Will drop you a few lines tonight as we have just got to Washington and got all our tents fixed and had supper. We cleaned old Ft. Foote plumb dry. Every cuss left it, even the guys in the guard house. We met two companys going in as we came out.
We are right in Washington DC now, but I can't get down town tonight for they lost my clothes somewhere today and I haven't got a rag only what I got on and they are dirty as the ground itself. Two of my blankets were in the same bag and 3 uniforms and everything. I don't know what they are going to do. I reported it to the first sergeant and all he did was to cuss the inefficiency of the commissary, but that didn't bring home the clothes. I guess maybe he will look them up. I know one thing, they can't make me pay for them because I put the whole bag full on the truck and it was in Uncle Sam's care. Each man has a big bag made of blue overall stuff that holds about a third more than a two-bushel meal sack, and I had it stuffed so full I couldn't draw the puckering string plumb tight. There was 5 suits of underwear and 3 of them were wool, probably $200.00 worth of dope in it all together.
Well, I just quit writing and had another round about my duds. The first sergeant was "too busy" to pay any attention to me till I raised thunder about it, so I got a corporal and went up to the office. I got permission to search the tents of the other companys and made the search but it failed. So back to the office I went and turned the thing over to the clerks. They can do as they please now. I can borrow a uniform from Colba Day and get out of Camp, and tomorrow morning we have orders to fall out for parade in full khaki uniform. I only have this one old dirty pair of pants and no coat at all, so just as soon as the first sergeant sees me in shirt sleeves here, he will come to paw up the dirt like a Jersey and how I will get to put it at him! So all he can do is send me back to my tent and I'll get to lay off. It makes me tired to think a fellow can't take a load of stuff 8 or 10 miles and keep it all together. That's just the way it was when we came here from Camp Taylor. They lost my barracks bag and I never got it for several days and here it is again. They must have a special pick at me some way.
I had two linen tags wired to it with my name and company number of my rifle and bayonet. Everything was printed on it with a typewriter so wherever it is it is somebody knows it don't belong there. We had a sale this morning down at Ft. Foote before we left and elected one funny Ike auctioneer, and sold everything we couldn't take along, ha! Ha! One fellow gave him an old Ingersoll watch to sell and he held it up and began yelling for a bid. I says "Well, tell us it's fine points" So he says "Well, it's a genuine 17 jewel Ingersoll dollar watch, keeps correct time, regulates the sun, moon and stars, tells the price of butter and eggs in New York City, and gets up every morning and polishes its own case. What am I bid for it!" Ha!
Well, I must close. I thought I'd drop you a few lines and tell you I got to school allright. I got a letter from Ida that I've got to answer yet and send you another scarecrow. I'm in full khaki parade uniform here. Maybe I look better by this time. I will send a picture of the whole company one of these days. I've got one ordered. They took our picture before they split us up. Well I must close so answer soon. As ever your son,
I haven't found my clothes yet but have borrowed a suit of khaki of Colba and am going down in town. I had to get a regular warrant before I could get out of camp but the Lieutenant wrote it out. If I get to keep it till I leave here, I will send it home. Things are certainly strict here. There isn't a building that doesn't have a sentry over it and sometimes there's 6 or 8 in sight at once. The sentrys are the only ones that are allowed to carry a gun with bayonet on it. You can easily spot a sentry. Sometimes that comes in handy, too, when you want to slip the guard a minute and haven't got a pass.
It's our time on guard Monday night, so I guess I will have a shot at it. The H,I,J,K,L & Ms were on guard last so the rest of the Ms and the Mcs come next. Say, can see what is on the buttons on my collar in the picture? They didn't take very plain. The one on the right, the one you can see the plainest, has this (Engineer's insignia rubbed through paper with pencil) on it and the other one has just plain U.S. and all the little buttons up the front and the ones which button up the pockets and shoulder straps have this (buttons rubbed through paper).
Well, my address here is Co. B, 1st Replacement Reg. Engineers, Washington, DC. This is the remainder of the 1st Battalion but the most of the 1st Battalion which was at Ft. Foote is going or gone, or going to go the long trip. So they don't have this "1st Btn" part of the address on my pass yet. I guess we drop that part of it and the "Washington Barracks" part, too. So I guess it about time we rid of a little of this address anyway. It always takes about as long to write my address as it does the letter. Well, I must get ready and get down town so I can shove this in some mail box. As ever,