1st Lt. N. P. Morrow, Lawrence’s first company commander. Lawrence liked him a great deal, describing him in this letter as “strict without being unreasonable.”
I don’t know how long a letter this will be because it isn’t any too warm around camp this morning. It was very hot all day yesterday and last evening it rained and turned cold. This morning it is decidedly chilly.
When I reached here Tuesday morning the first thing I had to do was register and be assigned to a company. After registering everybody went to the Hospital for the first inoculation of Typhoid Prophylaxis. Then we reported at Company headquarters where we were given barracks assignment and issued a cot, a mattress, a mattress cover, two blankets, a pillow and a pillow slip. We are to receive four sheets and another pillow case to-morrow. After setting up our cots in the barracks we reported at the office, were issued five text books and went to the mess hall for a conference on a lesson assigned in one. Since then we have followed a regular schedule which I will give you later.
The first eleven companies of the Wisconsin-Michigan regiment are quartered in the old stone in the post, the other four companies, (M, N, O, & P.), also the entire Illinois regiment, are quartered across the ravine in the new pine barracks.
We are very comfortable. On one side of the regimental street is the mess hall with the kitchen in the rear. Now that they have installed modern ranges they no longer use the field kitchens described in the Tribune. Each mess hall has two long tables with stationary benches like a picnic table.
Across the street from the mess hall is the first barracks. The front of this is the company commander’s office. The barracks proper starts back of that. Back of this building is the second barracks. Each of these buildings holds 75 to 80 men. Companies have been reduced to 150 to 155 men. Back of the second barracks is the lavatory with showers and everything complete.
Our Company Commander is 1st Lt. Morrow of the Field Artillery and he certainly is a dandy. He is strict without being unreasonable and I sure hope that when we are split up into Field Artillery etc that I draw Morrow for a C.C.
We have a mighty fine bunch of fellows in Co N, all very congenial and anxious to learn. Emil Prellwitz is in N – but no one else from Beaver Dam. Jack Millspaugh of Milwaukee was my next door neighbor for a few days but was transferred to Co. E.
We are very busy every minute of the time. Our daily schedule is something like this:-
Reveille at 5:15 A.M. – assembly at 5:30. After assembly we police the Company Street and the barracks. Mess is at 6:20. At 6:55 is First Call for Drill with assembly at 7:00 From then till noon we have drills of various kinds such as Physical, Signalling, Rifle Sighting and generally a conference of an hour or hour and a half on the text books or on proper use of our equipment. Noon mess is at 12:00 and from then till 1:00 we have nothing to do. From 1:00 till 3:00 we have more miscellaneous drill and some Company drill and from 3:00 to 4:00 and most of the time a little after we take hikes across country. After drill we are allowed to loaf till mess at 5:30 and after mess until 7:15 when we are called to quarters for study from 7:30 to 9:30. Taps is at 10:00.
We have five textbooks – Infantry Drill Regulations, Manual Interior Guard Duty, Signal Book, Field Service Regulations and U.S. Army Regulations. And they are not a bit particular about how long lessons they assign.
Saturday we have inspection in the morning and other odd drills but are free for the afternoon. There is always plenty to do.
Sunday we don’t have Reveille till 6:30, mess at 7:15.
Since I started this letter we have set up a stove in the barracks and are comfortable now.
The meals here are good but nothing luxurious.
Altogether we are in good shape here. Our rifles and other equipment were issued Friday so now we have everything complete except uniforms. I did not stop in Chicago long enough to get anything so was measured for uniform when I got here. They were expected Saturday but have not come yet. Hope they get here soon, for my clothes are in hard shape.
Please send my raincoat when you have a chance.
Love to all,