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Letters to His Children


regiment to Cuba.
Camp at Tampa, May 6th, ’98.
BLESSED BUNNIES,
It has been a real holiday to have darling mother here. Yesterday I
brought her out to the camp, and she saw it all–the men drilling, the
tents in long company streets, the hors es being taken to wat er, my
little horse Texas, the colonel and the ma jors, and ?nally the
mountain lion and the jolly little dog Cuba, who had several ?ghts
while she looked on. The mountain lion is not much more than a kitten
as yet, but it is very cross and treacherous.
I was very much interested in Kermit’s and Ethel’s letters to-day.
We were all, horses and men, four days and four nights on the cars
coming here from San Antonio, and were very tired and very dirty when
we arrived. I was up almost all of each night, for it happened always
to be at night when we took the horses out of the cars to feed and
water them.
Mother stays at a big hotel about a mile from camp. There are nearly
thirty thousand troops here now, besides the sailors from the war-
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ships in the bay. At night the corridors and piazzas are thronged with
o?cers of the army and navy; the older ones fought in the great
Civil War, a third of a century ago, and now they are all going to
Cuba to war against the Spaniards. Most of them are in blue, but our
rough-riders are in brown. Our camp is on a great ?at, on sandy soil
without a tree, though round about are pines and palmettos. It is very
hot, indeed, but there are no mosquitoes. Marshall is very well, and
he takes care of my things and of the two horses. A general was out to
inspect us when we were drilling to -day.
O? Santiago, 1898.
DARLING E THEL:
We are near shore now and everything is in a bustle, for we may ha ve
to disembark to-night, and I do not know when I shall have another
chance to write to my three blessed children, whose little notes
please me so. This is only a line to tell you all how much father
loves you. The Pawnee Indian drew you the picture of the little dog,
which runs every where round the ship, and now and then howls a little
when the band plays.
Near Santiago, May 20, 1898.
DARLING E THEL:
I loved your little letter. Here there are lots of funny little
lizards that run about in the dusty roads very fast, and then stand
still with their heads up. Beautiful red cardinal birds and tanagers
?it about in the woods, and the ?owers are lovely. But you never saw
such dust. Sometimes I lie on the ground outside and sometimes in the
tent. I have a mosquito net because there are so many mosquitoes.
Camp near Santiago, July 15, 1898.
DARLING E THEL:
When it rains here–and it’s very apt to rain here every day–it comes
down just as if it was a torrent of water. The ot her night I hung up
my hammock in my tent and in the middle of the night there was a
terri?c storm, and my tent and hammock came down with a run. The
water was running over the ground in a sheet, and the mud was knee-
deep; so I was a drenched and muddy ob ject when I got to a neighboring
tent, where I was given a blank et, in which I rolled up and went to
sleep.
There is a funny little lizard that comes into my tent and is quite
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