The following is an interesting letter from Seward
Lightner to his mother in 1917 during WW1.
The original letter would not scan
clear enough to remain readable for the internet; transcribed letter is
shown below. Obvious
corrections are inserted in (parenthesis) and were omitted in the
Fort Russell Wyo.
Sept. 15, 1917
I haven’t had any thing to write about. It’s
about the same thing every day. Haven’t got the artillery equipment here
yet so the drilling is dismounted artillery drill in the A.M. and horse
exercise in the P.M. We were issued winter clothes and anything else you
need. Two pair leather gloves and two pair woolen gloves. Going to
get overcoats to-day I think. I am fixed up fine for clothes lucky to
have so many. I’ve got two uniforms of woolen O.D. and a extra
pair pants. One uniform of khaki and three extra pair pants, three pairs
of shoes, six suits of summer underclothes and six of winter, about two
dozen pairs of socks, four shirts, three pair leggings and two hats also
a rain coat.
I was called in the orderly room last week and the
Capt. told me to be at the non-commission officer school. He asked me
how much school I had and a lot other questions. Been going ever since. Maby (maybe) you don’t know what non-comm officers are. They are
Corporals and Sergeants. I can’t get any furlough unless I have
some excuse as important business or sickness. If you can find some
business for me, write but don’t anybody get sick. I’ve got stamps you
don’t need to send stamps cause that (is) the first thing I stocked upon
last pay day. This month just the minute I get my money I’m going
to take a beeline for the post office and send 25 home. I could just as
well send home 15 last month but waited to long. If a guy
didn’t have any money he(‘s) just as well satisfied but if he has it
I’ll be dammed if it can be kept.
There is a big Y.M.C.A. just
finished. Got ever(y) thing in it imaginable even moving pictures and it
don’t cost a cent. Have the best of grub. Something every outfit
in the front don’t have. Butter every meal. Of course the guy that
runs the eats has a lot to do with it. We feed on better than
government rations and that is 47¢ a day for each. The mess sergeant
believes in everybody eating all they want but if there is any butter
left on the plates hell to pay with the guy if he catches him. If
he can’t find him nobody gets any butter for a week. Everybody
likes him he’s full of fun.
I ain’t very anxious to move out of
this place now. I haven’t been to Cheyenne for a devil of a
while. Has Marie got back yet? Tell Biddie not to tell
anything about what I say. I will write to her when I get my
pictures I’m getting developed at the drug store up town. I will
have some good ones if they turn out all right. Well this is all
the junk I can think of.
Thats like one of the buttons I wear on my collar the left side and a
U.S. button on the other.
(Original letter from the Lightner family