October 29, 1918
Camp Funston, Kansas

My Dearest Lucille,

How is my little chick tonight? Just right I hope. I couldn't possibly be any better unless I was there with you. I am still sticking around the same old place. We have our packs, which are nice and light, and we carry them on our backs. They are all made up and we are ready to leave at any minute. If we are not ordered to leave by 10:30 tonight, we won't go until tomorrow, but our train is on the track and waiting, so guess it won't be long anyway.

How is the cold weather at home? It has been nice and warm here today, but is clouding up tonight in the north like it might be cold before morning.
This is a picture of Dad in full backpack. If he seems to be listing forward, I suspect it was to counter the weight of the pack.
If it does turn cold, I will just about freeze my dome, for I haven't over a handful of hair at the best and I had it cut short. So you can imagine me as your baldheaded man. You couldn't pull my hair now if you were to go on the war path.

Yesterday, we spent the day by being lined up three times for inspection. The ground was pretty darn muddy, and we had to undo our packs and lay them out on the ground each time. They are so afraid that a fellow might want to take something that they don't know about. Our outfit consists of overcoat, raincoat, one O.D. suit, one suit unionalls, 2 shirts, one sweater, wristlets, helmet, 5 pair of wool socks, 2 pair underwear, 2 pair shoes, 1 pair gloves, one pair leggings, 8 blankets, 2 towels, all our toilet articles (not numerous), eating tools, and medical belts. That is all that I can think of and it makes a very nice little pack about the size of a barrel. Wish you could see us rigged up. If you didn't laugh, there would be something seriously wrong with you. We have oodles of fun over them. A fellow looks like some kind of a deformed animal.

Well, honey, I must stop and write a few words to my mother. Will let you know right off if I move. Oodles of love to my little woman.

Yours,

Charles L.

Return to Index.

Copyright 1998-2002, Tom Johnston