More on the Army Experience of Corporal Rich

Letter written by Corporal Horace "Hod" Hakes Rich to his wife. Letter written by Corporal Horace "Hod" Hakes Rich to his wife. Letter written by Corporal Horace "Hod" Hakes Rich to his wife. Letter written by Corporal Horace "Hod" Hakes Rich to his wife.

                                                                                Sept. 30/18

My Darling –

                Well your hubby is still hanging on to Health with a determination not to have the Spanish Flu, but you can never tell I may be the next victim. My old Pal Davis gave up last night and has been in bed all day. The whole camp is sick for sure and they don’t seem to be able to check it. The report came in last night that one of our men had died and others were very sick. I guess it is a little more serious then I first anticipated. Out of a hundred and four in our company only about thirty are left and some of them will be going over tomorrow. I still feel fine and believe I’m going to pull through O.K. If you were only here now I would be with you all the time as we don’t drill or do a thing. This morning I played baseball and this afternoon I washed all my clothes. Now I am writing to the best woman in the world while my clothes are drying. This is the worst epidemic I ever encountered and if they don’t get this checked before long Germany may have a show yet.

                 I haven’t got any word from you so far but I know by now there is a letter on the way or else it soon will be. My but how I miss you and long for you. Ever day (sp) I wonder what you are doing and if you are thinking of you (sp) hubby who is in a regular pest house. Fellows are falling over all the time and wishing they were dead and everything else. I never saw such a bunch in my life. Why if I can fight this thing off I’ll be the happiest human in the Army. If it wasn’t for endangering you I’d have you come at once but its taking too big a risk. This is sure getting to be a serious problem and this is once I wish I was home with my little wife and mama. Perhaps they could take care of me but would probably want me to go to a picture show or Sunday School if I was unable to raise my head. Eh? Ha ha. Well don’t get mad Honey it won’t be much longer until you can give your soldier Lad an awful scolding but it won’t do any good as I’ll just laugh at you and pretty soon kiss away that furrowed brow and snappish eyes. Oh, Skitch, if there is one thing I like to do is to make you mad and then bring you out of it. I know you love me and it’s a great, great love. Last night I dreamed of you and how lonely it was when I awoke and found it was only a dream. Your face was so clear and it almost seemed as if I touched you. My only hope, my only wish is that someday which will give us our home and happiness. We have a long road ahead of us and it might just as well be strewn with Flowers as well as thorns. It is for you and I to make and choose, so don’t let either one of us make a mistake that can easily be avoided.

                 Now, I don’t know where you are. Whether you’ve left for Lawrence or are still in Arkansas City but I judge you are still at home. Anyway that’s where I’ll address this letter. I’ll mail this about 4 oclock today (Monday) let me know when you receive it.

                 Don’t fail to write my Father for the money you need. I don’t have the slightest idea so it is far better you write direct to Father. He will see that you are fixed O.K. or if you have any of those checks left draw what you need and then write him what it was for. We may be under Quarantine for a month so I can’t say what day you can come to me but I hope it won’t be too long. How is my little Mother Scruton? It seems a long, long time since I last saw her. I hope she hasn’t forgot how her son-in-law looks. Well dear I must close for today, hope tomorrow will bring me a long letter from my true little wife. I am still and always will be

                                                                                 Your Hod

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Letter written by Corporal Horace "Hod" Hakes Rich to his wife. Letter written by Corporal Horace "Hod" Hakes Rich to his wife. Letter written by Corporal Horace "Hod" Hakes Rich to his wife.

                                                                                                                Oct. 1st, 1918

                                                                                                                Camp Sherman

 The One I love Most –

                 Another day has dawned and slipped away and no word from my little wife. But I know she is thinking of me and it is Uncle Sam’s fault that no letter has reached me.

                 The Flu is steadily growing more serious and I’ve lost both Bancroft and Davis. Bancroft went Sunday to the Hospital and Davis today. Poor Davis I sure felt sorry for him. He hated to give in but he stood it as long as possible and then kicked in. I went up stairs to see him this morning and asked him how he felt. He said “Rich, I’m getting weaker and sicker all the time, I spit up blood all last night.” I never said much but went right down stairs and saw the Captain personally. He went up to see Davis and now he is in the Hospital. Yesterday there were thirty dead ones stubbed out and I am in doubt as to whether any of our boys have answered the call or not. I am still in perfect health and feeling fine. I took the well ones for a six mile hike this afternoon and we all felt a thousand percent better when we returned. I called the platoon to halt near an orchard and sent one fellow into a farm house to get us some apples. He brought back a whole hat full, and believe me they were sure good.

                 How are you and finances making out? Have you enough money? I sure hate it but I am absolutely helpless. I am drawing but a small but a compulsory salary and I can’t send any more. The rest must come from headquarters at Coldwater.

                 Well dear I want to get this out tonight if I can so will close. I send you all my love and hope to see you soon.

                                                                                                                 Your helpless hubby

                                                                                                                Hod