road to Ft. Logan I was handling one end of the telephone from Battery B to the battalion commander. The two batteries were having a sham battle and were giving their data to their respective commands and to me, which I recorded in order to test the efficiency of the battery commander. We knew the exact position of the enemy and checked his data with what it actually was.
Everything is lovely down here on the border and very interesting too. This is all new to me and I enjoy myself every minute of the time. The trip here, also, was fine. Everything I saw was very interesting. We passed through small Indian villages and Mexican towns with their quaint adobe huts, and the ever-present adobe mission characterized by the cross placed on the roof of the building. Here and there one would see the people working at their various means of livelihood: farming for the men and the making of trinkets and beaded affairs by the women, to be sold at the nearest railroad station.
Just to mention the training one receives at your institution, take my case for instance. I was taught the fundamental principles of drilling. When I enlisted in this outfit I could step around with any of them. I was taught the beginning of topography. When I stepped out into the world to make my living I found a place in a print shop whereby I was able to manage very nicely. I was also taught a little music. I found a very good use for that. We had a band at the Rifle Range, and I played there. Since coming here I have played with some of the infantry bands at various places. While office boy I picked up a little typewriting. Right away I landed the job of battalion clerk in the guard, a very good position, and one of responsibility inasmuch as everything to and from the War Department goes through my hands. Particularly I was taught discipline. Since I have been here I have had no trouble with any of my superior officers because I knew that it would be pure folly to buck any of the officers. There are several of your students here, for instance: Withey, Curtis, Camley, Davidson, who is with the Arkansas Infantry, and several more whom I do not recall right now. Withey, who took up the harness trade there, is now the saddler for the battery of which he is a member.
Tattoo is just blowing and I have quite a bit more work to do now I will close, but now without sending my best regards to all the officers with whom I was aquatinted and who helped give me a start in life. Do you know that some "Pickings" would be very acceptable and warmly received by myself? Also a Magazine now and then? But a letter in answer to this at an early date would make everything much nicer.
Think this last paragraph over deeply, and So-Long. F.D.M.
Dear Sir: Colorado Springs, Colo., July 26, 1915
I am writing you a few line as my letter is about due. I have been pretty
busy lately as work is now picking up. I have been working a while at the
Antlers Hotel as a baker. Then later on I went cooking for B_N_ Restaurant on
the night shift. I like the work just fine.
I am getting along fine and I am sure glad I took an interest in my work while up there for I am now what I wouldn't have been if I had not.
Tell Mr. Wenske that what he taught me there is what helps me here. His instructions have got me a job as a fry cook. And before I went as a fry cook I worked as a baker at the Antlers, and what Mr. Kalinowski taught me got me that, so I want to thank them both for taking an interest in me and showing me every little thing that would come in handy, when the time should come.
Well, hoping this finds you in the best of health, I will close for this time. G. R.
Dear Sir: Denver, Colo., November 1, 1916
I am writing you a letter to let you know that I am trying to do the best I
can. I am trying to do right, but it has come to where I have to do something
My father has had me put in jail once, and I have been out about three months. He is trying to do it again. I was working at the P_ R_ Mill for about three months; in fact ever since I got out of jail. I was doing a man's work, and a pretty strong man's at that. There were three men that came to work there at different times while I was there and they all quit, and they told me I was a fool for working as hard for nothing. I worked there until I got sick the 14th of October and I lost my job. My father has got mad, and he is trying to have me put in jail for not working. When I am working he is always kicking and wanting to make me stay home like a girl. It is getting where I can't stand it much longer. I don't want to be getting put in jail and being called names that you would take from no man. I don't want to be a bum either and have to be called a jailbird all the time. I don't want to get sent back to my company up there again either. So I ask you to please give me a job as night watchman up there. It is the only way I can see to get away from his abuse. I will do the right thing up there, just as well as the rest of them.
Your loving friend, No Name Given
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