All posts by Rebecca Nolen

I blog about many things.

My Grandfather’s Words: Wednesday July 24, 1918

Weather is very windy and dusty, but fairly cool.

Our breakfast today was corn cakes with syrup, Grapenuts cereal, native peaches, bread, and coffee. For dinner we had roast pork and spuds, bread, water, and pudding. Our supper was Lima beans, bread and water, spuds, and watermelon.

I was up at 5:15 and was too sleepy and lazy. I passed up my bath. The first call was at five this A.M. and mess call was at 6:30. There will be no reveille or retreat until this bunch of horses is on its way to England. I hear they are taking 2,500. I had haltered a bunch of horses when Lt. Eggleston slated me to be one of the men to lead the horses past the examining officers. So I helped lead horses the rest of the morning. In the afternoon I was engaged in haltering again. There were a few “outlaws” from the morning left in the little corral near the warehouse. I attempted to halter them. I had caught and haltered two of them, when I was working up a third when he kicked me in the right side in the region of the short ribs. I was banged against the fence, but managed to get me wind again. I finally got over the fence and propped up against a telephone pole for awhile. Top sent me down to the infirmary. There they said no ribs were broken. They strapped me up with some tape and told me to take it easy awhile. It was a pretty sore place tonight, but hope it will be right in the morning.

I had a letter from Honey Girl & wrote her. I wrote to Oliver, too, this evening. It is presently nine-thirty. I will head to bed soon.

My Grandfather’s Words: Tuesday July 23, 1918

It is windy and dusty and rather cool. It looks like rain.

For breakfast we had butter biscuits and cornmeal mush with fried spuds and coffee. At dinner (lunch) there was roast beef and spuds, pudding, peaches, bread and water. At supper I ate butter beans, beef stew, bread and water, and cake.

I was up at 6:15 bathed and in my fatigues by 6:23, just in time for reveille.  I pushed the water cart again this A.M.

I wrote to Mary and Mother. Heard from them both. Last week Mother was in Waterloo over Sunday. She was going to Abbeville, but changed her mind and decided to go to Clayton. Mary went with her to help her decide on a location for herself and the boys (my stepbrothers). I wish I had been there, too.

I went to the hospital this evening, but the glasses were still not there. They said they would call for me when they arrived.

There is a British colonel here today looking over the horses in the corrals with a view to purchasing a number for his government. They say he is to take away 2,700. I was pushing the water cart this afternoon at the hospital. Tomorrow I will be trotting horses out for the British inspection. Supper wasn’t until 6:30 this evening. The “top” announced there would be no retreat or reveille until after the 2,700 are out.

It will be some job. Each animal has to be led in front of the British officers. They will examine the horse all over. Then each horse will be trotted to show the horse’s paces & whether the horse is stiff or not. There will be two officers, each inspecting a horse at a time. It will be pretty slow. It should take a week or more. I may get to go along to some sea port with some of them.

My Grandfather’s Words: Monday July 22, 1918

It was cool this A.M., but when the sun was high it got hot.

Breakfast consisted of prunes, bread and coffee, and fried spuds. Dinner (lunch) was weiners and kraut, bread & water, and a nice pudding. For supper we had sheep meat stew, spuds, fried carrots, cocoa, & cake.

I got up at 6:15. Passed on my bath. I had to go to hospital at 10:00. I went on sick call to get my hospital order signed. When I went I discovered my glasses were not there. I will have to go back again tomorrow evening.

I had a letter from Mary Dear this morning. Mother is there in Waterloo. I didn’t know she was to be there yet. Mary doesn’t know what to do hardly. She thinks she should stay and look after Aunt Frances & she would like to come down here to be near me, too.

I worked on the hay gang this P.M. We unloaded hay from the train cars. We took three loads to the corrals,  thirty-five bales per load.

Our top sergeant read an order this evening at retreat relating to military courtesy & discipline. It stated there was to be a high official here from Washington & some English officers with him. They were to take some animals over for the British government. We were to be on our best behavior. I hope we don’t disappoint him.

Rumor is that the British officers are to take all the animals that are fit to go at this time. I hope they do. Chances are some of us will get a chance at a different job.

We had a dust storm this evening. It was so dusty & windy I couldn’t see the riding barn from where I was not far away. Finally got to my tent. Dust covered everything. I had a good bath. In bed by 10:00.

My Grandfather’s Words: Sunday July 21, 1918

The weather today was fair. It was cool this morning.

For breakfast I had an orange, hot cakes, spuds, and coffee. For lunch they served chicken, spuds and gravy, cake for dessert. The lemonade was sour. I ate supper downtown. I had a bowl of soup and apple pie with ice cream.

I was lazy this morning and didn’t get up until 6:20. I had a bath and cleaned my teeth. I shaved after breakfast. After reading my Bible and praying for a while I went over to the top sergeant’s office and asked for a chance to do something besides the bull gang. I asked him for the job in the saddlery shop under Sergeant Sladek. He gave me all the encouragement he could and promised to try and get me in.

After inspection Ralph and I had a nice conversation. I let him read CWR’s answer to those who oppose conscription or war on the grounds that it isn’t scriptural. Ralph doesn’t agree with some of the things CWR brings out. I didn’t argue with him as I want him to see it only if God will have him see it.

After noon mess I went downtown to look around a little. I had a letter from Honey Girl in the A.M & I answered it at the town Y this P.M. I walked down and I got back about 10. I was tired but did not sleep very well.

My Grandfathers Words: Saturday July 20, 1918

Though cool in the early morning, the weather most of the day was hot.

For breakfast I ate three plums, and fried spuds, coffee, and bread. Lunch was roast pork, spuds and gravy, bread and water. For supper we had liver & onions, prunes, cocoa, and bread.

I didn’t get up for a bath this morning as I had taken one late last night. I was busy this morning. I was at reveille and answered sick call as I was instructed to do yesterday. The Saturday sergeant said he would get me into his office to help him. I will be very glad if he does. It surely seems as if God is helping me, by giving me favor in the sight of those in command.

I had a letter yesterday from Mary dearest but I couldn’t read it until this morning. I had another letter from Mary dearest and one from Oliver this morning. I wrote to both of them in return. My eyes hurt some yet, but not too bad.

I am hoping Sargent Sladeh puts me through for his helper in the harness & saddlery shop. The Lieutenant told him to get a helper & he said he would try & get me in.

I thought this morning I would try to go to town this evening, but my eyes are bothering me some.  Instead, I wrote to Honey-Girl quite particularly in regard to coming down here. She and Aunt Frances are halfway planning on taking rooms together somewhere in Waco this fall. If the Lord wills, she may come by herself. What to do about Aunt Francis I don’t know.

My Grandfather’s Words: Thursday July 18, 1918 and Friday July 19, 1918


The weather was cool this morning and then again in toward evening, but hot in the middle of the afternoon.

For breakfast we had beef heart in sauce, fried spuds, and a banana. Lunch was sliced boiled ham and cabbage and pickles. For supper we had fried spuds, peas, bread and water, and watermelon.

It was the usual routine today: Up at 6:15, I had to hustle to get bathed and dressed for reveille. Had to repeat at the hospital this A.M. & was not attended to, had to return in the P.M. & then I must go again tomorrow. My eyes had been bothering me a great deal lately. They are smarting and feel as if there is sand in them. They are gummed up with matter in the mornings. At times my vision goes blank for a moment.


Weather is hot.

I hardly remember what I ate today. I was up at the usual time, bathed and dressed in time for reveille. After breakfast, I went to the hospital again. Yesterday, they used Homatropine in my eyes (made from atropine, which is extracted from belladonna, and used to dilate the eyes), and I couldn’t see to write. Today, I am wearing dark glasses until tomorrow. They have ordered me new glasses. I will report Monday to get them.

Just met with Sargent Knudson. He asked me what I was doing. I told him laying around until my eyes were better. He asked if I was reporting on sick call. I said no. He said I had better or I would get in trouble if anyone reported me.

—Writing this all on Saturday—

My Grandfather’s Words: Wednesday July 17, 1918

It was cool this morning until the sun was high in the sky.

For breakfast I ate a banana, Krumbles, coffee, milk, and fried spuds. Dinner was chicken and noodles, spuds, bread, and water. For supper I had ox heart in a pepper sauce, spuds, bread and water.

This morning I had to rush because I slept late again. I think it was because the weather was cool. I barely had time to get washed up and slipped into my union-alls before reveille. I worked in the warehouse this morning. I counted halters and packed them away, then counted a bunch of old shovels and things.

I had a letter from Honey Girl at noon and another one tonight. She is getting along as well as could be expected. As for myself, I had a complaint about my eyes and throat this morning and went to the infirmary. The doctor send me to the base eye clinic. I could only get an appointment for nine tomorrow. So I’ll have to go in again in the morning.

We had the G. M. Colonel here this evening to see about a lot of condemned clothes, shoes, and things. Corporal King & Somerville and myself turned out about twenty bags of old clothes, shoes, socks, gloves, underwear, etc.

There are a great number of men leaving this camp heading east. The entire seventh division is going, I guess. There are rumors flying around the remount about all these men being examined for overseas duty. I guess it is really a rumor though. They also say that Major Phillips goes this week for France. I don’t know, it may be true. If it were not for being so far away from Mary I would like to go too, it seems.

My Grandfather’s Words: Tuesday July 16, 1918

Weather is hot, but cooled as the evening drew near.

Breakfast: liver and onions, fried spuds, plums, and coffee.

Dinner: Fresh roast beef, mashed spuds with gravy, cabbage, bread and pudding

Supper: pork chops, peas, pie, and cocoa to drink.

Scan0012Up at 6:15 and had to hustle to get bathed and  dressed for reveille at 6:20. I made it. The usual morning routine. I pushed the water cart at breakfast. I found a letter from Mary Dear when I got in at noon. She is getting along so well. I am so glad. I can thank God that He cares for her and is bringing her back to health and strength again. My dear little wife. How I miss her down here.

I was detailed to the warehouse this afternoon. This is how it happened: I went to the office to see Sargent Knuthen about getting a transfer to the shop at one O’clock. Then I went out to No. 6 corral to work. I hadn’t been there long when Sargent Murphy came out hunting for Milligan to detail him to the warehouse. I told him Milligan was on the hay force. At least, that’s what I thought. Then Carlyle, the civilian boss, came up. He said the civilian laborers said Milligan was on the hay stack. The Sargent told him what he wanted him for. I spoke up and asked him to put me on. Carlyle told him he could recommend me more than any man in the corral. The Sargent thought a moment and then told me to report to the warehouse.

This evening there wasn’t much to do so I took it easy. I have written to Sweetheart tonight and will soon go to bed. I want to walk to town tomorrow evening to look for rooms for Mary Girl.

My Grandfather’s Words: Sunday and Monday, July 14, 15, 1918


The weather was very hot through the afternoon and into the evening.

For breakfast I had two peaches, cornflakes, coffee, and bread. At lunch I enjoyed a spring chicken, spuds with gravy, ice cream, cake and cocoa. For supper we had a salad, water, and bread.

Up at 6:30 bathed and dressed in time for reveille at 6:45. After mess we were to have barracks inspections at 8:45. We were ordered to have all G.I. clothes out on bunks. It was supposed to be a checking inspection, too, but they did not check – just went through the barracks & looked them over.

Ralph had to feed today, so after noon mess I hiked over to the Cameron park. It is about two and a half miles from the remount east, past the base hospital. It is rather nice over there. There is a cool spring running water. That was the first natural cold drink I’ve had in Texas. I walked around over there quite a while then lay in the grass & read a while. I wrote part of a letter to Honey Girl. Continue reading My Grandfather’s Words: Sunday and Monday, July 14, 15, 1918

My Grandfather’s Words: Friday and Saturday, July 12, 13, 1918

Editors Note: I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch for a few weeks. I’ve posted two entries from my grandfather’s journal to make up for it.


Weather was hot both this A.M and this P.M. I thought with the dark clouds there would be rain, but it was a dust storm.

Breakfast was liver & onions, bread, fried spuds. Lunch was cold roast beef, sliced potatoes with gravy, bread, water, and applesauce. For supper we ate bread, water, potatoes, meat, and gravy. I bought two sticks of candy.

Up at 6:10. Bathed and dressed by 6:20 reveille. The usual A.M. routine. Some of the men were told off last night to help load horses this morning. They had to rise at 4:20. They loaded out 260 head. Don’t know where they went. The top Sargent went along. I was informed by on the the Vet Corps men some time ago that there were about 11,000 horses and cows here. Several have been sent out since, & I suppose that there are around 900 or 1,000 here now. One of the horses was killed this evening. The men were driving a bunch into the 9th corral. This one slipped and fell and broke a leg. They had to put it down.

I don’t know much other news to set down tonight. I had a letter from Mary Dear written on Tuesday just before she had the operation. I had another letter from James written the day after the operation. Honey had tried to start the second letter but was too weak, so James finished it for her. She was at O’Neils. James had taken her there from the doctor’s office. She was in as satisfactory a condition as could be hoped for at that time. My dear girl. God keep her & take care of her for Jesus’s sake. Amen.


Weather: A warm light rain this A.M.

Breakfast was hot cakes with syrup, coffee, a banana & cornflakes. For lunch we had bread, beans, cocoa, & tapioca pudding. For supper we had bread, water, spagetti with mean and apple cobbler.

I was up at usual time, bathed and dressed as per my usual routine. Worked in A & B & 6th corral today. We quit about 4 P.M. I had a hair cut. After mess, Ralph & I went to town. Hiked in and bame back on the car. I was looking for a furnished rooms. I was trying to get the lay of this end of town. Had a letter from Honey Girl written the next A.M. after she had her operation. She sat up in bed & wrote & and was feeling fairly good but weak. Aunt Frances was going to fix her something to drink, some kind of broth. I expect that would strengthen her.scan0039camp-macarthur.preview