Will drop you a few lines this PM while I am here for we (10 of us) are to go to some seaport any time now. We got orders this AM to hold ourselves ready to take leave in 10 minutes notice to go to the station.
We go to the 35th Reg. Eng. Somewhere in France if they don't send us some place else before we get started. Things are uncertain anymore and something is wrong. There is a screw loose some place. There's entirely too much stir in official circles and too much crowding and jamming of regiments in Washington to not be something doing. There are 10 of us from Co. B and 10 from C Company going as guards. We were ordered to draw 110 rounds of ammunition each and fill our belts, then put some in our barracks bags before we leave here. Since Sunday night this place has been guarded like we were in a real for sure enemy country.
Down at the war college the guards are too numerous to mention and today some big high muck a muck came up to me and ask me where the Invention Dept of the War College was, so I told him. I knew he was all right or he wouldn't have got inside the camp wall, so there is a card up Uncle's sleeve, which must be a trump, and some of these days he is going to cash in, just watch.
The 35th Reg. is railroaders and during all this drive railroad is in great demand so there is where we go, for the Captain just as good as said so. Of course, there is the final examination to take yet, but I'm not afraid but what I'll pass that. I've passed everything yet, so I want to pass that one, too.
We were marched to the mess hall for to check up on clothes and get our iron hats and other machinery this PM. The Captain told us we were going to go on a trip where we didn't need any dress shoes and for us to get heavy field shoes and turn in any khaki uniforms and dressings, and be ready to leave on 10 minutes notice. There began such a racket as you never heard for a minute. Everybody was yelling and them big leather lunged G Company boys certainly can raise the roof. Some of the lazy guys wouldn't yell so loud if they knew how soon they will get the pick and shovel after they land in France.
I knew the other day that something was up for the Captain drilled the company and the first Sergeant followed and walked beside me quite a lot. I saw he had his eye on me and I just stretched up and spread it on thick. Everything I did, I did d____quick and devilish so the next I heard I was on transfer.
I was orderlie this AM till about 11:30 and they sent up 30 men to clean up the bathroom and squad rooms. They washed the windows and cleaned everything. The toilet room and bath room is down in the basement and the squad rooms are on second and third floors. From all the climbing stairs I ever done I done there! Some fellow would come up from the basement and ask something and I'd go down and show him. Before I got done showing him, two or 3 more were pulling at me for something. I had a bunch on the 3rd floor scrubbing and they started to sweep the muddy water off the upper porch right down on the lower one. They knew better but they didn't give a ___ so that's the way it goes. I never said a word out of the way to any of them, but one got smart because I ordered him to go to the basement from the 3rd floor and clean up, and he popped off about having to be ordered around by a private. About the time he said it, the Corporal in charge of quarters stepped in so I says "All right, here's a man with the stripes on his arm. Tell him your troubles." Ha! Ha! He didn't have much to say but the Corporal told him enough to satisfy his curiosity.
Well, this is Friday and nothing has been said about our leaving yet. We are off duty and waiting orders. One old hard boiled Instructor here at the school said we weren't going across. Said he had been in oversea detachment twice and he knew of a thousand others who had drawed their helmets and field equipment to be shipped out. They were shipped out and some went as far as New York and Hoboken NJ, then got sent to some other place and some sent back. There is a lot of fellows here now who have had their oversea stuff for 3 months but I don't go much on what he said. Those old Army guys have a habit of using the shovel too much for me to pay much attention to them. Well, I must close so answer soon. From,
Lawrence McFriday PM
So this letter is all copied off the s___house gazette. But I'm going to send it anyway just to show you how they keep us guessing. They had us lined up for 2 hours to get our clothes all turned in except the ones we had on yesterday. They gave us a lot of new ones, then at noon they told us they didn't know how we would be dressed and equipped - that they were waiting on more definite orders. Just as I said in the first part of this letter, there is a screw loose some place, so just read this letter and see how army orders run. We've got a name for these kind of orders. We call it s___house gazette news and every once in awhile through the day they publish an extra edition. Ha! Ha!
Well, an extra edition just said we'd go to Camp Humphreys, Va., so more news from the gazette! Ha! Ha!