Fred Oliver Livingston, a member of the 19th U.S. Infantry, served in Puerto Rico during the rapid invasion of the island that occurred in the days leading up to the August 12 armistice between the U.S. and Spain. The following letters were written by Livingston to his sister, Rose.
The 19th was divided between General Schwan and General Henry. For more info. on their actions in Puerto Rico, click here.
In Camp Tampa Florida July 12, 1898
I thought it was about time for me to write to let you know how I am
getting along. Well we are still living in camp not at Mobile but at
Tampa waiting for orders to move. We had a good trip down here. We were
three days on the road. Florida is not as nice a country as people say
it is. It has been raining every day for the last two weeks. There is
nothing but sand here it is worse than Mich. I had a very good time on
the fourth. I went to a picnic in the morning and had a fine time but it
is worst than ever now, the dame round of duty. We drill three hours a
day and do guard duty every five days stay on twenty four hours. Well I
suppose you are having fine weather up there now I would give a good
deal if I was up there now. Tell Henry & Alma to write to me I would
like to hear from them. This will be all for the present. Give my
regards to Frank. Write soon from
Fred O. Livingston
Co. “D” 19th Infantry Tampa
On Board the S.S.
July 28th 1898
Dear Sister: -
We have at last got orders to go. I am on board the transport. There is 800 of us here. We started on the 22nd from Port Tampa and we had been out if sight of land for three days but we are now on the coast of Hyali [Haiti] or Santo Domingo making for Porto Rico [Puerto Rico] at the rate of nine miles an hour, it is very rough the ship is pitching from one side to the other so it is pretty hard for me to write so will make it a short one And probably the last one Five transports started ahead of us and we will meet all fourty miles from P.R. and we will get there together. We are under General Schman [Schwan]. We will meet General Miles in P.R. This will be all for the present. I will write if I get another chance, Adress as before it will be forwarded give my love to the children and regards to Frank. Good Bye Rose and a kiss from
F. O. Livingston
Co. “D” 19th Infantry