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Letter to Gordon Van Kleeck's sisters

Ancestral Photographs of Upstate New York

by Roxy Triebel

Letter to Gordon Van Kleeck's sisters
Elta (age 11) and Dorothy (age 8)

51st Pioneer Infantry, U.S.A. Co.F
Spartanburg, S.C.

June 10, 1918

Dear Elta and Dorothy:

I am going to answer your two letters with one.  I was very glad to get letters from you and did not think you could write like that.  I am glad to hear everything is alright at the Coldbrook House.  We have all got our uniforms now except our coats and we don't need them here except when we go to town to see the ladies.  I have not been there yet, but will have to try for a pass about next Sunday.  They are very strict with the fellows who go there and have Military Police all through the city.

It is easy to go there as the trolley line comes right in camp.  The cars are as big as an ordinary railway coach and generally go three together.  It costs ten cents to go to Spartanburg and we all have to be in our tents and have the lights out by ten o'clock.

We are all disgusted with uniforms.  The trousers are so tight at the knees and the leggings get hot in this climate.  I got two pair of pants and they were both tight at the knees, but I traded with another fellow and now I am rigged out in pretty good shape.  Luck has been with me for the last few days and I got four or five letters.  Guess I won't have to start out with a gun after all.

the sargeants of this regiment are having a dance in the mess hall tonight.  Of course we privates are not on to that.  We have to crawl in our bunks at ten just the same.  Well someday we will come back to town and I may come to a dance at the Coldbrook House.  How about it?  We had a chicken dinner Sunday.  It was pretty good and I hope it comes around again soon.  Well I am either lazy or tired tonight so will close for this time.  Give my love to all and write again both of you.


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