Miss Grace Lockard
Scottdale, Pa
 

Camp Lee, Va.
March 31, 1918
 


Dear Sister:-
Easter found me on the guard again. We went on at nine this morning and must walk our post till five P.M. tomorrow. I don't mind it so much this time because I am on number one post and it is very busy around here. I might explain that one post is at the guard house and you are not only responsible for all the prisoners but must salute all the officiers and call out the guard. Lots to learn. They brought me your letter at noon and it surely was good reading. I'm more glad than I can tell you to hear that Dad will get back to his own job soon, because it took the ginger out of me to think he was working at another trade. You know on a strange job there is so many ways to get hurt. I had a little experience yesterday as a result of my over-confidence. Our Capt. has a car and he lent it to another officer to go to Petersburg yesterday. This guy couldn't drive and asked me if I could. I told him “sure” and we started. It was some trip. He had two girls to take to the train and as I told you there was a big parade here and I think all the cars in the state were in camp. The road was simply lined with trucks, cars, mule teams, etc. I got along fine till we hit the main road between here and Petersburg and then a private (lucky it wasn’t an officer) stepped right in my way and the front fender hit him right where he sits and knocked him to one side of the road. Never hurt him a bit. I stopped and the guy was so scared he couldn’t talk and the girls also. I sure got away lucky and no one any the wiser but that I was an old hand. Humps was scared from the time they told him what I was doing till I came back. I made up my mind since I came here that if they ask me could I do this or that to say yes whether I could or not. Sometimes you can get away with it. It's hard writing here with only a magazine for a rest. I was down to see Millen yesterday and he told me about Walters little girl. Too bad. You know Wiggens’ brother was working in the Y.M.C.A. in our section and I never knew who he was till today. Went to talk with him and he has left for France. Can you beat that? Talked to him every day when I first came here and didn't know him. Fellows here never say who they are or where they’re from. Albert fixed me a midnight lunch from Florence's box. We all got our Easter boxes this A.M. I got a box of candy and a package of smokes. One from one and the other from the other. Also got my tea and sugar. Our cook is fine about making it only he is Irish and must have a cup too. We get very chummy over our "'wee cup". The new bunch is coming in every day and it is funny to hear the crossfire of remarks all along the line. The old fellows stand across from headquarters and sing "Long Boy" and yell "Wait till you get your shot" and "Gee don't they look happy" and all such. We had chicken and all the trimmings for dinner even cake and brick ice cream. The "rookies" are running around with wishbones behind their ears. This bunch of prisoners are all lying on their cots singing "Hallelujah, there the glory". Absolutely care free and some are facing long terms. I hope, sis, that everything will go smooth Tue. and I hope that you will have all the good luck that you both deserve. I'll tell you it takes a place like this where a fellow can learn how others lived to make him glad he had a good family. Florence wrote Albert all the details and seems as happy as can be. Why didn't you tell me more of what was going to be pulled off? I had to guess till Hempy read his wife's letter. I can see now sis, why it was better for me to start in this way than how I wanted to because if I had got there at first I might have flunked it or dallied my time away.
[Editors note: Walter had wanted to attend West Point, but his opportunity fell through]. I believe I have a more fixed purpose in mind now than then. I am sorry for J.D. It surely would be a shame if his career would end that way. I have gone out for boxing and suppose I'll suffer some black eyes for that but I always wanted to learn that stuff. Uncle Will sent me a book on why we are fighting and other interesting dope. You can thank him and tell him I'll write when I get time. We won' t go south now till the middle of the month I guess so you can keep sending my mail here. We found out for sure that we would go however this A.M. Give Ben my best and extend him my kindest wishes and I know he is a lucky guy. Love to mother and all the rest.
 

 

Your loving brother.

 

 

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