Sgt. Ervin Reuben Wakefield
ABOUT ME: Sgt. Ervin Reuben Wakefield - I was born on January 21, 1890 to Reuben Edson and Adaline Miles Wakefield (Frost) in Hardwick, Vermont. I was the sixth of seven children. At the age of four, I was sent to live with my maternal aunt, Ida May and her husband Willis Parker. I joined the Vermont National Guard.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Letter to Aunt Ida - May 31, 1918
May 31st 1918
Dear Aunt Ida:
Your letter came last night and I was glad to get it. This is a lonesome place here and news from home is one thing we all look forward to. When the boy comes down with the mail we all rush out of our tents to see if we have any mail. I guess I get as many letter as anyone in the Co.
I received the box of sugar and tobacco and I tell you the tobacco came in handy. It came the last of the month and all the boys were broke so I had good many friends and they all seem to have extra large pipes. I think they keep large ones on purpose so they can get a lot in them.
Yes I got a box from Ida May and it certianly was a dandy. It contained a large cake, nut meats, cookies, and maple sugar cakes. The minute it came all the boy came in and said, what was in the box “Tip” so I had to show them. You can imagine how long it lasted.
You sent me a clipping where it said I was made Mess Sergh. Well I was not and am not going to be. How did you mistake my letter that way. The Captain told me I was going to be but I had not been made I was going to school for that purpose. I have been relieved from that duty. There was a fellow that had been studying for the position for more than a year and the Capt., decided to let him have it but mind you I was his choice. But rather than cause any hard feelings among the boys he decided to let him have it. But he was very much pleased at the way I looked at it and told me that I would be as well off if not better. Some of the boys that are now Commissioned officers are afraid that I will rank them. You bet I will to before I get through with this job. I think the Captain has as much confidence in me as anyone in the Company. I had rather you wouldn’t say anything about my future to anyone as you can never can tell how things turn out. I have perfect confidence in myself and I surely will make good. It is just as well if people don’t know what I am or what I am going to be. There has been more talk about me than any other man in the Regiment and there is not a single offier in the Regiment that does not know me. It had been due to playing base ball. I have been very successful at that and I think that it will get me somewhere.
You asked me about the insurance, well I took out the full amount but I just got it in time. It was at Fort Slocum that I took it out and just got it before they shut them off. I have $6.80 taken out of my pay every month. I have had just about money enough to last me through the month. It [?] hard for me to get along but I think that I will be able to save something each month from now on.
I am feeling fine. I don’t think that I ever felt any better but the weather is d---- hot down here and I don’t like the dry baked earth that sifts into everything. We have to take a bath once or twice a day and change our cloth’s every day. So you see it takes most of our spare time washing clothe’s. Yesterday it was 128 in the shade.
They are sending drafted men in here by the thousands and our Regiment will probably be filled up with them but the fellows don’t seem to mind as when we get together we are all the same fighting for the same purpose. Of course there will be a lot of trouble between the two enlisted and drafted.
I was talking with one of the Officers the other day and he said that he would bet $100.00 that we would be in France before the 1st of September. Now about coming home. If I go acording to the list that is made out now I am fourteen [?] that will mean the middle or last of July. I don’t say that for sure but that is the way it looks now as soon as I know for sure I will let you know.
Will write you again soon hoping this finds you both in the best of health. I remain
With lots of love,