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Letter from Arthur John Huderle, Hector Mirror, 10-3-1918

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Chickamauga Park, Ga., Sept 28, 1918,

Dear Mr. Allen,

Have been here a little over a week and am getting on to the ropes fairly good shape. We receive nothing but military drill and tactics. The older men are sent to the Infirmarys to do Dentistry, that is, those who cannot stand the strenuous drill they put us through. Yes, it sure is harder work than all of us have been used to. Nevertheless you never hear a whimper, as one might imagine from professional men who had been confined to their offices in civilian life. They all take it in the best of spirits. We have the officer of the day who inspects our Bunks or rather Barracks and if your blankets are not folded just so, your clothes all buttoned up and hanging properly or if your extra shoes are not laced and lace ends put inside of the shoes and shoes not polished and all dirt off the floor, then they simply ride you to death and lower your grade, also, if you wish for a week-end pass you receive it providing the commanding officer of your company finds your record clear. There’s lots of red tape but it sure rebuilds a man, in fact it is the making of many.

The grub we received is excellent both in quality and quantity and, better than all, no two meals a week are alike. It’s not all hash nor chow either. The water is very good.

The Camp sure is healthful as it is located up in the mountains, hardly any dust. The mid day is rather warm, but you sure recover from fatigue of the day before the next morning, for one can sleep like a log. Four blankets were none too many last night so you can judge for yourself the camp healthfulness. Chickamauga Park, where this camp is located, comprises something over 7,000 acres. Of course there are several camps, Camp Forest, Camp Greenleaf, Fort Oglethorpe and between Camp Greenleaf and Fort Oglethorpe is the prison Camp where all the German Aliens are kept and for gosh sakes never send anyone here, for they receive too good a care for what they have done. They are fed well, clothed and they play all the time. There are only a few who work and those that do receive a fixed price for whatever they do. Work is not compulsory there. They are regular parasites while in the prison camp.

Was up at Signal Mountain last Saturday and Sunday taking in the sights and really it is something wonderful when you see America 1st as the call it and if you have not seen Chattanooga and its surroundings, this is where you want to come. The scenery is immense, nothing like it and climate of the best, 2000 feet above sea level.

I suppose you are wondering how I have found time to write such a lengthy letter. Well today I was appointed on Barracks police, commonly known among the camps as “Barracks Louse.” The duty is to keep the Barracks in order and see that every thing is in place so the inspector will not have a chance to call one down. That’s all I have to do today so am cleaning up some correspondence. I think of you people quite often as well as those who gave me a farewell party before I left. Really, when one gets away from one’s friends, he looks back and sees what a wonderful thing friendship really is and appreciates it so much more for it.

Will give you a program by which we go. There is no time that lapses, one minute runs continually into another.

6 A.M. 1st Call; 6:10 Reveille and Assembly; 6:15, Calisthenics; 6:45, Mess Call; 7:10, Drill; 9:15, Lecture; 12 Noon, Mess Call;1:00 P.M. Quiz; 2:00, Quiz or Lecture; 3:00 Drill, 5:00, Retreat; 5:45, Mess Call; 6:30, Study; 9:00 Tattoo; 9:05, Quarters; 9:15, Taps; Saturday 8:00 A.M Inspector; Saturday P.M. no Drill or School Calls. So you see time is looked after in very good shape. I used to wonder why those in training Camps could no answer my letters but now I know, for one’s time now belongs not to himself.

I think of Donald quite often and know how he would appreciate and like this military life if he were a trifle older.

Sincerely, Lieut. A. J. Huderle