"Loyd C. Clarks Letter Spanish American War" Clark family story
July 31, 1898
Dear Mother and Father at home. Received your letter this noon and was glad to hear you had such a good trip. Was detailed for guard duty last night but on guard mount the officer of the day chose me as orderly so didn't have to stay up all night, which I would have as guard. There is always 3 orderly's to be chosen each eve and they take the ones that come out on guard mount looking the neatest.It's done to make the boy's try to clean up and compete for it but there is only 3 or 4 companies that try to clean up and Company C generally gets from 1 to 2 out of 3. They have the ability to select from each one. We shave, brush our clothes and put a fine shine on our shoes. Some of the other companies call us in Co. C., "Charlie Boys" but we can take any of them out on the field and show them up when it comes to drill or any other thing. A Roster of the Co. will be finished by the last of next week giving the names of field and staff officers and our company names with engraving around the sides. Will send one home and can have it put in a frame.
This afternoon was a sad one in camp, as one of Company B's men died last night in the Division hospital. He was not sick more than a week. He died of Typhoid Fever. His funeral services were held in front of headquarters. The whole Regt. was out in a mass and it was a very touching affair, making it the second one (death) from this Regt. since they have been here. He was a large man, 6 feet in height. Company B is from Upper Lundusky. The remains were taken to Lyle to be shipped to his home in Gallion. At the moment there are only 40 men in our Company and Company L from Wapakoneta came out on the field with 21 men, due to the amount of sickness and the treatment we are receiving in the division hospital or rather not receiving. One boy from the 4th Co. of Minn. died in the hospital and was let to lay there in a single tent for two days before they let his company know that he was dead. When his Lieutenant and a couple of the boys went to clean him up they found him almost naked, the tent closed and his legs and the trunk of his body a mass of maggots. His eyes were rotted out. Another boy from a Vermont Regiment was in the hospital with Typhoid Fever and they sent word to his company that he was dying and a couple of his men went immediately to see him and were horrified to find that his face was black with flies and he was too weak to raise his hand and died a few hours later.It doesn't seem possible for such a thing to happen here in our country but it's true. I am feeling well at the present but take a great deal of quinine as it has been very rainy this last week. There is a small creek that runs by the camp that normally the water is only 3 inches deep but when it rains here it just pours and in 20 min. the creek will be waist deep and in 15 or 20 minutes later it goes down almost as fast. Have been spending most of the time in the last few days cleaning and ditching the camp as we expect to be here for some time and don't think now that we will get out of here. We raised our beds in our mess and sleeping a foot above ground. The whole regt. is very much disappointed at not getting out as we expected to have some active service after going thru what we have. You had better not try to send anything like meat down for if it did not spoil coming down would soon spoil here. Grace (his sister) spoke of you and her sending a box. I hope you didn't make any trouble for yourself but if you want to send a box I am sure it will be appreciated and the contents cleaned up. Send anything that is canned, such as fruit of any kind and spreads, as we never have a thing but plain bread and nothing to put on it. You will never hear a person that has been here ever kick on plain bread and butter for it is a luxury here. Anything sent by Express will get here in two days or less, if you send anything else, put in one of my favorite chocolate cakes, and pack things carefully. Must stop talking about such things as I find I am hungry from it ha ha. I would like to roll in a good bed tonight for a change but I am afraid the change would make me sick so will not try it ha ha. Well I must close for the time. Remember me to all the folks. Tell Ollie (his brother) I may send him some plates to make some pictures from.
With Love to all
Your Son Loyd Clark