Passing through Havana - Going Out to Camp Columbia
10:15-All are off from ship. There are 3 U. S. warships in harbor. I went over to wagons and found some of our boys on guard there. I rode out to camp on a hay wagon, 12 miles west of Havana to Camp Columbia. First we came through very narrow streets with no sidewalks. Then the streets are better and nicer houses but the fine gardens beat all we ever have at home. 3:30-Got out to camp and all the boys were glad to see me and all were enjoying life. Went to see Capt. Goldman and Lt. Millburn. West was not there yet.
January 3 - Got up at 6:30 a.m. Breakfast-Bacon, meal, tomatoes, sugar, hardtack, and coffee. I did not have to drill for the first few days. Our camp is as nicely located as one can wish for. Only water is very scarce here but that will soon be overcome as we are getting water pipes laid now for it.
From our camp west we can see a mountain, very high, about 18 miles, and one still farther, about 32 miles. The ocean we can see. It's about 4 miles down to shore, and camp is located between the main military paved road and the railroad. Trains are running every hour, regular rattletraps, and the engines don't hardly pull 3 cars. The bands are playing in all corners. Our drill ground is small, right at the edge of Marianao, a town of about 9,000 or 10,000 inhabitants.
4:30 - Watching dress parade. Boys are all shooting craps and playing cards. I wrote 4 letters home and got 5 letters from friends.
January 4-5-6-7-8-About the same thing every day. I got a pass to go to town, as did about 30 men from Co. A. Some got drunk on Cuban honeyjack and landed in guardhouse. Sergeant Jimmie Pettyjohn & myself went together and while in Marianao seen some of the boys in a fight, all drunk. [Ahlard?], [Bereuter?], J. F. Smith, Orosetto and several others all fighting. All would have gone to guardhouse but for us. We intervened with the lieutenant of the guard. We tried hard to get all to go home but with no success, so 5 had to go to the guardhouse. Sayers did not come home until next morning.
January 8 - Myself and 5 others are going to church. Priest spoke in Spanish. From church we went to the Hotel Orienta and ate our dinner, a good dinner for 25 cents each. Then we walked around, but there was nothing going on but cock-fighting.
January 9 - Rained so much that all is wet and we can't hardly get to our kitchen.
January 10 - Lieutenant Millburn goes to Havana on duty with 10th U. S. Infantry. 2nd Battalion went bathing today. Collected $4.00 from boys for Y.M.C.A. tent. I feel very bad from that 8-mile walk to the beach.
January 11 - Formation drill in field.
January 12 - Captain asked Corporals Wright and Lamme to resign for neglect of duty, 2 men missing from each of their squads, not in line for roll call. They promplty resigned.
January 13 - Guard drill. Lamme was to post guard No. 1 but did not know, so captain made him go back in ranks. Something new every day.
January 14 - Lots of boys got passes and went to town. I stayed home intending to rest, but at 1 p.m. I was called out to take charge of 14 men and 3 wagons and go to Marianao to haul lumber for tent floors and had to work them men till 8 p.m. and had all kinds of trouble to watch so none of the men skipped off.
January 15 - Boys could not get passes without they repeat General Orders.
January 16 - Received 4 letters, one from doctor that Mother was very sick.
January 17 - Went to beach under Capt. Haley who let us goose chase up and -join the beach until lots of the boys simply refused to go farther. All were tired. I had to fall out of ranks on account of the heat and came home later.
January 18 - Formed in firing line over in field and made a charge on a house up on a high hill about 1 1/2 miles distant, Capt. Haley commanding firing line while making charge up the hill. Four boys were overcome by heat and one died from the effects of it.
January 19 and 20 - Little drill for it rained most the time.
January 20 - Newton, [Crolee?], & Brown send in an application for discharge by mail.
Januarv 21 - Newton wrote out application for the boys and got himself and others in trouble. Capt. Goldman is hopping mad and after evening roll call called me up to his tent. All the boys thought I would lose my stripes but they got fooled. Capt. Asked me whether I was in with the boys to sign up those papers. I said yes I have signed one of them myself. Then he said it was reported to him that I urged all the boys to do so, and whether I did not know it was not right to deny the truth of the report, and then told him what I had done all day and how I came to sign the paper and that I did not urge anyone at all. Then I was excused. 65 of the boys had signed the paper. Newton took all of them to Capt., but Capt. refused to receive them and said all the boys must hand in their own application, so they did. Corporal [Boyer?], [Freepun?], & [Crumley?] had to resign, and you can hear all kinds of talk among the boys.
Short of Clothing List-Capt. Goldman in Trouble
January 21 - Capt. Goldman told J. R. Monroe that he lost a clothing schedule and if he don't find it he will have to pay $300.00 out of his pockets, but he made out a new list and had all the boys give in on a list what they drew in last drawing. He saved himself through boys' ignorance.
January 22, Sunday-2nd Battalion, 6th Missouri Co. A. in it, starts for a march -through the western part of Cuba out as far as San Antonio de los Bafios. Will stay out about 8 or 10 days. 8:40 Sunday morning-We start under fine weather out to the military road, then west through Marianao over bridge and into fine farming country. Lots of fine coconut trees, banana patches and pineapple gardens. Marched 7 miles. 12 noon-We rest for our dinner of hardtack & coffee beside an old ruin of a Spanish farmhouse. The road is as good as any in the U.S. After resting for one hour we started on west on the same road. All along the road on either side were fine farmland but all the houses burned down, which at one time must have been fine large houses with stone walls all around the house 3 feet thick and from 6 to 10 feet high and on top set in mortar were broken pieces of bottles & sharp points of glass and large iron gates in front of the houses. All the fences we seen were of rock. Lump rock as big as man's head and some smaller. All set tied together. The fences are all 4 feet high and 2 feet thick and some look like if they had been set up several hundred years ago.
Well we rested twice in our afternoon march and covered in all today about 17 miles. 4 p.m.-We came through a town of about 1,000 population. At one time this town had over 3,000 pop. but the Spanish soldiers burned all the large buildings and killed the Cubans. Close around this town ([Caisinitos?]) we could see 4 Spanish blockhouses, 3 right close to the road, all shot full of holes by Cubans. 4:25 p.m.-We pitched our camp 1/2mile from town. Our night's camping ground is in a field. Nearby are banana bunches and lots of coconut trees. There is also a well on the ground but the water is very bad and warm. I with my squad are on detail to get wood for cooking, but we are having a hard time finding anything that will burn.
After supper we went back and took a look at the town, which was nothing but ruins, and the Cubans had built up huts of palmetto leaves and coco leaves where they lived in from far. Those huts look like haystacks. After we came back some of us that had no supper ate cold pancakes and coffee, and we also had bought us some sardines and bread. After that we all played cards or lay down in the grass, and as we only had 1/2 candle to a tent we could not have light very long. Myself with two others were in a tent together but had to change about smoking to keep mosquitos out of the tent and then they nearly ate us up.
January 23 - All got up at 5 o'clock very much refreshed after our night's rest and ready for a 15 to 20-mile hike, but some of the boys had been up all night in town and got dead drunk on cooneyacht [cognac?] and had a bad headache and puked all over themselves and swore.
7 a.m. - We started on the 2nd day hike toward the high mountains with the band playing. Road was good and everyone was happy. We passed some more of very fine land and more burned houses. 9:15-We came to a town by name Puerto del Mairial, about 7,000 population. It was in fair condition. We made a short stop, then we went on. 3 [?] miles further we came to a town about 1 mile east from the mountains by name of Toledo. That is where the fine military road stopped. From there we turned south into a small narrow washed-out road, big rocks in the way, so that our wagons could not get over them.
1/2-mile west of Toledo is the place where Cuban General Maceo had taken is position and let the Spanish advance into an open field, when he withdrew into the mountain passes and poured a hot rifle and cannon fire on the Spanish and exploded the mines he had laid in the field. The whole field was laid with dynamite mines and a large dynamite gun on top of the mountain fired shell after shell into Spanish ranks, so that the Spanish had to retire in disorder leaving about 4,200 men dead and wounded on the field. Another half mile further south is where General Maceo met his own death a few months later by a trick played [on] him by his own doctor as is well known.
Well our road is bad and we have to help our wagons along, tear open rock fences so they can come through the fields. This was the most tiresome march we had. One place the road was so bad and narrow that we had to form in columns of twos to get through, turning south then west and so on for about 7 miles with high rock fences all grown over with vines and the hot sun beating down on us and going up a rocky hill. About 11:15 a.m. we came through a town by name of Palo de Cuba, about 800 population. When we were near the town we formed in columns of fours and, band playing, we marched through the town and all white, brown, and black people, men, women, and children, some dressed and some half-dressed and lots of boys and girls from 3 years to 15 years old with not a stitch of clothing them, all came out to the main street and followed on either side and back of us. It was something neither we nor they had ever seen. All were singing viva el Americanao, viva el Cubanaos. 1/2-mile beyond we stopped for a well-earned dinner.
In the Orange Grove-2nd Battalion 6th Missouri Volunteers Infantry
Our battalion turned in at a Cuban farmer's gate. His house stood back about 75 yards from from the road. The space in front of house he had in sweet potatoes but they were done taken up. Coconut trees gave us some shade where we stacked arms and cooks made arrangements to cook our dinner, which was coffee and pancakes. But here the boys cared little for dinner, for all took off for the orange grove to the right and back of the Cuban's house. There were at least 200 trees and every tree had an average of 5 bu. oranges, all ripe and the sweetest we had ever tasted. The old Cuban farmer told us to take all the oranges we want as they were no value to him, but not to step on the tobacco plants that were planted all through the grove. It was from there 10 miles to the nearest railroad station over bad road and at that place oranges were only worth 10 cents per bushel and the farmer had no way of hauling oranges so they went to waste. Well, our 360 men ate all they could and took about 20 bu. along on the wagons.
At about 1:15 p.m. we started our afternoon march, which was 10 miles, and at 4:30 p.m. we marched through San Antonio de los Bafios. Our band playing, all men in good step in columns of fours, we marched through the main street and out at the other end, and at edge of town on a high hill we pitched our camp for a two-day rest. All men were tired, and after putting up our dog-tents none cared to go out into town that night and all took their well-earned rest after marching 19 miles over rough road.
I was called for guard duty as corporal of first relief and was out all night in a chilly rain. Our guardhouse was 2 of our wagons with a tarpaulin over them, but it was not needed for we had no prisoners. We had 8 guards, 2 on each side of camp. Cubans stood around with mouths and eyes open to see us manage everything. Those little tents looked like a little white city. Cuban officers called on our officers.
January 24 - All got up early and after breakfast 9 a.m. guard mount, then nearly all the boys could go to town. All boys were well and therefore all were in good humor and all had money in their pockets which they were willing to exchange for all kinds of drinks, eating, and relics. I with Corporal Wright and several others started out to see the town. After walking around a while we stopped in a restaurant for our dinner, to which we drank several bottles of vino (wine) and then we started for the tobacco dry house. Cuban owner, he showed us all around in his house. There were 9 rooms about 12 X 20 feet, all filled with some green and some dry tobacco drying. He buys the tobacco green on stock [stalk?] from farmers and he dries it and sorts it and sells to the factories.
From there we went to a cigarette factory where we found about 100 men, women, and little girls all rolling cigarettes by hand. Most were girls of from 10 to 20 years and several old ladies about 65 to 70 years old. By 10 hours steady work they were able to make about 35 cents per day on average. The owner of the factory showed us all through the place and gave us each packages of cigarettes, one of each kind he was making, so that when we came out we each had about 8 packages.
From there we went to a school. There were about 50 childeren from 6 to 15 years old, some dressed very well and some very poor, and 3 or 4 without anything on, but all barefooted. The teachers were Spanish, [I] suppose man & wife, about 30 years old. When we came to the door the man invited us in and had all the children rise and salute us and told them at the same time that we were American soldiers that had liberated their country from Spanish rule. Then he unfolded a Cuban island map and showed us where all the big battles were fought and where our troops [landed?] first. We could talk very little Spanish and he very little English.
From there we went to a newspaper office where we were recieved very nice and they gave us each one of their extras of which I took some home with me for remembrance.
From there we walked out to the cemetery, but the gate was locked and we could have not got in but just at the time several Cubans came from the woods and brought a skeleton of a dead man they had found, and the keeper opened and then we went in with them to look around. The graves were all in rows & numbered, about 5 feet deep and 30 inches wide of stone and cemented and stone corners with 4 iron rings, 2 on each end. In the back left-side corner was the boneyard, a place about 10 X 20 feet and 8 feet deep, half full of human bones. Graves are rented by the people, and when they quit paying rent the bones are taken out of the grave and thrown in the boneyard. Then the grave is made ready for the next one.
From there we again went through to the other end of town. There is a small creek running through the center of the town. The water is dammed up and let into a narrow stream which drives a water wheel which works a pump that carries the water into a large barrel where it is filtered and taken over into another barrel from where the town is supplied with water. From this place the stream runs a little further down, where it goes underground into a solid rock. A little further is a cave in where you can hear the water running but can't see it. That is the last seen or heard from the stream. Its origin is out in and from a mountain spring. If they had their water works above the town they would not have to filter it as the water is clear spring water, but it running through the whole length of town and people throwing things into it makes it dirty.
Eight blockhouses around the town. The town has about 15,000 population. All streets are decorated with American and Cuban flags, the stores are all overstocked with goods, and nearly all the boys bought something to take along home. If you call for a cigar they will hand you cigarettes. If you want a cigar you will have to call for a cigaro tabaco.
At 3-30 we went back to camp, as we have dress parade at 4 p.m. At dress parade there were lots of Cuban officers on little ponies to look on and several people and one rich Spaniard with his daughter, he on a large black horse and his daughter on a fine white horse. The Cubans say he is the richest man in Cuba. He is worth 16 million dollars. After dress parade the Cubans came along to camp and watched us eat our supper. While eating, 2 young Spanish ladies and an older lady and one man came over to where myself and Wright were sitting and started to speak to us but as we could not speak much Spanish it was no chance to lead conversation, but we could notice that they invited us to call at their house. Then they left and all the boys went to tents.
January 25 - A battalion of the Carolinas came in late last night in camp @e to us.
Visiting, a Spanish Family. Four Generations
January 25, Wednesday-Well, we went to town again and as good luck would have it we passed down a street and found the house where the Spanish people live that were out at camp last night. They invited us in, and as we had a man from Co. C with our crowd that could speak Spanish very well, we could get along right nice and had a very pleasant afternoon. There were four generations at the house, one real old lady about 90 years old, then another lady about 55 or 60 years old and her two daughters, one of which was married to a Cuban officer and they had one child, a little cute girl about 5 years old.
The house was furnished in the richest style, fine carpets and furniture and a good piano. One of the ladies played and sang for us, very nice, all Spanish. Back of the house they had a fine garden with all kinds of flowers and fine plants and hammocks to rest in.
4 p.m.- Dress parade. The Carolinas joined us and that made a very nice lot of men, Missourians all dressed in their blue and the Carolinas all in brown (khaki), and it seemed everyone from the whole town was out to see us, for the whole hill was full of people dressed in their best. They had never seen a dress parade like this.
Well, in those two days the Missouri boys, officers and men, spent at least $450.00 in American money in this town.
January 26, Thursday-Broke camp at 6:30 a.m. and going through corner of town, the band playing, all men in step. We are in a narrow road again, going east toward Havana. After marching 6 miles we came through a town by name of Llinanas, about 8,000 people, mostly Cubans, some nice stores. About 2 miles further east we came through another town by name Monicas, about 300 population. 1/4-mile further we stopped for dinner, which was bacon, hardtack, & coffee. From here we came through some fine farming land, lots of bananas.
After dinner we marched about 7 miles and came through Reglade de Parisa, about 4,000 population. Little further we came through a Spanish town by name of Santiago de las Vegas, population 9,000, most all Spaniards. 1/4-mile further we pitched our camp for the night, 3 p.m. Early supper and band and all go up to town. Band gives a concert to people. Spanish Singing Society sang for us. Met two old Spaniards that had been over in Florida U.S.A. They could speak some English and liked us very much. All came home to camp about 9 p.m. No parade, no drill.
January 27-Broke camp 7 a.m. Had rain all night. Everybody and every thing is wet. Most of us were laying in water all night but the sun is out good and hot and we will soon be dry. From here we have better road again going east. We see some fine residences and very fine black soil, the best land we seen so far in Cuba. Marching 5 miles we come to a town by name of [Rincan?], population 250, with a blockhouse at each end of town. Here is where we crossed the San Antonio Railroad. Capt. Goldman is sick and goes home on train. Lieutenant Grenshaw is in command of our company.
After marching 3 1/2 miles further we stop for dinner and at the same time pitch camp to stay overnight. From here we can look north and see a few tents on top of the hill of Camp Columbia. It is about 7 miles across from here. The town close by is Colean, population about 275, only 3 small stores & shop. Looking east we can see the mounted hills. It looks only a little ways off but it's over 3 miles. After dinner we can all go down to the hills. Dinner too bad to eat, no sugar in coffee and no bread.
3 p.m. - Wright and myself start out together to see the hills. I bought 3 boxes sardines & bread, Wright some canned fruit and good water in our canteens so we will have a good supper on top of the highest hill.
4 p.m. - On top of the hill after a three-mile walk and up a very steep hill, so steep that you nearly have to hold yourself so you don't slide back. Nearly up, we came to barbed wire fencing drawn on posts 4 feet high, wires every which way, some loose, mostly drawn tight and about 20 feet broad all around the top of hill. After passing around to where the hill is joined to another we found an opening to go inside, where it is hollowed out and made into a cave, and rifle pits and room to mount cannons on top, which were taken away by Spanish.
After looking around we crossed over to the other hill, which was not mounted but nice and grassy where we sat down to eat our supper. It was nearly sundown. Oh, but the beautiful scenery. Right below us was Havana Harbor, across which we seen Havana all lit up by electric lights, and the nice cool breeze from the harbor below. Looking to the right or southeast we could count about 20 such round top hills like we were on, all mounted. To the south, far inland, we could see hilly and rocky country for about 20 miles. To the west and northwest we could see the mountains we had passed a few days ago, 32 miles from Havana or from the hill where we were then.
Words cannot describe my pleasure of that I have the chance to see all this. it is worth money to have a view of such sceneries, but from wherever you are looking down on Havana Harbor so peaceful you can always see the cause why we we have a chance to be here, it's the old wreck of the Battleship Maine, where so many young man lost his life. Well, of what we think and talk while we are sitting here, there is one thought. If we would have had to take Havana by force it would have cost us many lives.
January 28, Saturday - Now up and for home to our camp. 7 a.m.-We broke camp' and started east to Havana. Two miles further we come to a suburb, La Habana, about 4,000 population and blockhouses on top of every hill and in every hollow. The road is nice and broad. 10 a.m.-We come to the outskirts of Havana. We pass from one street into the other and Cubans are driving their carts alongside and past us and lots of people on the sides of the streets, all hollering Viva el Americanao & viva Cuba. 11 a.m.-Pass in review of General Lee, who is glad to see us look so well after making our march. Just then a heavy rain came up and we all started on a run for our camp a mile further. All of us got thoroughly wet before we rolled in our tents. I found 8 letters waiting for me after one week's absence. Capt. Goldman was taken to Division Hospital. January 29-I will stay in camp and write some letters.
January 30 - Drill 8:30 to 10 a.m. Parade in afternoon.
January 31 - The greatest and last general review of the 7th Army Corps and some Regulars from Havana. About 28,000 men in line passed in review of General Lee and all his staff officers and some high officers from Havana Parade Ground east from our camp.
February 1 - Sergeant Wrenn told me an order had come to Capt. Goldman for my discharge direct from War Dept. Wash. D.C. Hurrah, I can go home, and I am the envy of every boy in the company. All ask how did you do it, how did you get it.
February 2 - Turned in my gun & belt, haversack, canteen & dishes and got receipt for same of Sgt. Fox and turned my Squad No. 4 over to Sweringer as he will be the next corporal.
February 3 - Clerk Sayers made out my discharge papers and Capt. Goldman signed them. Then they went to Col. Hordeman. He signed them and then went to Brigade Headquarters.
February 4 - Payday for 6th Missouri. Heard nothing of my papers
did not get my pay today.
Febru February 5 - Papers came back.
February 6 - Went with Capt. Goldman to paymaster at Quamatos but I could not draw any pay on account of mistake in writing it out, and after reclassifying I had to go to Havana to get my transportation papers and then come back to get my pay. Well, while in Havana I tended to my business first, then called on Dr. Brunner for my health certificate but found him out, so then I walked around to see the sights of the City of Havana of 225,000 and came back to camp in evening.
February 7 - Papers all fixed up and my pay drawn, which was $122.70 in full. Corporal D. Brown & myself go to Havana. We went all over town. I bought several articles, but everything is high-priced. For instance, handkerchiefs that sell at home for 10 cents cost here 40 cents. I bought 4 for $1.25, they are worth 40 cents. I bought cigarettes and cigars to do me several months. In all we had a nice time.
February 8 - Stayed at camp forenoon and wrote letters and afternoon I went to Marianao and walked all over the place and chatted with an old Cuban. He could speak a little English. I told him about life up north and he told me of things in Cuba in time of peace.
February 9 - Went to Havana and seen the funeral of the Cuban General Calixto Garcia, who died in Washington D.C. and was brought over here to be buried. The Cubans were out in force and bands playing and all houses decorated. A big time but a sorry day for Cubans.
Afternoon and evening I stayed at camp and watched the 6th Missouri for the last time in dress parade pass in review. After supper I went down the line and shook hands with all the boys that had been my comrades for so long. Several were nearer crying than laughing. Wright had tears in his eyes. So this is the last night I will sleep on a cot in a tent in military camp.
February 10 - Woke up early, said goodbye to my tent-mates. They were all up to see me leave. I went over to Quamatos and took train for Havana. Arrived at depot, I took [cab?] to ticket office where I got my health certificate. That over, I went down the street on a slow walk and stopped at a restaurant and had a last meal in Havana, then I wanted to buy some cognac to take along home but the Cuban was afraid to sell it to me for it was against the law to sell to soldiers. From here I went down to wharf and had a skiff man take me over to the Steamship Lincoln on which I sail for Miami, Florida. The ship is very nicely finished. It is a small passenger and mail steamer.
Took up anchor and are ready to leave from near the wreck of Maine. 10:40 - We passed out of Havana Harbor, passed old Morro Castle which looks like if it wants to fall to pieces. 12 a.m.-We have dinner on ship. There are with myself 18 ex-soldiers, 10 ex-nurses, one doctor, and about 20 excursionists going home. All are friendly and all speak to each other except one nurse ex who thinks herself above all. Well, after dinner all take a last look at the dim outline of Cuba as all of us may never get to see it again. 1 p.m.-All is sky & water now. Our ship is going fine but the water is very rough yet for [from?] the storm yesterday and all passengers are scattering out, I suppose to their bunks, for some are getting sick. I feel fine and so I will light a cigar and have a smoke and watch the waves hop.
What's that coming down the steps? Why, that is the ex-nurse from so high up. Why, she is seasick and throwing up and puking all over the fine carpet and all over the fine banister and down she comes with a hump and no doctor near to help. Well, I guess I will help her up and lead her to the side so she can let it go overboard. Really she is ready now to make friends with a common ex-soldier like me. Here, miss, a little good whiskey. Take a little, it will do you good. Go on, it will be good for you. She takes a little and then a little more and still a little more. Maybe she will take it all and then I won't have any left. This is a nice [call?] fresh air I said. She answered yes, but I feel very bad. Oh, I said, just stay here in middle of ship. You won't feel the rocking so much and you will soon be all right. Well, she was and at supper she spoke to everybody and was on equal terms with all, but I pity the poor porter that had to clean it all up, what she left on the stairway and carpet. 9 p.m.-All retire to their bunks.
February 11 - Arrived at Miami wharf at 4 a.m. but we will have to wait for daylight. 5 a.m.-The revenue officer is on board ship and all of us are searched from head to foot and we have to open all our grips and satchels. He looks through but finds nothing he wants. 6 a.m.-All get off and all are very hungry for all we got for breakfast was a cup of coffee of the worst kind, so all are looking for something to eat but can't find nothing as the main town is over a mile away. So I get my ticket for St. Louis, half-fare for $18.90.
7 a.m. - The train leaves for Jacksonville, Fla. The sun is up and very warm and now we are once more traveling on a decent train through old Florida with its [cedar?] trees, pine trees, and other trees with the Spanish moss hanging from the limbs and palm leaf fans and pineapple fields, but it's too dusty to have a window open. Even then the dust comes in. 12 a.m.-Made a short stop at Royale Ponciana, Fla. where we get a little lunch and on we go. Royale Ponciana, Fla. is the finest place I ever seen. The Royale Ponciana Hotel is a ver large building. It has over 600 separate rooms for guests besides all the parlors and dining rooms. The Royale Palm Walk is something grand to see, over a half-mile long and all the fine flowers. One mile further is the largest and finest pineapple patch in Florida. It covers about 200 acres but it seems hotter right here than in Cuba.
6:30 pm. - After riding all day we now come through old St. Augustine where we stop 5 minutes. It is getting dark now and also cooler. 7:45Arrived at Jacksonville, Fla. where we get off for supper. Stop for 20 minutes. This is as far as we travel over the Florida & East Coast Line. From here we go to Montgomery, Alabama over the [Plant?] Line System. 8 p.m.-We left Jacksonville, Fla. and as I am very tired I will try and sleep a little. I can now sleep no matter what and how it shakes.
February 12, Sunday - The first thing I seen after waking up looking out of the window was snow on the ground and still snowing. An old farmer sitting across from me said that this was the most snow Alabama had in 18 years and it seems real cold. That is quite a change from yesterday, from hot summer into cold winter inside of 24 hours. I went to sleep in the sunny south of Florida and woke up in the winter cold of Alabama.
8 a.m. - Arrived at Montgomery, Ala. where we had 20 minutes for breakfast, then changed cars onto the Louisville and Nashville R.R. 8:25Left Montgomery. Still snowing. Arrived at Birmingham, Ala. 1 p.m. where we had dinner. From where we started for Nashville, Ten. the train is 2 hours late. 8 p.m.-Arrived at Nashville, Ten. Ate supper and started after changing cars for St. Louis two and half hours late. 5 miles from Nashville we got stuck and had to wait for double header. There also was a wreck ahead at Nashville, Ten. Some of discharged soldiers of the 4th Missouri got on the Train and had lots of whiskey and made it pretty lively. Also 4 girls got on with some young chaps. The girls act outlandish, all in for a good time, and at last our train is moving again. It's dark as pitch, snowing and the wind cold as ice. Here we pass Trenton, Ten. where the wreck was. We are now 5 hours late. This train is due at 7:15 in St. Louis and it's 12 p.m. now and we have to cross Kentucky, Indiana, and part of Illinois. Well, I will try and sleep if these chaps don't make too much noise.
February 13 - Woke up just as we come to Belleville, Ill. Lots of snow on the ground and bitter cold. This is where my soldier coat comes in handy after carrying it along for 3 months without using it. Arrived at Union Station St. Louis 11:45. From there I went direct to European Hotel. Got me a room there, went to Union Market where I got me a great big steak and all that belongs to a good dinner and also a bottle of Anheuser & Busch. From there I went and got me a pair of shoes, hat and several other clothes and also good warm underwear for I nearly froze to death. After that I went to my hotel and changed and got ready to go and see my dear sweet girl in south St. Louis. At last I was near enough to go and see her, for it was on July 24 that I seen her the last time and this was Feb. 13th.
It was near 12 p.m. when I came back to my room for my well-needed sleep & rest.
February 14, Tuesday - I slept very long. After eating I tended to some business and then I went out to take my dear girl to matinee and stayed at her house all evening. Then I went home and stayed another night at hotel.
February 15 - Went out to see my girl again. From her house I went to Union Station for my old home, Hermann, Mo.
February 16 - At home, seen all the folks….
October 1899-Engagement to M…
September 6 -President Wm. McKinley was shot in Buffalo, N. Y. at Panama Exposition in Music Temple on Friday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock by Leon F. Czolgosz, a Russian pole, two shots, was taken prisoner on the spot…
September 14 - Saturday morning 2:15 Pres. Wm. McKinley died at Buffalo, N. Y. Theodore Roosevelt took oath of office in Buffalo, N. Y. Sept. 14th at 4:30 p.m.
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