|Unit History Project|
Captain Carlos Alvarez de la Mesa Collection
Note: The first section of letters (2011.0095.0001) are not in chronological order. They were pasted into an old accounts book.
Who knows if this will be the last letter I receive from you and you receive from me. However God is great and I believe he will be kind and allow us to share new hugs and kisses.
They told me to tell you I cannot ask for license from the colonel because, before everything, I am simply a man. Also, I never like to separate myself for a moment of where I know there may be danger or be able to say I am not afraid of that which I cannot understand. However, it's not funny.
Stop telling me that you don't have more than $8 or $10 dollars.
It sounds like our daughter is starting to know what she's doing but she also seems crazy like me.
Yours always my love and goodbye for now. I hope Mrs. Bacon is well.
I love you a lot and always think about you and will dedicate my last breath to you.
[Beginning of letter missing]
We believe we will leave tonight. Send me some socks, a shirt, and watch my uniform and everything that is for the military well. Give the messenger $20 for me since we don't know if they'll let us pass and I don't have any money. If you can only send $10 the coronel could give me some money.
In this moment I am convinced that I have been unfair with you. I now see that you were innocent the entire time.
I love you so much. Only God knows if this will be the final goodbye I send you.
I will love you until my final breath.
Your always loving husband,
If before I had not written you it was because we did not yet know our destination or, in other words, where we were going to camp. Today I believe I can assure you that now we are not going to leave. There is quite a sizable population 3 miles away from where we are camped.
Yesterday, we took a solemn oath to fight for the complete duration of the war no matter how long that may be. We hoped that now they might start treating us better since we have been made to sleep on the floor for the last 3 nights without more than a jacket for a blanket. They have not given us one cent nor will they until the 25th of this month. I will send to you what I can.
Yesterday I received a part of a telegraph from you a part of a telegraph from you. Before yesterday I received a letter from the proprietor of the house which I haven't responded to yet.
I want to have you by my side. Without you I can't find myself well. But to visit me you need summer dresses that you don't have and that I can't buy for you. Have a little patience. When I get money you can buy yourself whatever you need.
If your brother can pay for your passage and buy you a summer dress and gown, I will pay him back later. Come see me soon because I need you to give me English lessons. They are so indispensable to me.
Tell me if you charged $9 for the business of the women volunteers.
I don't have time for more and also am exhausted from work.
You know I love you a lot and want to give you a hug.
Tell me if you do or do not have enough money. Buy a summer dress and a gown at least because here there is an infernal heat. When you come here bring light summer clothes. My head hurts from the heat.
Yesterday, at 2am, we left the camp to attack the enemy that was waiting for us 2 miles away. I didn't know what kind of luck I was going to have. I only knew that my battalion was the first to attack. God wanted me to be able to give you another hug so he allowed my regiment to advance unharmed. I really enjoy being a part of my regiment. Because I am European, I am happy to be a member of a regiment that bears the name of Garibaldi, the hero of liberty in Italy.
I am lovingly asking that you please forward some of my letters to my family in Spain, especially those with information about my whereabouts or you and our daughter.
The same goes if I am to die as a casualty of this war. This government guaranteed to notify you. Then you should translate this notice and travel to Spain to see my family. They will also be your family until you decide you are finally done with me.
You know very well, Fani dear, that I love you a lot, that I am sad when I do not have you by my side to see you and hear you speak your wonderful Spanish.
The light is getting low and I am running out of space in this paper. I can't explain more but you already know that until my final moment you will be in my thoughts. I breathe for you my love, Fani, and our family.
I conclude by saying I will not stop writing you. Same goes for you and my family in Spain. As always I have promised so much to them. I want to return to Spain with you to give a hug to my uncle, the last uncle I have.
I spent last night very well, but I was slightly cold.
Send me something to eat.
You know I love you a lot.
I'm sending you my hat so that today you will be forced to take the horse and return it to me. Then I shall see you for a little bit.
I feel that you are angry. This bottle that I am sending you contains something that should make you feel better. I have not been to Washington or asked for favors.
Always your faithful wife,
This is not the way to write or give the explanations that I asked for. I believe that you can answer this much better.
Of course I have to show you. Go to Washington tomorrow.
I am going to work all day which means I can't come see you. Later I'm going to send you the hat so that, in the afternoon, you can go by the horse to the fort where they work. That is where I will be. I will give you a pass to the fort so you can see the workers and, later, we can spend some time together at the camp of the 32nd regiment.
You can't leave the new bridle at the house since, in the afternoon, you will be coming here and I want you to appear as beautiful as you are.
Also, this afternoon I want you to have peace so that that mean and beardless general will decide that I can see you. At the moment you can't come to my room, but it is very probably the General will soon give you a pass.
You know I love you so very much.
Your very loving husband,
P.S. Tobacco and Paper
In your note, which I'm looking at right now, I see that you're coming to the field to visit me with the wife of the Captain. To this I must say if you do not bring the pass from the actual General and proof that you are allowed to pass, you should not come because they will prohibit you from entering and detain you.
I cannot leave the field because I am under arrest for 8 days all because I stayed away four hours more than I was allowed. I'm hoping pretty soon that there will be a vacancy for a Captain because I dislike the one we currently have. He was unfair to me.
Bring with you information on however many orders are to go to the camp and the money you have given Ribero.
Yours always and wanting you a lot,
I have realized that you cannot possibly be permanently angry with me because, my dear, I know you love me, but not as much as I love you.
Now another question arises, when you don't have paper and no one is sending you paper, is it possible to write your wife? Certainly not.
Of course now you know I need paper.
Tonight I cannot go since I am on duty. Tomorrow morning we will leave by horse before you have a chance to say two words to me.
Please tell Ribero, I have received everything you have sent and, for that, I send a million thanks.
Send me some gloves. Also, if you have potatoes and something to eat since there is nothing for today.
Last night I had a terrible dream. I begged you, my love, to not return but to leave with the man of the house like a coach. I saw you and you talked about, I believe, something very bad. I dreamed that you have been miserable and I had been court martialed. Also, it is necessary you know you were with child in my dream. At the house, there were two soldiers who, when I tried to enter the house, were inside the garden, armed, talking with him, well with the dream version of him. If I hadn't stopped sleeping I don't know what would have happened.
Tell me also if you know what the letter that the Coronel sent last night said.
I'm going to work. I love you a lot.
For Ribero, I have received the plated and cantinas with everything else. I liked them a lot. Ask him the price of everything, including the ham.
The letter I have still yet to receive, which I of course now want more than anything else, I am hoping to receive this afternoon.
I believe that our black slave woman should be able to come to the front of the fort. I can't say if they won't stop her from entering.
You know I love you a lot. Thanks for everything.
Your always loving husband,
Before you go to Washington for 8 days, it will be impossible for us to see each other. I, your husband, order you that today, this afternoon, if you don't come, do send our daughter so that I may give her a kiss. She can give it to you after you return from Washington.
Today there are 4 officials that have taken a leave of absence including the head assistant to the General, who seems to leave whenever it accommodates him.
Love you lots,
Today I have had a happy time while my little daughter slept in my arms. Now I'm feeling empty in side and I don't know why but, because of that, I need her.
Yesterday the commander sent an official out and the informer that was his guard was the casualty of the day.
Today I have asked for license to leave because tomorrow I am on guard. He didn't want to give it to me since I am always asking for leave.
Enough for today. Try to write longer letters to your loving husband.
In this moment I received your letter and saw that you have not bought what I asked for. First of all, I did not tell you to not leave the house. I asked that if you do leave the house please do not do so alone. Secondly you didn't respond to everything I asked.
I did not send anything to Ribero because I don't like to send more than the precise amount.
I'm sending you a pair of dirty pants and you should send me my military jacket that is in the house and my cap.
Today I can't go down and I believe tomorrow will be the same. For a change I will pass tomorrow for the whole day.
Send me our darling daughter this afternoon.
Ribero didn't say anything bad about our girl or about you.
Goodbye, I love you so much.
Always faithful husband,
It is indispensable that this afternoon you come visit me. If it is possible do not come alone. Come with some female friends to your husband's room since now I am indifferent with this man.
Your husband who loves you deliriously,
This morning you didn't write me or the assistant of the battalion, but you do now and on a single piece of paper?
I am good. I cannot go because in this moment there has been an official report.
Without more, know I am always yours
My letter yesterday wasn't worth an answer? Your husband doesn't matter enough to just write “I'm fine” to? You don't know that the world talks a lot and that should the nanny not bring more letters for the husband of Mrs. C de la Mesa people will talk?
I am sending you a dirty shirt and collars.
Tell me how you're doing and the about our little girl. Has she been sleeping through the nights? Has Doctor Wolf sent her the cough syrup? Have you tried the medicine?
Also, give Ribero salt for soup since we don't have it for today. Also give him some money.
I don't know if today I will decide to ask this afternoon for some free hours.
I have slept enough and well, however strange the bed is. It is very hard and difficult to sleep on.
Send me the other book and paper
I have a doubt and now that I have it all I want to do is leave it. Today I have not understood what Bacon told me after the parade. I thought he was asking me for my sash and when I gave it to him he told me that wasn't it. He began to repeat it to me but very fast (as is the custom of the Americans) which I still didn't understand of course. If you go to see him please tell him I still don't know what he said to me and that, in the future, when he talks to me, he must do so slowly if I am to understand him well.
Now, a second doubt, I wish to know if the shoulder pads you found at Ribero's are for him or for me. I have my doubts. Anyway, just for kicks, ask him that for me.
After I saw you, I have received a letter from you. In it I saw you're not going to return with the coachman which is good because I don't trust him.
It seems to me you will not like Mrs. Bacon. You left the field and she still hasn't. I need to not discuss her and suffer a little.
Also, I want to know if you asked permission for me to leave tomorrow. I decided I do not want to take leave tomorrow. I see it is getting a little more variable of recently and I don't want to miss my service. More, without a doubt, I have noticed that the coronel is not the same as other days.
You cannot understand, my dear, the terrible time I have had at night. Even with all of that, I have been standing calmly during the day.
Enough for now. I conclude by telling you that I love you so very much. Please know that I want to go tomorrow but I am asking you to forgive me but I will not go. If you want, you can give yourself a strong hug and many kisses from me.
You know I love you a lot,
I'm sorry now I can't see you because of the small punishment of 8 days that I have to go through without leaving the camp. I feel like you should take this time to concentrate on getting better. You need a change of water and scenery. If you don't get better you should take a trip to Washington to see if the change of air and water makes you better. I believe it will. Also, since I will be stuck here for 8 days, it's all the same to me if you stay home or go away. At the same time you should do what you need. Anyway, you'll see if you get better.
Now good, what did the Coronel and Major of the regiment have to say about the fact that I am in prison for 8 days, no more and no less, because I was four hours late? Oh, I can only stand it because I have a wife who I love deliriously and a daughter. It has not yet been 24 hours that my service has ceased in this regiment so that I may begin my punishment.
Send something to eat since I am with one cup of coffee.
By the messenger, you will send to me a resignation of my office based on the fact that my health does not permit me to continue living the fatiguing military lifestyle. They obligate me to give you my motives for such a decision. I will do so when you have a license from our colonel to do this since right now I can't.
Tell me how you and our little girl are doing. I am good and wishing to see you.
Send me something to eat.
Today I'm not working.
This afternoon, if the wives of the 32nd regiment come you should go with them. Don't come to this camp though.
Have you gotten over the bad humor you were in this morning? I believe that yes, because you were not here for a long time with your husband.
I am fine, but very hot.
Send me the girl and flowers because I like to have them in my room.
Today I don't know if I will go down since we have a large visit from the general at 2.
Yesterday did not go well. I arrived and found a letter saying that Mr. Bacon left to see his mother, whose side I believe he will at now. Today, because of your friend Mrs. Bacon, it is impossible for me to go to see you. What happiness we have had in the past two weeks? It doesn't matter now. I now believe everything will soon finish. But, before everything, I want my tranquil spirit back that I am now today missing.
Now, another question. Women are no longer permitted in the field other than the black washerwomen that enter behind the coronel's tent. Other black women can enter as well. You should send our daughter with her nanny. I want to see her.
I love you so much. Your always invariable and frenetic husband,
All of my bored thoughts, all of my day dreams are about my dear daughter that, like smoke, disappear. I told you that with compassion and to take with resignation the torture that the Colonel puts me through just for four hours of delay. I ask you to send my daughter to me every day.
I want to know if the other women are coming to the camp.
I want to know if they're your friends.
I want to know what case I have in Adam's Express.
I want to know why your spoke to the Coronel and why he told you that you can't come because to do so would be to hurt me.
I want to know if you General Bacon understands my case.
I want to know why you have not gone yet.
“Having overstayed the leave granted to you I feel it incumbent upon myself to order you not to leave the camp for one week date.
I am sir,
With this order, I do not have the right to leave the camp. I have been denied today. You know very well, my love, we need each other and other things. Tomorrow, if you're feeling well, go to Washington bringing this letter. This way Colonel D Otassy “my friend” will appear ridiculous to the public for punishing me for 4 hours of delay with 8 days.
Either way, I'm sorry it is impossible for us to see one another unless you have today a pass with which you can come to the camp. With the pass of from an official you are permitted the entrance to fortifications which, to me, seems more opportune.
Either way, this afternoon, send a letter to me on the ambulance of the 32nd regiment. It's not fair that for four hours I'm under arrest for 8 days.
In this moment I received your letter and in it I see that you believe that I am angry. I say to this that no, I could never be angry with you. I love you so much and that only for mere moments can I feel angry.
Tomorrow you leave where you are to spend some time with me. Are you bringing our daughter or coming alone? However you want or wherever you want because I can't go down to you for one moment because I am in service.
Without more, know that I love you so much.
I have received the egg salad for which I send a million thanks since I have not eaten anything substantial in a while.
My head has been hurting me a lot lately. I spent six terrible hours without taking a wet cloth of water and vinegar off my head. I have not been so bad that I would report it to the officials.
I've been miserable because of my camp arrest. I wish to see the rigor on me changed because yesterday 5 officials without permission went to Winchester. Some were drunk. I don't think they did anything to them.
Now that you haven't gone to Washington and you can't come to the camp, send the girl when it's not so hot.
Always wanting you a lot,
I have received your letter by the messenger and the fresh underwear that I asked you for. I was reading it when an order came to leave which takes effect on the 12th. Now it is 10 in the morning and we have stopped for a break. In a way I have been on guard for 32 hours with two nights, but I'm fine.
Kisses to our daughter and send me something to eat. You know I love you a lot.
Yesterday Montegrifo to Washington and he will return in a few days. Therefore, send me a letter for Mrs. Ceas in which you ask what she will do for you. Tell her about the missing passes and, for me, tell her about the revolver that is in her husband's power and Garibaldi's frock-coat.
In your letter you didn't mention Clark Mills other than where he goes everyday with the milk on Pennsylvania Avenue. He puts everything in a crate that Montegrifo takes and brings to us.
In this way, my dear, we will have everything we need in a few days. Therefore, write immediately because tomorrow at 7 we're leaving.
Yours, your husband, and I love you dearly,
Something that I don't understand is why was another official on guard? He prohibited me to ask license of the colonel but I had been named as guard. I am on guard until morning and I don't know if they'll let us leave.
Anyway, I slept well. Give many kisses to the girl and think of your husband who has just had a terrible day since the heat has been insufferable.
Have the nanny sleep in your room with you because it is not safe in that hotel you are staying in.
You know I love you always,
Why, Fannie, have you not sent me by the Negro yet what you have seen? Why have I not sent you anything through Ribero in order that I may know how you and our daughter are doing?
Do you not know that I wish to hear from you?
In this moment I received a letter and a bouquet, which, as you can imagine, I don't like that much. This is not Spanish custom. There are plenty of different ways to say thank you without flowers. Finally I have thanked them, to my disgust, but it is the custom of this country.
I am ready now to answer point for point to your insolent letter. I will try to be clear because I respect you too much to be rude. You are the one that bore my child and I must respect you for that.
You began by telling me stories about the money. That's fine. That's your obligation since I have spent many bad moments to earn it. But, to this I tell you, if I am not sending you enough money how much do you need? I save more than I need and the majority of the time I am without money for anything. The manner in which I am living right now is truly ridiculous. Since I am an official and have such an upstanding character should not have to suffer anything ridiculous. They gave me this position because they told me I was of a good persuasion. Now I see the contrary because they call me fastidious. I believe you have done worse things and not apologized once for them.
You said that you don't have more than $12.75, which is fine. You have spent money for business but you must realize everything will decline until we are not in debt. Until then you leave me here without pants like you know I am.
Concerning your portrait, I told you that I was returning it to you so that you may have it framed. This way if I scratch it, it will be safe. Now, if you would rather send it to your mother and deprive me of it, that's fine. Like you said, I will have $2 more for my spending. Instead of $12.75 I will have $14.75. I will not have more than $6 or $8 more to get my uniform fixed.
Now I will conclude since I don't want to answer the rest of the questions from your insolent letter.
Yesterday I received your letter in which I saw that you are doing well but that you are disgusted that I was not able to send you money. I have not been paid yet. I don't know if my friend Larzell will be able to loan me $25 or not until I have been paid. Send me my boots since I don't have anything warmer than my summer clothes. The temperature has been awful since yesterday. There was a hot spell. Therefore, see if it is possible for Larzell to bring me my boots and leave you $10 or $12 until they pay us and I am in the process of cashing my paycheck.
I am unable to be more elaborate today because I just do not have the time, my love. Now I must instruct the company.
Goodbye my love,
Send me my official sash by the messenger because tomorrow I am on guard or will be the official of the day, either one. Also, you will send the ham since we do not have anything other than rice and meat to eat every day.
Send me a hat because I don't have one.
Because I don't have any paper I can't write more.
Always loving you so much,
In this moment I have received one of your letters and even though it was written in poor handwriting it was satisfying. First of all, after 24 hours of being on guard without a moment of rest, I can't put my boots back on because of the terrible condition of my feet after so much walking. When a companion of mine saw how bad I was he decided I could not go one rounds. So, for a change, I am free from service for a few days.
I wanted to visit you while I was free but I don't know if I can. Considering the circumstances, it is too soon to visit you like I wish I could.
In this moment we are without knowing if they will abandon us or return to the fence to relieve us from guard. However, preparations have been made to leave since they have sent backpacks to the compartments. I asked for slippers that you will buy in Washington. They will be indispensable to me since I currently walk with borrowed ones that I don't like.
It is impossible for me to repeat to you how much I miss you. More tomorrow. You will receive a huge letter and in it you will see I will repeat to you many times that I love you.
Your loving and unforgettable husband,
With this letter is a letter for my sister that, like the other ones, you will send immediately by mail after reading it. In it I tell her that you have not read it, but since I refuse to have secrets from you, you are allowed to open it and read. She will probably prefer if you hadn't read it since it contains things that only members of the family should know.
I arrived here yesterday at 4 in the afternoon feeling very tired and fatigued. My feet hurt awfully. Now I am feeling somewhat better.
Tomorrow I think I am on guard.
When I feel, my love, like I did the other day it appears to me that I am seeing my letters burn, it appears to me to see you cry, it appears to me to be the blood on our child, it appears to me to touch your hat bathed in tears. I hear the slander that others would raise against you. More and more you will be convinced of how much I love you. You must pardon my moments of fury and lightness.
Yesterday, I lost the $10 that you asked about, and the best part is that I didn't secretly spend it on something but I honestly lost it. Either way I am now without money. I have people I can ask if I need something.
Goodbye my love. Send the letter in the mail.
By Adams Express I sent you today $130. Everything else that I can I've saved for myself. This turned out to be only $8 after paying off all of my debts. Until yesterday I had not received a letter from you. There were two. One was dated March 29 and another April 10. I don't know what to attribute this lateness to.
The messenger Lauraschi Francesco, an Italian, my friend that is now with the regiment, is tired of injustice. I want you to bring letters of recommendation to Washington since, more than being a good military man, he is honorable and dedicated.
Concerning your visit, my love, I just don't see how it can happen since there is no stability. Concerning you leaving the house, you know and have told me before what it is you should be doing. You know what you have to do. I also want to have you by my side but I just don't see how.
You, who speaks English and understands this country, should understand this.
It is impossible for me to leave even with license.
The Colonel doubts whether or not he should take the command of the regiment from here. There are difficulties.
I don't have time for more. Goodbye my love, until I am able to give you a hug, only God knows when that will be.
Your very loving husband,
In this moment I have just come off guard. Montegrifo, who I thought would give me one of your letters, just gave me one of my letters. I saw no response. This is reprehensible because, as you know, I live for your letters. Please write me soon.
Love to you and our beautiful daughter.
Your always faithful husband,
I am good. I don't know if tomorrow I will be dead. We are the first going into action.
I don't have a cot or a pillow or boots and we always seem to be crossing rivers and sleeping outside. All of this is okay.
In this moment I found this letter. Montegrifo gave me a letter of yours that you sent through a German messenger in which you said nothing of importance. You know that this disgusts me. More than that, I will only say two words about it and that will be the last time I answer these pestering questions.
The obligation of a good wife is to live dedicated to her husband. To die for him. And to not consult him about things that can be scientifically proven to disgust him. Don't send letters or at least don't write your letters at night because it's too difficult to write at night. And, woman, you write when you can? Where are you that you can never be alone to write me? Be very watchful of your daughter and be a true wife: answer all the letters from your husband.
The letter that I have not responded to is the one in which you asked why I was arrested. I gave all of my explanations and was released four days after. Today Montegrifo gave me a letter of yours that he told me he had received last night.
Yesterday we had something like four rounds with the enemy. They've stopped now and I now we wait. Tomorrow I don't know if I will be dead.
Your impertinent but good husband,
Today I put in the mail, or rather sent through Adams Express, $135. I have received today a letter and $5 for a new official, the third one that I have received in this month and the second you received.
My love, I want to have you by my side but I don't know how. Even if we could figure something out, there is no stability on either side. Everything is march march march and never stop.
Last night has been the first night since the last time I slept with you that I have taken off my pants.
Everyday there have been nights like that for me. We have slept in water.
I am very skinny now, that is true, but I am not sick.
I believe that God has given me the strength to be able to bear this kind of life.
It is imperative that you immediately go to receive the money and make sure it isn't one cent over the amount.
Unless I ask you for money, don't send me any because, as you told me, Father Cila is supposedly sending me some even though I haven't received it.
I don't believe it is the right time to discuss what you told me about your father.
I don't know if the Colonel because he has been doing things he shouldn't and is harming this regiment.
I am pleased with the way you have followed my advice.
I don't know why I haven't received your letter which is truly upsetting.
Kisses to our daughter. I wish I could write more but I don't have time.
This morning I have very little time so I cannot be very lengthy. And yes, I'm writing you again because in this way I won't lose a moment in which I can tell you I love you.
Also I wanted to tell you that I have not received a letter from my family which is very strange to me.
This morning I told you that you should send me something to eat. Now I'm saying that you needn't bother because we have two funds here with which to eat.
Your always faithful husband,
Kisses to our daughter and protect her
It's very strange to me that you have not sent me anything by the messenger when you he knew he was going to be coming here. It is your duty to write to your husband. However you did what I had asked at home. Therefore I love you far too much to be ungrateful.
The Colonel and I arrived in Washington so that we could stop this group of rascals that are here. I will be able to see you but it won't be for more than 24 hours.
With this letter is a letter I received from your family in which it says that you did not need advice to marry me and you do not need it now. Your obligation is to be as close to your husband as possible and to enjoy the time that passes. It is important that you know if I do not return to your side it will only be because I have died. In death I need you to know that my life was worthwhile because I fathered our daughter. If we are separated this will be the one thing that I'd truly miss. For today, and for now, I am particularly worried.
I want, if it is possible, you to write me every day. If you're careful it won't be hard. Also I want to know if the Colonel left the camp and if Father Zila has a guard at the door and if there are officials at the camp. Write to my family, saying whatever you want. This way, you will have a lot of stories to tell our daughter about her family when she is grown up. I want to give her kisses now.
I have spent three nights sleeping on the floor without more than a jacket and cloak because the blankets stayed in the other camp and new ones have not arrived here yet. I know that the bed is lost but I have not lost everything else.
It has been one hour since there was a scene that made me smile on the inside at the expensive of the people that were involved and stood across from the Colonel. To one of them they said he would never return, another now no longer has the right to a leave of absence, and another man lost liberty and now is like one of Father Zila's men. Everyone in this group understands my great sadness- Spain. The Italians and the Captain Zuar, there are also two Frenchmen.
I don't have time for more and I conclude ordering that there not be another time like today when I know you didn't write because you don't love your husband.
You know I love you so so much,
Last night I received your letter. I was made aware of what you told me in it and, in response, I am going to start with that which, after our love, interests us the most.
In response to the question you asked me, we have been here for ten days. Last night was the scene. The officials contained us with them as is their custom to cheer us up. Captains Venuti and Zuar paid for a barrel of alcohol for the soldiers who stood drinking in front of the tent of the assistant Colonel. He was, as always, surrounded by Italians who I cannot understand.
Yesterday afternoon a scene occurred which I wouldn't mind seeing repeated.
The wall that lists the orders from the army had the regiment moving out at 5 in the afternoon. The Colonel, the Major, and Captain Brais were not in camp. They had all gone to see the General and also to visit Baer. Captain Roviche and assistant Ihada who were supposed to stand in for them, but assistant Ihada was drunk. He was not commanding in a clear voice and was not making sense. The truth is that in public he repeated over and over again that he was drunk. The end of the story is that yesterday concluded with him saying that the battalion was ridiculous. After there was a report to Lieutenant Colonel, he went about calling on official after official asking for more information about the occurrence. I'm not sure what will happen. I believe that if one is the assistant being inebriated does not warrant a punishment- the orders of the Lieutenant Colonel. This is probably so because we all know this Colonel along with his favorite men generally spends all of his nights and most of his days at the table with pitchers full of beer. With this, enough about the regiment, let's move on to something else.
I cannot do this anymore. When I feel happy, my love, I can write more, yet I still know that you are not satisfied. Is this not true, Fannie? You have grown very accustomed to your way of life, but you do know I love you, right? I have repeated it to you a thousand and one times. Did you know that I love that you are religious, I love your life, and I love everything you are? I've heard myself say that before so you must have heard it at least once. I am perfectly fine. The food is not very good because the regiment is very disorganized. Until yesterday we did not have fresh meat. We only had biscuits for bread. The local cantinas did not bring us anything.
I saw with satisfaction that our little girl is good. How much I wish I could return to your side, my love!
My love, I cannot bare this. My fingers are frozen. Now we are preparing once again to move out.
I received the clothes but I'm not sending the old clothes back because it is just too cold.
Goodbye my love. Goodbye and kisses to our daughter.
Give my respects to the good family of Marly and Colonel. Yours always,
Today at 8 I received your letter by the hands of the orderly. Your letter has given me an unspeakable satisfaction to see that everything you said to me was the truth. Since, honestly, I was a little drunk when I wrote you. My pulse shook to see the victory we had against the Colonel. He had more in his favor than against it. I'm only sorry that I did not arrive in time to avoid the signings of Romero and Buis since they had already done it. We could only stop Frontera since he had not signed it by the moment that I arrived. I walked in and he directed everyone's attention to me. “If you sign it, I will sign it,” he said. I answered, “I will always guard the consequences of my friends and never give tests and hardly ever do actions that diminish my education. I will not sign even if I am alone!” He answered me “Well then I will not sign it either because of that. Of course tell the Colonel that I am very sorry I could not follow the others. I am convinced I have done the right thing for my Captain Venuty.”
Finally, I am directing you to go to Washington to see a correspondent and tell him about these short foolish things. They make us sign things that we shouldn't, that are lies. And, what is more, they use more power than we give them. Everything needs to be consulted with the Colonel who you will go see tomorrow.
I want you to say that the ones that signed, or at least the majority of them, did so for spirit of nationality and because they wish to ascend beyond the status of a civilian.
I conclude for now with thousands of kisses to our daughter and to you who I love.
Your loving husband,
In this moment I received a letter of yours however it was short. I want and wish you'd write me every day or, like I do, whenever you have a free moment.
I believe that tomorrow I'll be on guard because there a new official has arrived today. Nothing has happened to me because God has conserved me to take care of you and our beautiful dear daughter.
You don't have to send me more to eat since today we received a lot to eat. I did not receive any money, of course, and, you know my character, it is probably best that you don't send me anything so we can avoid expenses.
Captain Baer has been commanding the regiment. I don't doubt that he would give me a pass for a few hours, but I don't want to ask for it because he is alone in the company and I don't want to compromise his position with the other officials. Pass is not permitted to those standing guard. More, without a doubt, tomorrow the Lieutenant Colonel is coming and I will ask him for a pass. I think he will give it to me
In this moment I have just finished giving 22 cents so that they would go fetch a letter that I have in the mail. I don't doubt that it's from my family since I got a letter from you yesterday. If it's my family I will be very happy.
You know I love you, your husband,
I have spent two days enduring a hellish type of heat that lasts all day. I am sweating like I was when I arrived to the hotel without an appetite other than for a drink of water.
When you send me the hammock, which I believe will be tomorrow, also send me a change of clothing and a pair of summer pants that don't cost a lot. Also send 12 cans of sardines and a ham since we have nothing nothing to eat other than bread and cheese.
Don't forget my demands. When I see you wear the outfit and ride the horse on the nice saddle since I have a wish to see you riding your white horse.
For the entirety of yesterday it was possible to find a moment of tranquility like that which I feel today. So, my love, if you come or not, fine. It was something you desired.
Tell me if our beloved daughter wishes to see her father and if your longings to return to the arms of your husband remain even when you know very well that I love you.
I want you to eat a lot so that you will be thick when I see you. I don't want you to be of bad color. Give little breast milk to our daughter. Start feeding her with a spoon and bowl which is more sanitary. I cannot be very elaborate today because I do not have a lot of paper not because I don't want to. Consequently, make very nice presents for Mrs. Bacon, Mrs. Caes, the wife of the Captain, and their kids. I love you a lot.
Your always loving and jealous husband,
Thousands of kisses to our daughter
The ingratitude, cheek, and indifference that my wife has for her husband is not and will never be human. You believe to know that an annoying husband only lives for his wife. She is the only comfort he longs for. She is the only reason that he continues in an army in which he is beginning to hate everyone from the Colonel to the majority of the officials due to I don't know what. Because he doesn't know the language of this country it is impossible to use it when he needs it and consequently he has to suffer through this until he makes things that will always be classified as below everything else. More than that, I repeat that must overcome all of these things before he can feel sorry for all of the many things that he suffers.
Anyway, all of this is fine. The truth is, as true as there is a God, I have a wife who makes sure her husband is her first enemy. Even though he sleeps on the floor receiving the humidity of the earth and the atmosphere, nothing he does is good enough. He ordered her to one necessary thing which by obligation she should do. Like, for example, writing daily. Instead she walks on the streets of Washington D.C. finding individuals of the regiment and not one letter nor the smallest recognition. Today is the 18th. Six days have passed me by without shedding a tear when suddenly she decides to attack. But, alas, this is part of what makes the American heroine. These are the women that pretend to cry by rubbing their eyes. It is necessary that this class of heroines be fixed with a Spanish character and education.
For today, enough, tomorrow I will finish, or rather, continue throwing out the combustible fire that is going to explode and may suffocate us if we do not open currents.
Its seems impossible to me that today in order to continue this letter I have to disgracefully do so with the same emotions with which I spoke moments before receiving your blessed letter and the magnificent information of your conduct. Because of this I do believe I am the saddest man that this sun shines on. I had the disgrace of marrying myself to a beautiful woman that is constantly wooed and consequently is the victim of attracting the people that have the good luck of seeing her. Features that are nicer than yours don't exist and therefore I will always be disgraced that I didn't mute you thoughts and stop being young. With this I conclude and respond to your false and hypocritical letter.
I arrived at this compartment without any particular new developments. The Colonel was in Washington. The Lieutenant Colonel received me with friendship, as always.
Don't forget sweets for the girl of the house.
Give Mr. Florence a thousand thanks for the courtesies that he gave us. Also tell him I left the house so quickly that I did not have a chance to extend my hand and say goodbye.
Before yesterday I was presented with a soldier who told me that you were well but much worn out. Yesterday I was presented with a letter that consisted of only four lines. This morning Wolburry gave me some money from you but no letter. Apparently you told him you didn't have the time to write me. Also he told me you were very worn out and pale. This does not seem like a reason not to write your husband who at any moment could fall victim to a bullet and you'll never see again. In this moment I was presented with Romero who also had no letter and the same news, that you are worn out and with other directions that I don't understand. You believe your husband is having fun at war? For him you are his God that he adores more because of the jealousy he has. Yes Fanny, it is the duty of a good wife that, like you said, loves her husband and has a daughter. Her duty is not only to write when she has the moment or occasion to do so. I have said a thousand times that you should keep a diary which you would write in before you go to bed. This way you would always have a letter ready. Besides, you don't have to march on guard, you don't sleep, march, and walk with snow all around you. The water that turns into ice is your first layer of jacket. On the other hand, you have a lot of work to do guarding your husband's clothing. For example, the other day I had dust in my jacket. Also you must watch your daughter who spends the majority of her day sleeping. You also spend time studying French and doing a thousand other things that I have omitted for modesty not for any other reason,
Finally, my love, it is indispensable that you try to fulfill the duties of a good wife. Study this letter well. Give a million kisses to my adored daughter and you who I want so much more than the sun can cover due to how much I love you.
It is impossible to explain to you the sensation that has caused me to not find you here and what is worse is not being able to know where to stop and what you will be suffering, all due to this terrible woman that accompanies you for your stay in […] since you are not filled with this woman of […] del Z. L. Rey. In order to be the last time, since I do not want
Therefore at the moment when you get here everything should be figured out. I will send you money so may come on your way because I want you beside me.
When I feel, my love, that you have been suffering because of this terrible woman. You cannot imagine with honor what I remember about your name ….
I believe that the law gives me two months of license to do what I please. I will see if I can have them and we can spend time together with our family.
I know that there is something that has kept me healthy during this war. I think that it is the portrait I keep of you and our daughter that I am constantly kissing.
But I see that it is impossible and who knows when this will take effect. However I am confident in the Supreme Being that always is and always will watch over the unfortunate who love with delirium.
How much I long for you! I give you a kiss, my love. I want to see you as soon as possible since I am lost and alone without your embrace, my love.
Today I received one of your letters dated the 13th. In it I saw that you were upset because you felt you had to occupy yourself with giving excuses and did not answer all of my questions that I had asked in my last letters. Why are you being like this? Did you not find the questions agreeable?
You said on the 13th you had only received 8 letters of mine. How could that be? I could have simply messed up the addresses but I doubt it. I wrote every day except for the two or three more repetitive days. Today I can say with certainty that these letters are new.
You didn't tell me anything in your last letter about the kids. I want to hear something about them. I know Sola walked by herself to you and I know Carlos is more beautiful than your cousin. I know you are careful with your writing because of course is makes me think a lot about everything I've left behind. However, I am convinced that if you are careful there is no danger.
I have had terrible diarrhea for the last 3 days. Today I feel a little bit better with no appetite and I'm not able to sleep unless I take my medicine. I'm hoping that tonight will be better.
I wish I knew what was going on with my body. Then again, this is the only problem I'm having here. There is never a moment when I'm not thinking of you and our innocent dead children. I wish I could have one of them at my side but I am not able to at the present. Therefore I resign to longing for you all until we reunite. No one can know how happy we will be. I have, as always, faith in God.
I wish you told me if you spoke with your father about me staying at his place in a few weeks and what your opinion is of it. What is the business he will create? With me he always tries to talk business.
I want time to pass in an instant, the days to feel like minutes, the weeks to be an hour. Whatever it takes to make time stop and then arrive on the August 20th when we will be together. Alas, there are still 34 hours more, days really. It's a lot.
For now I will repeat that I love you and our lucky, dear children to whom I wish joy and for whom we live and think
Are you trying to make me completely crazy or what is this? I can't understand why I haven't received one letter. However I have heard that you are coming. You know very well the preventions that you should take on your trip after you leave. You know, or I believe you will remember, that you are supposed to write me along the way so I know you're safe. That is what causes me to go crazy! If you are late I can't stop worrying. Now I believe you have made some headway on your journey since something else couldn't have happened. Anyway, if you today you were here, the Capitan would assure you that you could see me in Washington but I can't do it or telegraph to tell you because I don't where you are. Oh Fannie! This is cruel. I'm in a bad state. I'm bad physically and emotionally. Is it that now you want me to suffer? So be it. I'm not embarrassed of it. I love you Fannie! I love you more every day and every day that passes the more and more I feel it.
For some reason these days I have a wheel in my head turning about that thing that we discussed when we were in Grafton with your sister. Of Fannie, if you only knew the awful moments that you have given me and the unhappy hours I have spent and now have. I assure you on my honor that I would prefer a million times over to suffer hunger and die working before I'd ever sully your honor. If there is a time that you suppose I don't love you anymore Fannie than do what you must. I love you so much that I don't expect you to understand why I would agree to this. However, I am a man of honor.
No more for tonight. I give you a goodbye. Your always faithful husband who wants to know about his wife and kids and is going crazy.
Today I received your letter of the 22nd in which you gave me the high compliment of calling me crazy. I was then and I am now crazy in love. Every day is worse and I want to leave this hell of a village.
Now that I have seen your letter I realize the impossibility of escape like this. I repeat to you Fannie that I don't want to make another trip in this weather. Besides, as you've told me, this creature [our horse] can't really do anything. The “monkey” [our child] who I have in my view all of the time just walks around alone, clinging to his clothes. He has eight teeth and is getting fat. He has a bigger mouth than the entrance of the bridge to NY.
I don't know now the result of your visit the other day, the one you told me about in your last letter.
You've said to me that I haven't given very good responses to your questions.
I don't have anything new to tell you or to answer your questions better with. I'm not able to go to you still. You can come here but I hope not alone. I'm happy to hear you're doing so well in Washington.
Chita is much much better and I believe that in three or four days she will be completely better. Either way I'm still worried. I had not seen Lola much before yesterday because it has not stopped snowing. It is not that cold though.
I hope you're doing well. I love you more than you love me.
You cannot understand the critical position in which I find myself in this hospital, the immensity of my work around me. You would think I couldn't handle it all. Yesterday I told you part of it but today I am just going to tell you some stories and you can form your own judgment.
As an official officer, I am responsible for instilling the good military discipline. This doesn't matter to me, but pay attention. I am responsible for the entrances and departures of all of the patients, for mailing all of the paperwork of the patients recommended for discharge, and about 10 or 12 books of paperwork. I don't have any clerks to help with it all.
However I had not really thought about the position and frankly now when I think about it it makes my knees shake. See if you can write Major Lea to see if he can find someone in New York who can get me transferred to the 1st battalion where there isn't this immense responsibility. They are one of the oldest in the army. The second battalion are all in hospitals.
The Doctor here seems to be a gentleman. Yesterday he invited me to his house for tea. His family was very nice but this isn't enough to make me want to stay here. I can't dump all of my issues on him. He did me a big favor with the company SS. I haven't been able to bring myself to tell him about my hardship and failures. He definitely knows about it but the problem is I am responsible, I have to do it, and nothing can change that.
Tell me, how are the kids? Is Chita doing better? I know the house just got fixed. How is being a mother? If your sister just got married you should go see her or she should come see you.
Sergeant Henry said it was necessary to stay in the house for five or six days.
Tell me if you lose or break a part of your baggage. I lost three of my bags but that's it. I haven't bought more.
This city is more expensive than New York. Tobacco costs 20 cents. They'll cut your hair and wash your bead for a dollar. The normal hotels here are 2.50. A cup of beer is 12cents. Liquors I don't know anymore about and I don't care about because I've stopped buying them completely.
The hospital is two miles from the town. Of the doctors none of them live in the hospital. Two of them do have big room like that of two Captains of the V.R.C. [Veteran Reserve Corps]. The man without a leg is very nice and intelligent but I don't know where he is at the moment. He is constantly working like a lion during the day.
I promise to write you every day and I hope that you do the same.
I have not written today to the doctor. I'm sure he is in the same dark and sad position as me. I am going to propose filling out an application soon.
A moment after you left I saw Captain Goddroin that explained everything to me in two telegraphs. In one he told me how many officials were necessary to help out and in the other he told me there was a competition between encampments for two companies of the 11th. Like guards, no one said anything of this company, of course, but I don't know what to think. Neither does he. He is not able to understand why there are two companies when I thought mine was enough.
I have not received a single order and today I'm writing to tell you every day I send the mail after the train at 4.
Its three in the afternoon, the heater is calm, the carpet is cleaned, and the servant's baby's bonnet is on a chair. Your old dresses are on a cushion from the old couch. Some of the kid's clothes are in the living room. The kids' rooms are messy but I'm going to make them clean them soon. My orders will have to be obeyed sooner or later.
You know I'm not a very good cook. Our food is not going to be very good but we'll get by.
Tell me if Lola has gotten any fatter, if you were very tired when you arrived, and how you were when you received this letter.
I love you with a passion. Your patient and loving husband.
Second day of absence, second day without a card, second day of cleaning the house, and second day separated and nothing new since what you said yesterday.
Today I moved the carpet from the bedroom (I almost said this morning but it was at 2 in the afternoon). I have packed my clothes in good order. I saw how clean the office is and the kitchen. Tomorrow I'm going to clean the room or “lion's cage” of Nele. That's domestic life for you.
Yesterday at 3:30 in the afternoon, moments after I had gone to take a nap and gave an order to Farrell not to call me for any reason, I started thinking about the questions you asked me and what you had told me about your cousin getting married. I remembered her name was Kate because of the letter that we received 2 days earlier. They had asked Farrell very particularly if your intention was not to go the day before to visit them. To this I responded yes, but that you didn't because of the rain. In my dreams I spoke with someone in the office and asked Farrell who was here. He told me and gave me a reference memorandum. I felt like it was natural. Then, feeling like it was time for the train to Grafton, I went to the train station but it looked liked Westminster. I was stopped at the door of the store and not allowed in. I'm sure you can imagine how that made me feel.
For the second time I am going to repeat to you that I send you letters every afternoon after the train at 4. However, I always have to pay for my letter with conversation. They always want to know how my wife and kids are. I have told them that I don't care for their tricks. You know that I always look at stamps and watch them put them on my letters.
Tell me if you brought your samples of silk. If not I can look for them. You forgot your medicines and pill sweetner.
Nothing else for today. I love you more than you love me. Your ever faithful husband
I didn't receive a single letter yesterday and because of this I don't have any specific questions to answer.
I'm including with this letter a letter from your brother. In it you will see Lola is fine and that Hellebran was at home. That makes sense to me because of the disorder I found the house in when I was over there. In the letter it appears he was only there a few hours and I doubt he stayed until lunch because he mentioned nothing of food, only of singing. I thought it was very nice that he climbed a mountain just to see our dear daughter.
I am waiting impatiently your decision since all of the officials that could take leaves of absence are asking because I didn't take it when the Capitan came. Tell me where would it be more economical for us to meet? To go to your house or here? Tell me if you think here and here will be my goal.
To say that I want you by my side is unspeakable, Fannie. I want without knowing why, but I believe it is because I love you.
I heard a rumor about you. It disgusted me to hear that you got skinny. I don't want to see you like that. You were beautiful when you were last here. Of course eat and give very little breast milk to Carlos. There's no longer the danger that we'll lose him.
With this letter I'm including cards I thought you might like.
I can hardly believe the stupidity of Mr. Clas. He has made $20,000 in the last 2 years and he hasn't thought to give an education to his kids. Oh Fannie, we can be happy with half of that money. I think I know how to reach that in a few months with God's help. But you know where, not in this country. In Spain. With $10,000 in gold, one does not have any need to worry about food or sleep. Worrying about what amount of money we can make is a better diversion than building castles in the sky, waiting with patience for the results of being here, results that may never come.
No more for today except to repeat I love you deliriously and want to see you pronto pronto.
Today I will not talk about how horrible my position is going to be because it probably will be. Captain Remein will be in charge of all of the knowledge concerning the hospital and I will be in charge of all of the knowledge concerning the military. And, if it's like this, then I hope everything will be okay, except, of course, our separation. This I can't tolerate since I am already tired of only hearing English speaking.
But let's not talk about the military. Instead we turn ourselves towards domestic questions. Tell me if you are living with more or less rooms than in Providence. Is it better or worse? I tried to be as economic as possible this time around. We don't need big things because, of course, we have to look toward the future.
It is necessary you write to Forter and ask if he received the money since he promised to write me when he received it and neither you nor I have received such a letter.
I desperately need to hear what's new with you and be free from hospital business.
As for me, I don't know when I will be able to see you again. I am not able to be missing for more than two or three days. Also, as I'm sure you can understand, it's not very comfortable here. Then again, frankly, I don't want to go very long without seeing you since the days seem much longer more frequently when I realize I lost my wife and children all at once. For this, the happy moments always seem to come with questions about what I want in place of this lonely, boring life. In this city I believe we will not have a long time to be together. And, because of this, our reunion will not be very large but much sweeter than normally.
When will you be strong enough to give me a visit?
For now, I love you and my children and, like always, I finish by saying I want to give you a kiss.
Today I received your brief letter but still it was a letter and I am satisfied.
Tell me if you have seen Mr. Talmes and when your father goes to Europe. Tell me everything, everything! You see, I need to know!
I need the mail to go faster because I don't want to miss one day.
I love you a lot.
Your husband always,
Is it possible that after 6 days of separation I have only received one of your letters written on the first and put in the mail on the second and so very brief? It seems impossible but it is true. In exchange your terrible husband has written daily, but very soon that will stop. Consequently tell me what you prefer. Should I only answer your letter or you will answer mine? With this letter I've included the envelope of the only letter I've received.
I wish to know all of the particulars and conduct of your woman led family. Are you doing alright? Does anyone spend time with you? Who have you been friendly with? Have you rearranged the house? Have you made your new dress and fixed your cap? Those are necessary for when I say you should come visit me.
I have a room of 37ft wide and 19ft across without any furniture other than two hospital beds, two chairs, and two tables with a sink and wardrobe. That's it. I have three windows with great views. I have enjoyed some moments looking out them with binoculars.
Farro is sad and in a worse position than me, poor thing. He has not received a single card from his wife. This doesn't really matter to me. I want letters and they're coming.
Tell me if your father has gone to Europe, how our children are, and everything everything everything. Dedicate some time every night to speak Spanish to Chita.
I find myself until recently in the best harmony possible with the other Capitan. We eat together, live in the same room, and walk around, but not a lot because he is missing a leg.
I've only been in the city three times and those were only for business. Since its two miles away its only convenient to go in the ambulance.
The company here is the model of virtue and I believe it is due to the lack of money.
And, for today, I say to you I love you and my children who I want to give a kiss.
Is Chita going to school yet?
Is Nele content or does she want to go back to Providence?
Tell me who helped you clean the furniture, the house, etc. How much was it in total? Tell me everything, everything, everything. You know I'm curious.
Goodbye for now my love,
Yesterday I received your second card of yours that was dated the second, put in the mail on the 3rd. I think I'm missing one.
It didn't make me feel any better. I know I want to know everything, everything!
It is necessary that you write to Dr. Garner to ask him when he is ready to because we need people of his class here. We don't have them in this company.
Also it is necessary you write Forter asking him if he's received the money from his contract because I still don't know.
Life is very monotonous. Nothing to do with kids. Nothing that would distract one from the dark thoughts that you know I always seem to be lucky enough to have. Only with patience will God assure that worse things do not come.
In your letter I saw you fell and dislocated your foot which must have felt awful (you have enough going on without this too). But you didn't tell me how it was doing. Is it healing? I want to know.
Today I haven't received a letter but I'm hoping this afternoon.
Tell me if you have been stuffing yourself with your delicious cooking and how you spend your time? What time do you go to sleep and when do you rise? What do you do with your day? Is Chita being good or does she give you a lot to do? Are Lola and Carlos, Nele and Taig doing well?
Today I have a lot to do. Yesterday the doctor left for Boston so now the commander of the military and I can't leave the hospital for anything.
Always your faithful husband,
This morning I received another letter from you from the third and from Sunday. Furthermore, I am unable to understand the mail. I went to see the postmaster. He said the letters were not being sent with punctuality but I'm still convinced it's their fault. I write to you constantly.
I found the story in your letter to be very strange indeed. I can't understand how it happened, and after someone throws another out of their house. How can they visit you and without an invitation? More than this, I cannot understand how they could have sent you on your way when you were so sick and had two small children. But, even this is not what offends me. What I'm opposed to and entirely prohibit is that you accepted the bare minimum for that old stove of yours. I say you either take your back or make them buy you a new one.
It is necessary Fannie that you understand that we are alone in this world. Of course I don't want them to be able to force you to cook for them because they are the ones who gave you the stove, the only present we have received.
You are in charge of doing it and tell them it is with my approval you receive nothing (but with this I believe you don't have to be too careful). Enough of this! It is good that you seem to fully understand what my feelings are concerning your family.
You said I should come visit your father before he goes to Europe. Sweetheart, that is entirely impossible. I have too much to do here and large responsibilities.
I'm sorry you've had to figure out how to run your household without a nanny, but I believe you will be able to find another one soon.
I am indefinitely happier to hear you are better and that, at the least, you had some time to rest.
I am also happy that you saw your sister because, at the least, she's useful for company. Tell me if she helps you and tell her she's the only one in your family that I like today. My independence is not unequal. We all need one another.
Today I visited Governor Fenton. He is a political man.
You will be so impressed. If I don't see you for two or three months, you will be shocked to find that I will be speaking English like an American. It's been a necessity around here.
To Chita and Lola, kisses, and to my little son, love.
Tell me if you have a lot of milk and much you could sell, more than me I'm sure. Up here it is only $1.32.
And for now I'm your ever loving husband,
Yesterday afternoon I received another of your letters dated the 5th and mailed it appeared on the 6th. I think you should bring this to the attention of the postmaster.
I want to give you all of the details that you asked for. I'll start by telling you how, in the hospital, with the Capitan and the doctors, everything is going very well. I seem to be getting on quite well by myself. What I still don't know is how to make the delicious foods you make. I was eating better last month when my expenses were good, but not so much this month. I hope to know also what class of life and food you are experiencing.
If you go to Worcester don't forget to bring your new dress and hat that I want you to wear when you come see me or when I see you. Also I want you to buy some fabric for a silk bag and for a new tablecloth since I know you never wanted that one I liked so much.
I am a little calmer recently because of my friendship with the Capitan. He is always helping me or telling me everything that's going on in the hospital and I tell him about the military.
I don't know if I told you that in this hospital there are no women other than washerwomen. All of the officials are married and have children but not one of them is currently living with their wife. It's against the rules of the hospital. And more than that I believe they do not have to pay the housing fees. There are only two rooms in this hospital, one for the Captains of the Veteran Reserve Corps and another for the doctors. Only one, the official of the day, stays over night, the rest sleep in the city.
I am curious to know what capital your brother has made and what he has bought with the $130 a month. Because of this he told me I have to see his house. Tell me if you've been friendly with your gossipy sister Nele who I am incapable of treating with friendliness or with respect. I hate her with all five of my senses.
It's necessary Fannie that if you remain a day without a nanny, Nele should find you another one.
I don't think it matters that you don't have Talmadge, our former servant, in the house anymore. You have had a chance to live in the house without him for some while now. Your father should sustain the house if there are any problems, except, of course, with those that govern the house. In my opinion, they helped you fall. I say this because I am beginning to observe what it is like for you to live there all alone, without me. Because in some way, except for in interests of friendship, it was a favor. But favors are lost on a certain class of people, is that not true?
Farro is my best friend. He always comes to my room to eat and to sleep. It didn't matter yesterday when I realized he probably wouldn't be able to get off work for my birthday, the 20th of August. His answer was to not worry and to live with all my life.
And for now I love you madly. I want to give you and our dear children a million kisses.
Today I received, like you said, your seventh letter but, my dear, I beat you. Unless I'm wrong, this is my ninth letter. Not one day until the present has passed without me writing you. It is the only happy moments I enjoy, everything else is boring.
Its incomprehensible, my love, the detestable conduct of your family. Incomprehensible! We've never asked for a strange favor or been burdensome but, then again, this is the way of the world.
Up until now it seems that you've shown the conduct that I would if I were in your situation. Convinced as I am that they never never never should have treated you badly, I think we absolutely should wait until I arrive to confront them, Fannie de la Mesa. I will be without any friend, which I promise you I will not be. You must wait until I'm completely satisfied that they will not mistreat you. If I had my way you would be behaving slightly differently. First, in no way should you go to their house unless they have contacted me. Secondly, don't say one word to your terrible sister unless I should give you permission. But, it appears to me, you have been doing the reverse. You are friendly and humble without needing to be. They asked you to forgive them shortly after insulting you in the face of the whole world. I know that you're alone, entirely alone. You're without your brother, your father, no one there to help you. Because of this maybe you should try contacting the husband of that awful sister of yours? Is it possible, Fannie, you might listen to your husband over everyone else in this world, who is only trying to think of what is best for you, our children, and our future? I prohibit you to put your feet in the salon of the house where the husband of the woman I hate with my heart and soul lives. She does very little other than be at your house. I have had the chance to speak with her twice in company and was not impressed. Because of her you find yourself living alone and with only a servant. And, on top of it all, with her hypocrisy and shamelessness, the fact that she dared go to your house infuriated me, Fannie. I went almost crazy with anger. I conclude with saying that this is just part of that strange personality of that woman who would probably help you fall but not rise.
So, to them, with the exception of your Father, who I do truly respect, I say that: if any of them asks about me tell them I am with a huge pain of the heart and am shocked by this huge insult from my own family.
You said, Fannie, that you need to go to Worcester to buy some things. Buy what you want but don't forget to suit up everything if your wagon is open. Also, don't forget, it is important to pay immediately, my love.
Don't forget to buy yourself silk for another dress. When you come here August 20th I want them to see me with an elegant woman, free and fat.
Why haven't you done some exercise and found a friend in Grafton? I don't think it would be very hard. This way you can be free from awful people like your sister.
No more for now. I love you more than you love me.
Yesterday I wrote to you, as I usually do, but I did not receive a letter. More than that, I've realized, as you've said, I don't need to write so frequently. But, if I believe you are also writing so frequently, it is easier for me to write. Either way, write every night and after see if you can mail them right away.
Today I believe you're in Worcester. For that trip I have told you to fix your dress, hat, and buy fabric for a new coat.
You said that when I send for you it is very difficult to travel because you have three kids to worry about who need greater protections when traveling. Consequently, my love, I believe that I shall not have the pleasure to see you again before August 20th. On this day either you are going to come here or I will go to you. Either way, the forces are going to bring us together.
Today marks the fifth time I've been in the city. Four of those times have been for business. Today we were only allowed to be away for 6 hours with the exception of these two guys that were wearing citizens' clothes and were to stay in the doctor's house.
In your letter I saw you have (by your definition) redesigned the house with some taste like you think you are some sort of marquesa. You also discussed your awful sister. You have to excuse me for calling her that but I hate her. I can't help it.
Tell me if your other little sister and your brother have helped you with anything in the house.
I have heard you and the children are all strong and well. That pleases me very much. I hope to find everyone fat and well on the 20th.
Fannie, as you know I am the model of virtue. I've only had one drink since I've been here. My friend is temperate so in him I see the same behavior.
You said very particularly that you have hours to eat. It's good to hear that you have everything under control in the house.
You told me in another letter you'd give me details of your family if I wanted to know them since lately you seem to find only chickens in our house.
On what day do you eat? In your old house or new house?
Could you do me a favor and write the name of the hospital next to
“Capt. C. A. de la mesa
because your letters aren't coming and I'm not sure why.
Since I have a table in my room, I have a good space to write, therefore forcing myself to learn, write, and I believe progress in my English.
And, for now, kisses to the children and you, my love.
Always your faithful husband,
I arrived to this place yesterday at 6:30pm. I found a magnificent hospital and an honorable doctor who is completely a gentleman. The only downside is there is no room for officials and there are no desks. I am responsible for that which, as you know, is impossible. I will do everything I can to fix this before I go forward. As for now, I have the great satisfaction to have secured in full the kindness of the doctor, but, as you know, that is not enough.
Today I'm in a hurry and afraid of everything that is coming towards me which all just seems so impossible. I'll write you soon and tell you more.
Tell me everything about your life and everyday.
Last night I received your large letter and, among other things, I saw that the dog was stolen but he returned. Of course pay Zay for finding the dog. Don't let him convince you that because you didn't pay him initially that now you should pay more.
You believe that your letters bore me? That's completely wrong, they don't bore me at all because they speak of the only four things in this world that interest me. Because of them I'm alive and to them I am grateful.
You told me that you have done your tri-monthly returns. You are better off than I because I am not able to do it since I won't know until the end of the month how much the table I rented for my room costs. I'm assuming it won't cost more than $5 a week because it has a few scratches. All I want is to live economically like I am and when you visit you'll see.
In your letters it appears your father still hasn't gone to Europe. Ask him to bring you some cloth to make a winter dress. You can give him however much money you want since there he can buy it for much cheaper.
It's important that a doctor looks at your foot to see if it's okay. You should always call him if it seems necessary. I don't want you to be economic about that.
With a grand satisfaction I see that now you remember how important you have been to your good husband. It doesn't matter to me. I am it many times for you, none with an ulterior motive.
Like you, I want to see you, but, my love, it is less than impossible.
I am going to repeat to you what I have already said. I am responsible for a hospital in which the patients do what they want, dress like civilians, don't say hello, and clearly favor the officials from their place. They break plates, vases, and cups. Once they all threw their food to the birds without being punished because we could not find the instigators and we can't punish everyone. That would not be fun and I don't want to have to do it.
Yesterday Greves , the Sergent, was here. He is neither married or in penitentiary like they said. I asked him to bring me the prices of the second class Hototes and some first class Bordes, which I will send to you so you can form your calculations and make what suits you. I want to see you but I remember I have 3 kids who only have support from their father and God. This feels like a memory that it is so close and yet has no place. I don't want to believe the permanent body has me crazy. I don't spend more than the cost of food and smoke.
And, without more, I repeat to you I love you with delusion. I hope my children are alright. I give you a goodbye for today.
Your always loving husband,
In your letter today dated the 11th you seemed upset with the news that August 20th is when I intend for us to see each other. What I'd said to you was that I know you can't come if there is a superior obligation. Every time you feel jealous think about the celebration of my saint [birthday] which the children should remember because we always do it. Also, you want me to come on a day that isn't the 20th. Now I'm telling you that I don't want a reunion unless you respect the customs of my religion and yours. If you remember, I told you of my anticipation to celebrate and see you. This way there will be no more complaints nor will you have to slap me in the face.
Also you should be thanking me that I decided to see you on the 20th because then you don't have to wait until Christmas to see me. You are so unfair, Fannie, all because I told you the truth and because I didn't go the last time. We are alone in this world, we have no support. The future doesn't appear so amazing. We don't have enough money to spend on trips every month and for only two or three day (that's all I can manage without losing half of my pay). What I don't spend on food, I save. It is necessary you realize it costs me $13 for me to get to Providence which is a little bit more than I've spent in this city (which I have only seen in business and in the ambulance) on tobacco, food, and clothes.
If you believe living in the way you do costs more, you can move to Albany, Worcester, or Providence and then you will see the difference. However, on the other hand, it's not strange to me that it costs more and more than in your house. If daily you have 1, 2, and 3 at your table you know what we knew in Providence, though we didn't say more than this. I've heard you call me stingy. I'm not stingy. I'm a good father who is forced to live apart from his family who is not good to him.
I'm telling you frankly that I'd prefer not to receive unfair letters like that. You complain that you're sad, sad, to which I say if you are with your 3 kids by your side, with your family in front of you, to your right, to your left, and behind you, and with a decent house like you say, with the necessities to live, what do you have to be sad about? The view from my room is the penitentiary and to the left a cemetery full of men I knew. For a change I have nice clothes. I accepted an invitation from my superior one day to attend a political meeting. I put on my nice clothes because my military jacket was missing two buttons. I had not put those nice clothes on in 4 years because it was not needed.
The family that I stayed with for only one day was a bunch of old ladies, I promise. One was 60, two were 40.
Fannie, you're unfair and I don't like it. Because of this I have concluded to say that if you can't write nicer letters I'd rather not hear from you. I have enough going on with my position and I am sad enough without rude letters from you like that of the 11th. Dear, you know I live for you and our children. I still love you and our children the same and I think of nothing else
Today at 5:30 I returned to the hospital without any mistakes on the way. As of now I haven't heard very much about how the hospital has been other than general facts. Although I have been away for a while I believe everything is okay.
I wish, my love, that you would not write letters that make me, once again, abandon my post without license. I could get in a lot of trouble.
I found two letters of yours. One was dated the 14th and the other was dated the 15th. In them I saw that you were thinking of me and, with that, I was happy.
Tell me, how are the children? Do they sleep through the night? Does Nele think to stay or leave? You should let her go if she wants to or not. We don't have other nannies. Firstly, we can't afford to lose her and, secondly, I don't want to.
You did not forget to do what I asked you which means that you must really love me. This way we are happy and nothing will ever happen again like what happened the other day which was so terrible, let's not talk about it. I have concluded that was the last time that will happen.
I want to know if your father has gone to Europe or not yet. Have you had time to ask him about the dress? It doesn't matter to me how much it costs because you need it and it will be much cheaper there.
In one of your letters you told me to not worry so much about the future. You said that I should worry as little as possible, but you know that's impossible since we have three beautiful children I have to provide for.
I want, Fannie, for you to write to Heldebran and ask about the status of the army. Since he's so close to the government he should know more than we do up here.
And, for now, I will say I love you so much and I truly want to give you a kiss. I hate living separated from you. 110 miles! Consequently it is impossible for us to see each other anytime soon.
In this moment I have just heard something new about the army due to a letter I just received from Washington written by a coronel in Detach Service. It appears that the intention of the government is to put all of the Veteran Reserve Corps in forces such as heavy artillery.
For no, I'm actually done writing. I love you a lot and want to see you as soon as we possibly can without inconveniencing us or saying anything bad.
P.S. My love, when we are together neither you nor I will give a thought to the sadness that is our separation. If we think about it I am sure we will be very unhappy and we should be happy for our first visit and remember it mutually happy. You will see how talkative we will be. It's a shame this won't be before two more months have passed. What a shame that it isn't here now!
If your father comes, tell him I would be truly sorry not to see you on my birthday. But, we must have patience. Goodbye, goodbye for today.
I don't know what's going on but today is just one of those days where I can't stop my pen. Is that a bad sign? Have you done something bad? I feel something that has me nervous. Is it possible that something bad has happened to you?
Today I received your first letter and in it I saw, with disgust, the bad time you had to get to Worcester. It was worse than I had thought you had felt.
In your letter you said to me that Nele was going on the 3rd to Providence but you didn't tell me if she was going to stay there or if she was going to return. You should ask because I don't want you to remain without a nanny.
The response that you have given to Foster seemed to be the truth but I have very little hop to receive anything presently.
Fannie, with this letter is a letter for your brother Eddie which you are to take to him. Tell him to write me back.
I want to know, as usual, if your father has left for Europe.
Also, I want to know if you have done what I told you to and purchased lard for cash and not for credit because it's better and more economic.
Also adjoining this letter is the license of the dog. If it is necessary you should get another dog because without him you can't live there alone, especially at night.
For now, I will say I love you more than you love me.
Yesterday I told you some bad news, but today it's worse. The assistant of General Robinson, who is the Capitan of the V.R.C. had me send a letter to Washington in which it said, before 2 weeks, the army will be disbanded, which, as I'm sure you can understand, had me crazy. Consequently, my love, it's time you tell me your impression of me. What do you think you will be able to do with your useless husband who can barely speak English? Without help like we are, I don't know what we'll do without the army.
Console me by telling me your intentions or thoughts. At least we are lucky enough to have saved up a good amount of money. I assure you that I am crazy. I haven't been able to figure out why or how or what to do since this morning when I received the terrible news. I believe I am done.
You have to be careful to not say anything in the house. Delay it as long as you can. It always is the person who you owe $5 who will be the first person to spread the bad news of your ruin. That is how it is, my love, and all because of my lack of English. Today I think I can almost speak properly, but I can't be sure. I have spent some days studying without rest, but it's too late. We just have to have patience and confidence in Providence.
Yesterday morning I had to discharge 31 in the company, including the first Sergeant staying here that I've told you about. Only 17 and Farrell remain. Farrell is hoping to be discharged as “useless” in order to receive a pension.
Tell me if you've received an answer from New York. And for God, my love, I want to know your thoughts.
I am always your faithful husband that loves you.
Today I received your very nice letter in which I saw the nice thoughts that you carry for me. But, my love, I told you that I didn't want to see us denied from all of the good things that could be ours if we were to be successful. You will see how happy we will be. Today, I have to go through the information on all of my men since tomorrow I have to discharge more men. My command will be reduced to 18 men. Now, tell me Fannie, if the government will pay Capitans for a long time to command a squadron of only sergeants? The same thing is happening in the other companies that are in the city. I heard the 1st battalion is a company that only has 3 officials and 4 soldiers.
I'm celebrating that your father is there with you because in this way you're not so alone. In these circumstances you can do me the favor to consult with him and see what he thinks I should do when I leave the service because, frankly my love, I don't have and you don't have any hope of receiving a bigger payment than this month's. However, I have more security because my saint's day is so close (the one that in one of your older letters you said I should always trust) which is going to be the darkest I've had in many years. I have not had one birthdayt without being able to discuss what you have heard me say or for four years have seen with you on either the nights before or a few days after. Anyway, my love, let's stop thinking about papers and think about what we are going to do in our new lives of flowers or thorns.
And, without repeating myself, I live for you and my children who you should say hello to for me. Your always faithful and loving husband,
Adjoining this letter you will find a letter you will to your father since, frankly my love, I am not and cannot be calm knowing that you are alone at night since here and in New York there is not a day that passes without disruptions from the Veterans. They lost all of their money like it is their jobs and then cause trouble.
This isn't going to be a long letter because I'm not feeling so well. Tonight I had 10 or 12 dispositions that I had to do. I had to keep opening and closing my dictionary to write the letter to your father. Now I have a terrible headache. Anyway, I think it's enough to tell you I love you and only think and live for you and our 3 kids.
Yours with love,
Before you give him the card please seal it.
Last night I received your latest letter dated the 25th. In it I saw that you are working very hard and have decided to dominate your character. Oh Fannie! If you do this you will see how happy we will be because it is necessary that you convince yourself that happiness does not give itself neither money nor riches. It is preferable to have only bread and coffee. To have everything that one wants with agreement to their class is to live in a constant hell. For my part, I recognize my occasionally demanding character but, my love, my conscience is calm. I want to see the effect of what you said to me and you will see how happy we will be. We will have security. We will be able to bear the star that shines brightly in our lives.
I want to know what class of business your father is now embracing and if he told you his opinion of what in his company he thinks I could do to help and to give a career to my children. I believe this is a good idea since I have a stronger character than that of his other sons. After everything, I have begun to think of him with reason.
Tell me if Lola is walking by herself yet and if you have enough milk. Tell me if your father has accompanied you to town and how much you spent.
Tell me if you have done what I asked, if you have bought lard. It's cheaper than ham. You need that in the house so that you are never without food. Be economical with your spending on the horse. I can hear you now criticizing me, my love. Go ahead. I want you to live as economically as possible, never again in harm's way. I want you to eat like you think I like, decent, good, and with time to enjoy your food, without any of the untidiness that you know I hate and is unsanitary.
I, however, don't know how much boarding is going to cost me. Yesterday, for the first time, they asked me for money. I gave them $10 and they said to me the last of the month they'll say if I'm staying or going. You tell me if that's economical. But, on the other hand, you had not done this in Providence.
Oh, my love, I assure you I need many letters from you. Without them do you want me to go crazy? When I think about the future, frankly, I feel sick and I don't know how I'll get by. Anyway, I need you to write a lot and well. I hope with these I will get through this. And, with God's grace, my English will improve. I believe there are some people here that you will like when you come here the 20th of August but disgracefully not before then. I say “disgracefully” because that word is only for when something sad happens.
Without more, your faithful and loving husband,
In your letter you said you had not received a letter since the 26th, unless I'm mistaken which I don't think I am. My second letter was the one in which I sent you a letter for your brother.
I'm rushing through this, my love, because I have some bad news and some good news to give you. I am rushing to get to the good news. Today all of the discharged men were trying to figure out what to do outside of the service. Twenty-seven men from my company have received a telegraph from the war department suspending them if they are no necessary in the hospital and discharging them when their time is up. In the 1st battalion it's not like this. Actually, I've heard it is worse. The men are furious. I am content and now I see that the 2nd battalion is better than the 1st. This morning, in the 1st battalion, they discharged everyone whose time was up before October 1st. With this, I am better and have more hope.
You complained about not receiving letters. I have only received 3 and have written 8. As for those you haven't received, it's not my fault. I only missed one day of writing to you and that was because I was sick and in bed.
And, for today, I will say I love you more than you love me. I want to see you soon but not to have sit and discuss all of these specific questions about our future. I want to see you so we may only to love life like two angels. I don't doubt we will do it if you have decided to dominate your character, like you have said. That has been something that has worried me several times.
Kisses to the children, remind them of their father. And to you, my love and a goodbye.
Yesterday I received, in the afternoon mail, one of your letters answering mine from the 23rd, 25th, and 26th, which, of course, I didn't understand until I noticed the “from Providence” mark on the envelope. All of the late letters in one day? This must mean there is a problem with the mail when you send it from Providence. I'm trying to figure out how the mail works. Tell me when you receive this and the one I write tomorrow, God willing.
Your letter filled me with pleasure. I saw you gave me advice and reminded me of a few things that have no doubt given me strength. For that, I thank you and say if I remain in this position and, as if it were natural, establish a business to help our children it will be with strength and confidence knowing that you approve.
I can't understand in your letter if you said that you are or are you will remain without a nanny. Of course, if you do that we would save $20 a month. If you have taken this provision I must say that I disapprove. It is entirely impossible in reality, with 3 kids to watch, that you could go without a nanny for one day. Of course, if Nele goes to Providence without the intention of returning, before you allow her to go you should find another woman to stay in the house. First off because there are families of our social class and our health that fall into harm's way and I don't want that. Secondly, because I am a Captain and it is not decent. If I stop being a Captain, if fortune accompanies us, then the matter will be different.
You said you feel like your brother has accepted to sleep in the house because I was begging him to. Now that he is doing it you are to give him a million thanks from me. Fannie, it is impossible for you to understand how nervous it made me to know you all were sleeping alone. It seems like every day I'm reading about the disorder and robbery caused by the discharged soldiers.
It made me so happy when you said I'm going to have a very happy birthday with good food. Just think how happy we will be. It can't be true? I am only thinking about this. It doesn't matter to me that I'd lose days of my life, I'd be older faster and with more white hairs, I want this day to come now. When I see you I want you to be wearing your new dress.
I'm sending you the Herald. It's very attractive. You will know that the news is always good.
And, without more, send my regards to Edward whom you should tell to write. The same goes for your father. I love you deliriously more and more every day and much more when you're near. Alright, I say goodbye for now.
A good father,
Today I received two letters from the 28 and 29. I found them very satisfying and far more consoling than anything else. They filled me with pleasure and spirit and the will to overcome whatever may come our way.
It was strange to me that you asked if I approved that you had given your father $50 when you know very well that I trust you to have as much money as you need to pay your debts. Anyway, I felt that was strange for a few days.
I want you to not talk more of the past. I want that to be completely forgotten. I want us both to put the past behind us and not talk about it so we do not live in hell like we did some months ago. The less we occupy ourselves with it the better.
I want stories or to know what you eat. I want you to eat well and not want for anything. Thanks be to God we find ourselves in the position to make our lives not miserable. When you get here it will be another thing.
You said to me, my love, you feel that I had asked too much of a favor of your family. To this I say to you that I only asked them against all of my dignity. I found it impossible to live tranquilly without someone living with you at night because the whole world knows you're alone. It would be natural to think that there must be money. Since you're there without a nanny, I must know if you have or don't have money.
You have not told me if Nele has left without the intention of returning. If this is so you have to find another Nanny because it is impossible for you to get by alone. I will not consent to it unless I'm at home.
I'm not approving you to write to the colonel. If you haven't already done it then don't, since they're not very happy with us at the moment.
Why don't you try and sell some of the gowns you have in the house and make something for the children with what you get?
Tell Chita that her father says thank you and sends a kiss that you should give to her for her nice thoughts. I will bring her, Lola, and Carlos something nice when I see them.
What does she think her Father should do?
And for now I say I love you like always,
Remember to tell your brother thank you and I will write him tomorrow if I have some free time since it's the end of the month
I have been without a letter since Saturday and I believe I know the cause. You don't write and, for this, I must wait for more time. The real test is taking up the pen!
Today I received my paycheck and bought $350 in bonds and received a 98 cent premium. It's the same thing I did last month with the tickets. It always produces something.
Today they gave me the bill for my boarding. It was $15 for the month. The Captain said this month is more expensive than the last. I believe that July should only be $12 or $13.
I have some more bad news to tell you. I will probably have to stay alone in the hospital and, if this is so, it will be impossible for me to spend August 20th with you. Since I fell on my back, I have a lot to do, big responsibilities. It all feels less than impossible to do but this is not true. Now we must wait to see what we are able to do and what we should do.
Tell your father that if I leave the service and he wants to enter me into one of his two businesses, I think I won't be all that bad.
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History