March 23, 1918 – A letter from Robert to his mother (on YMCA “With The Colors” letterhead):
Your note came today. I suppose Elinore was very disappointed. I was too but it couldn’t be helped. I asked the Captain if I could get away to meet her and he said, “No” so I thought Elinore better stay for a while. I hate to have her come if I can’t meet her. I called Mrs. Jones last night. She was not in so I left word that Elinore would not come this week, so I don’t know about the job.
I am a little bit worried about Elinore. I haven’t heard from her since Wednesday. If she wrote the letters have been lost. I feel sure that Mrs. Jones can get another place for Elinore or she can stay with her if she wants to.
They are building a nice drive way between Des Moines and camp. For two days I have been using a shovel on the road gang. They don’t work us very hard but I hate to stand around, doing nothing so I am pretty tired at night.
There were about 3,500 men shipped this morning to make room for the next draft. They have taken about 20 from Company I so far and will take more. There is a great deal of talk here about who will go and when. We can’t tell how soon it will come, but I don’t think they will take me. In fact, Captain Breardon said not.
I sent some of my clothes home tonight. I hope you will take care of them when they come. My big coat is all that is left to send. I will get time next week to ship it.
The general opinion here is that the war will last 2 years longer, and I guess they are right.
I went to the Y.M.C.A. tonight to a concert, and am going again for church, Sunday.
As soon as we get out of quarantine I can go downtown to church. I hope Elinore and I can go Easter but I doubt it. I expect to go back to the canteen when we get out. If I do I will get $60.00 a month with the $15.00 Nora will get.
The first sergeant said today at breakfast that we might get out of quarantine tomorrow. If so I will let you know, so Elinore can come at once.
I am going over and get my hair cut today. It is the only chance I get. We have a barber shop right in our company.
I went out to the incinerator once this week. That is where they haul all the garbage etc.
Did I tell you I have joined a Y.M.C.A. French class. We will not have much grammar. They just aim to teach us to speak a few necessary things, but if I go over, it will be a great help.
I hope you will go up to visit Jane.
With lots of love to all,
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.