Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 1917: Captain Mike Hogg describes his command.

On October 7, 1917, Mike's letter to Ima: 
Dear Sis:
            Here I am, at last, writing you a young letter. I started one several times, but quit before time.
            It is needless to say that I have been busy. Besides having to train my Company, I have been getting training. We are having French classes and military classes, one or the other, every night. All of the work there is not nearly so hard as Funston was. Things are going much easier.
            My Company had the first formal guard mount at Camp Travis yesterday. It just happened to be my day for guard and I was lucky that it was ordered to be formal. My Company behaved beautifully.
            The men of my Company come from East Texas -- Trinity County, Angelina, Walker, Montgomery, and Polk. I have only one man who is not a full-blooded American. That is very lucky. Most of the other Companies have Germans, Swedes, Mexicans, etc.
            The Camp is moving along in a wonderfully smooth manner. The Reserve Officers are doing things as if they had been in harness for years. Our Brigade took a nine-mile hike the other day and only twenty-one men out of the six or seven thousand dropped out. I never lost a man. . . .The class of men that we are getting is better than that of the regular army, however, they are not very literate. For instance, there are ten men in my Company who cannot read nor write, and the average grade is about the fifth. All of my men, except about eight, are farmers. You never saw a more willing bunch anywhere. Their spirit is great. You should have seen them when they came to me. They looked like scarecrows. Their hair was long and unkempt. As fast as they came, I had them shaved and their hair cut. They would not even know themselves. You could not believe that they ever looked like they have. They are a fine looking bunch. Lots of six-footers. My barracks is as clean as your music room. Scrub, scrub, scrub, all day long. That’s what it takes.
            I believe we will be here for five or six months yet. Will try to write every week from now on.
            With much love -

If he did write every week, all of his war letters have not survived. He would be writing to Ima until January 1919.