February 23, 2024

Letter from Manford E. Cox to his wife, Harriet Patton Cox (Sept. 4, 1918)

14 to 28 A.d.R.

Camp Hancock, Ga.

Sept. 4, 1918

Dear Girl:- Your latest received at noon, and now have a little time so will answer.  We got out of quarantine today.  It is limited as yet, but we can go to the canteen now and get things and that helps a lot.  I tried to get a gun brush but couldn’t, but will get one soon I suppose.  We got our rifles yesterday together with belt, bayonet, pack, etc. especially the etc. as I neither know what it is, what it is for, nor where the devil I will put it.  They raise the devil if you leave anything laying loose around the tent and it begins to look as though I will have to get down to one pr. socks, one shirt and go to it.  But we always find a way and will do so this time.  I am glad Will Bradbury got his commission, and wish I was that far along.  But I will be there in due time.  I hurt my leg running yesterday morning, strained a muscle, but I am still on the go and getting better.  I showed some of these kids down here that they couldn’t run as fast as they thought they could, but I overdone the job I guess.  The corporal of my company hurt his the same way and went to the hospital and reported himself sick and has laid in his tent all day grunting and is still there, but I never missed a drill and the leg is better.  I was excused from the games this morning by my instructor, but that is all.  The work is tightening up now and we are kept on the jump, but I am feeling O.K. and so far as I know, doing as well as any of them.  We fall in at seven o’clock, study an hour, recite an hour, and then have until ten o’clock to bathe, write or do whatever we please, but at ten we must turn out lights and hit the hay.  Received a letter from Hattie and Kent today.  Will write Pop and Mom this week again some time.  I may go to Augusta Sat. but doubt it.  Think I will wash up everything clean, get ready for next week and then write, rest and study.  The day passes very quickly for me, but you poor kid, I imagine you do get lonesome.  Got the Constitution Monday night.  Hoped it would come Sunday.  Monday was Labor Day here and we had games, consisting of a leap frog race, potato relay race, base ball game and tug of war.  This is the last holiday I suppose until Thanksgiving.  We have examinations all Saturday forenoon, and then are loose until Monday.  I do not know how I will hit an exam as I am out of practice.  If they do not bother me more than they used to do, I will find them easy.  I do not get things as quickly as when I was younger, but I believe I am getting better with the short practice we have had, so I really do not fear the future, although after Saturday I may be scared to death.  After I get around some will tell you more of the camp, so far I know nothing of it.  Got a bottle of milk at the canteen and “Gee” it tasted good.  Well must quit and clean up for “retreat”.

Love and kisses, Manford.

(There is a sketch entitled “Buck’s cat.”  Buck was Manford’s nickname for his six year old son, Carroll.)

The Original Letter: