Diary of Clarence C. Childs
Sixteenth Ohio National Guard - Spanish American War
April 26, 1898 to February 6, 1899
Volume V, Number 2
Clarence Childs was born in Wooster, Ohio, on July 24, 1881, the youngest of the nine children of James B. and Leanorah Childs. In 1893, James Childs brought his family to Fremont following the death of his wife. In 1896, Clarence played on the high school football team, and in 1897, he served as the captain of the Fremont Football Club. He also pitched baseball and played on the track and field squad.
Childs was called into military service before his graduation from highschool. He was a trombone player in the Light Guard Band of the Sixteenth Ohio National Guard and was mustered in as a musician in Company K of the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry on April 25, 1898. The Sixth Ohio did not see service until after the Spanish American War when it became part of the Cuban occupation force from January to April 1899.
While in Europe in 1900 with an All-American concert band at the Paris Exposition, he heard an all slide-reed instrument band. On his return, Childs organized a similar band known as the C.C.C. Slides. The band achieved national attention.
Childs attended Kenyon College in 1906 where he played on the football and track teams and was both a member and manager of the Glee and Mandolin clubs. His senior year he transferred to Yale and then entered the law school, where he was a member of the class of 1912. Childs played football and ran track. In 1911 Childs joined other Harvard and Yale students for the fifth annual track and field meet against Oxford and Cambridge. Although the American teams were defeated, Childs placed second in the hammer throw.
In 1913, Childs was a member of the United States Olympic track and field team. He placed third at the games in Stockholm, Sweden. After returning to Fremont to marry Zella Sherrard, Childs became athletic director at Wooster College and in 1914, he coached football and track at Indiana University. The legendary Jim Thorpe, a friend from the Olympics, was his assistant.
Childs was called to active duty in August of 1916 to serve with the Sixth Ohio near El Paso, Texas. He remained on the Mexican border until February 1917. During the summer of 1918, Childs left for Europe with the 147th division. He was wounded on September 28, 1918, but returned to active duty in December. The following year, Childs became a personnel adjutant. He was promoted to the rank of major. He was discharged from the service in the fall of 1919.
For a short time, Childs held a patronage position in the Harding administration. After leaving this position, Childs remained in Washington, D. C., working for either the Treasury Department or the Secret Service. His records remain closed. He died in Washington in 1960 at the age of eighty. He was buried in Fremont’s Oakwood Cemetery.
Order for band to prepare to leave for Toledo came on the 26th of April 98. It arrived while a Co K beneficiary was going on in the Opera House on the eve of the 25th. We arrived in Toledo on the A.M. of the 26th playing the "Pride of the Navy," while entering the army. This caused a terrible noise from the already arrived Cos. The battery D. members were excited over an order to prepare to move. We left on the following Friday the 29th over the Hocking Valley Railroad for Columbus where we arrived late in the afternoon. Then came a march of 4 miles to the camp northeast of the city. We staid there in camp for 18 days. The camp was named Bushnell. We had good rations such as butter eggs lard and so forth. All my brothers visited me there within a few days. I ate a 6 o’clock dinner at the chittendon [hotel] with Rob which I relished very much. I played 2nd Trombone with the band. When I remustered I took up the bugle as 1st bugle of Co K.. While in the band I had poor quarters, being in the Cooks mess with Wal’ Spicher for over a fortnight, or about it. I slept there with all my clothing on including upturned cape on the overcoat. I had but one blanket. I slept in the city 2 nights and by so doing caused Sec. of the Band Tyler to look me up, he thinking I might have been waylaid. I could not keep my clothes clean or could I render my best services in the band while exposed to such vagaries. Ed Heider and I made a bed one night from wood taken from an ice house a half a mile away. Upon returning with it we were put in the guard house for being out a few minutes to late Boys who flunked at the last moment were sent home in overalls and were maltreated badly, Some having their hair clipped I mention one case. Take it as sad or as you wish. A private in Co A flunked about 2 days before reinlistment. He was allowed nothing to eat and he had his hair clipped and was clothed with overalls in such extremely inclement weather. This boy flunked because his mother was dependent upon him. He came to us for food, but as soon as Lieut Barnum heard of it he approached Hack Bowles of the band who was giving him a bite, and forbade him to give the boy any more. There was an argument which ended thus, Bowles," This is a free country and I’ll give him as much as he wants". Lieut. Barnum,"If you do you will wish you never did it." But the boy received all he wanted from us at all times All said so far has occured before our reinlistment. On May 11th we were given a physical examination This composed of a scrutinizing by U.S. army officials who looked us over as we passed through a tent. The ex. was not rigid. The next day we were mustered into the service. Our U.S. rations were different from those formerly issed and thereafter we received no more lard eggs etc. We left Columbus for Chicamaugo on the noon of the 17th May 98. We arrived in Chattanoogo the next noon remained there till early eve when we left for Rossville where we remained in the cars till the next A.M. In the morning we marched 8 miles to our camp on the Jays Mill road where we were brigaded with the 1st W.V. and 158 Ind. While in this camp we received worst rations up to date. We passed in review before Gen. Breckenridge twice and once before Gen Brookes and the people of Chattanooga. I took 2 grs. of quinine every other night to keep free from fever. I always had plenty of money so was a steady purchaser at the dainty article stand. Nothing but sweets etc seemed palatible to me. At one time there was about 10 dozens of lemons in our mess. Lemonade was my long hold. I went out on 2 sham battles. One was ourselves against the 158th Ind. We climed fences and threw bushes for denfences. We made trenches and double time marches. We got sight of the enemy but once then to late to make an attack before recall to would be sounded. The other sham battle was a battlion affair. The band instruments arrived the 22nd of Aug. I took a Boston slide and slowly worked up a lip. At Camp Poland we were given a Band street. I was detached from the Co about Sept.1st. Left Chicamauga on the 27th Sept. for Rossville. The dust along the line of march was terrible. We had coffee before boarding the train at Rossville. We arrived in Knoxville Tenn at 11 P M 27th Sept., 98. We slept in a field near the disembarkment on all night and marched to our camp the next A.M.. E’d Heider and I slept in the non-com-row. Tent blew down. Everything got all wet. We had been sleeping in the street of Co. K. We went to Sergt Fry’s tent which was also blown down. We went to a trolley party Sept 1st latter or a few days latter and ate a $1.00 meal under the Imperial [hotel].
Since then we were at the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall, and I saw Cleveland’s Minstrels
Sun. Oct 9th 98
Snare Drummer Sangston and I went to a Country church. We saw a child that resembled a monkey.
Mon. Oct 10th 98
The band was photographed at a condemed spring. 3 hrs practice Capt’ Cox was presented with a sword by Co K boys and Heider and myself by by Lt. Col. Bulger. A fine dress parade. Two ohio boys died in the hospital. One lost his nerve after he was nearly well, and was devoid of fever. He died.
Tues. Oct. 11th 98
From today we wear our blouses on parades. Something not done for a long time. Tents were taken down and everything aired. The pay-master is heard from. Slight rain in the afternoon shortly after tents were put up. Band had pictures taken while holding a gratis issue of Battle Ax and Dukes Mixture.
Wed. Oct 12th 98.
Two hrs practice to begin with. First day I have worn my blouse for months. Foot ball team gets a date with the U. of Tenn and other teams. Visisted Zeigler at the hospital. Patiently awaiting his furlough. He is living high on chicken milk-toast etc. Pay expected tomorrow.
George Overmyer taken with cramps. Capt. Cox left for Fremont with new sword. The Band has secured an engagement for next week. Winter clothing arrived today.
Thurs Oct 13
Clothing brought to camp. Very cold night. Desintary very bad. Boiled clothes on hour between Revielle and Guard Mount at 8.45 A.M. Co. K on guard. I was paid off at 8.45 A.M. All men must have passes to enter the city from today on. The Col. Drew $291. and some odd cents. Capt Howe drew Lieut’s pay. The band ordered to play concert on Mon. Wed. Frid. and Sun. afternoon of each week. The band played badly today.
[Full page of 4 portraits entered on p. 17]
Friday Oct. 14, 98
Clothing issued. Received an overcoat. I could hold nothing on my stomach. Dr. said he would put me in the new Reg. Hospital. Ate nothing all day. Guard house filled with fellows who left without passes. Band played first eve. concert.
St Oct. 15, 98
Ate a little toast all day. Very weak. Morning very chilly. A tie foot ball game between W. V. and Ohio. Clothing still being issued A 4 Tenn. Surg in Dr. Howes place he being sick. Usual Sat. inspection. Zeigler sneaks out and makes us a visit.
Sun. Oct. 16, 98
The A.M.. a little warmer than usual. Toast and eggs are my sole eatables. Band concert and Balloon ascension in the afternoon. Zeigler visits and expects to be home soon. No 20 medicine at the hospital was what I used mostly. Fisk practices daily for the tournament. A W.V. soldier Fell from dumy, loosing 2 fingers.
Mon. 17th, 98
A. M. chilly. Visited Zeigler at hospital, Found him asleep. Rail late in the afternoon. The Y.M.C.A. tent in bad shape, due to the wind, Went to bed at 8 P.M. Weight, 153 lbs, loss of 10 lbs in 8 days Band has prospects of a great many jobs.
Tues Oct 18th, 98
The Band played at a Catholic affair in the P.M. Very chilly.
Wed. Oct. 19th, 98
The Band left for the city at 8.30 A.M. and led a division in the merchants parade. Ate dinner at the Palace Hotel. Played at the Market Hall in the afternoon and at the Womans building in the eve. returning home at 11 P.M.
Thurs Oct 20, 98
The reg. marched to the city and was reviewed by Gov. Bushnell and Gen. Randall, and staffs. We marched about 10 miles, reaching home at noon. We left at 7 A.M. Gov Bushnell inspected each Co. in its street and reviewed them in Co front at 4 P.M. The Cake Walk attracted throngs to the city in the evening.
Friday 21st 98
Band left for the city at 10 A.M. Serenaded newspapers and Imperial hotel, then witnessed the flower parade which was very fine. Officers acted as escorts in many cases. Ate dinner at the Palace. Gave concert in the Agricultural hall in the afternoon, after supper we heard the oldest orchestra in Tennesee. They played a concert composed of jigs etc. The legion band gave a fine concert in the afternoon.
Sat 22nd, 98
A. M. very cold. We left for the city in the eve. to witness the fire works. We were put on a government boat, and then went up the river for a mile then we landed at played several selections. We cut the Mich band by getting the band stand. The fire works were not up to our expectations. The Battle of Manila was a bad farce. Returned home at 11 P.M. after visiting the Y.M.C.A. Capt. Cox arrived from home.
Sun Oct 23rd, 98
Morning chilly. I did not go on guard mount as I left my horn in a store in the city the night previous. Bad cold. Two balloon ascensions. The parachute of one aeronat become detached before leaving the ground. Expect to leave by next Sunday. Large crowds on the grounds.
Mon 24th, 98
I went to the city after my horn which I got and returned in time to play a baritone part to Liberty Bell. The day quietly spent.
Tues. 25th, 98
6 mo. since we left home. A.M very fine. Saw Forpaughs parade which was the same old chestnuts. The bands were no good. Practice from 1 to 3 P.M. Witnessed circus and reached home at 11.15 P.M. in a rainstorm.
Wed 26th, 98
In the eve we went to a farmers corn bee, where we had a most sumptuos meal. On our return we stopped on a hill-top and played American Belle, which is our old stand-bye.
Thurs 27th, 98
In the afternoon we played at the Chivalric Tournament, ate supper at the Palace Played two pieces at the Womans building where a large audience gathered. The 31st Mich band was there and bucked us hard.
Friday 28th, 98
Played concert in the eve. Went to Episcopal church choir practice in the evening. The invite was from Miss Forbes whose father is connected with the "Sentinal" Paper of Knoxville. I had a bad cold so could not sing much. I got into the Methodist church by mistakes of a motorman who purposely fooled me.
Sat., 29th, 98
Practiced foot-ball in the A.M.. Played the 2nd Ohio at Ballwin Park in the afternoon.
We beat them 11 to 0. I played a good defensive left half. I meet Capt. Ashton formerly Capt. of the Lima team I played as Capt. against last season. I ate supper in the city and returned home at 8.30 with a bad chest. I intended staying to see Field’s minstrels.
Sun 30th, 98
We had band practice in the A.M. I had to break a date with a young Knoxville lady because the foot-ball game knocked me out as I had not practiced but one time before the game. We gave a concert to a large crowd in the afternoon.
Mon 31st, 98
A reporter of the Sentinal called to see me but he saw Heider and tried to tell him what he wanted. He was trying to find out where I was Sunday eve.
The A.M. opened up beautifully. We were allowed 7 floors for the band of which we commenced a shanty. In the eve the 2nd Battalion and 2 battalions from 1st W. V. were called out to guard the dummy track. They were stretched from Knoxville to Fountain City at intervals of 50 ft. The Snakes soaped one grade and an ohio guard was mixed among them.
Nov. 2nd Wed.
Woke up at 7:15 A.M. a little earlier than usual. We started the band practice as usal but were interrupted by hearing the Assembly. The 3rd N. Cor. men had refused to drill under new white officers who had been appointed in the place of 18 colored officers who resigned upon hearing that an investigating committee was to be put at work on the conduct. About 11 A.M. our reg. with 20 rounds of ammunition marched to within 1,000 yds of their camp where we awaited orders which finaly came and they were for us to return to camp. The Band carried litters. There being 2 litters with each battalion and 4 men to a litter. I was with the first battalion. I had my 38 colt, and 30 rounds of ammunition. Since we returned we have been under orders and roll calls were frequent. We gave a concert in the eve. We received a stove gratis from a farmer for our shanty. My latest dainty in the shack is an onion burned in hard wood coals.
Nov. 3rd 98
I slept last night in the shack. It was very unpleasant. For dinner we had 13 rabbits and some turkeys. In the eve, I with Al Reinick and Sergt. Rice went to the Legion Band concert. This band is perhaps the best south of Ohio. We returned at 11 P.M. and I ate a baked onion, a couple slices of bread, then retired. We received a new piece. The Georgia Camp Meeting. Some 50 W. V. non-coms. reduced because they were absent on the roll the other day. They intend to fight the case to a general court martial.
Nov 4th Sat. 98 Friday
The A. M. is beautiful. Practice in the A.M. Finished copying my diary in the P.M. Concert in the eve. Retired at 9:15 P.M.
An order read to have no one go after rabbits without a pass. Also Art. 231. relating to neatness on guard mount. 1st Sergt of Co L. receives commission as 2nd Lieut of Co F.
Nov. 5th Sat. 98
After a good might’s sleep I arose at 7 A.M. We had our inspection as usal. Rain in the afternoon No dress parade. Oysters for supper. Oscar Wyatt and I walked over to the cotton mills but could not get in. We visited a soap factory and a stove foundery. We came back by the Southern Shops. No dress parade. I fried some potatoes which were fine.
Nov. 6th Sun.
The A.M. opened up very chilly, The Y.M.C.A. blew down Sat. night. Wind in the afternoon. No usual concert. Started "The New Woman" music. Balloon ascension by Murphy of Co. L. I have been having a peculiar mania for toast of late. E’d Proctor and Sergt. Fry returned from Fremont. Miss Forbes called for me but I was absent our cook shack. I did not get to see her.
Nov. 7th Mon, 98
Arose at 6.45 A.M. There was a very heavy frost on the ground. Happily, there was a fire in the shack. I washed my clothes in Co K’s boiler in the P.M. We know that we are to go to Atlanta eventually to Cienfugos Cuba— Gave concert in the eve. Have been feeling good of late. A tent in Co. B burned — The Paymaster has been heard from.
Nov. 8th Tues, 98
Practiced all A.M.. Bert Grotz gets a new solo. In the eve he and I went to the home of ex-sheriff Groner where we spent and enjoyable eve. I met several professors of Holbroke Academy. Miss Moore, and a Miss Goanes from London Tenn. A great many boys went to the city to hear the returns of election. After walking in from Fountain Head I went to bed at 12 P.M.
Nov. 9th, 98
I arose at sick call. For dinner we had rabbits and partriges. I slept in the afternoon. We played concert in the eve. Slight rains in the evening. Some of my newly made Fountain Head acquaintances visited camp today for dress parade. They had a spinser chaperone with them.
Nov 10th Thurs., 98
A reception was given to non-coms and privates at the Womans building. Bert Grotch and I ate supper at Miss Groners returning at 8.30 P.M. I had a chill after returning then I had a fevor afterwards. It rained a good deal during the day. No dress parade.
No 11th Frid., 98
I did not arise till 8.30 A.M. on account of fever during the night. I felt pretty restless all day. I was seen by the Dr. who said I had a fever. Mr Braily left for home this A.M. Chas Munnel has charge of the band until he returns. I have been off duty for the day. Dress parade was held in overcoats. Two fellows were given sentences on parade A private from Co. F. getting $60 and 6 months. The other 3 months both for disobedience.
Nov. 12th Sat., 98
I awoke at 7 A.M. and got up at 11 A.M. Dr. said I had a fever. Cold A.M. Football game between the 1st W.V. and us. Score 12 to 0 in their favor. We expect to leave the 17th for Atlanta where we shall be in one of the exposition buildings.
Nov. 13th Sun, 98
The Band arose at 5 A.M. to escort the body of a Co I man from the undertakers to the depot. Band ate at Co. I. walked to the city and rode back. I arose at noon feeling good. The Dr. said I had no fever. Sparring for Division Col. No concert on account of Grotch being absent. The day very misty. My Fountain City friends were in the camp but I was at the Co, so I missed them.
Nov. 14th Mon, 98
Arose at 6.45 A.M. and ate 12 pan-cakes. We practice all A.M. I played baritone parts to the pieces. I drilled with Co. K. in the P.M. on battalions drill. Five men for Co.H. received sentences of 2 months in guard house and different amounts of their salary was taken. Concert in the eve. We expect pay tomorrow. Fine weather. The Co’s received new cooking outfits.
Nov. 15th Tues., 98
Paid off this A.M. No practice. Invited to a Fountain Head Taffy pull, but was to sick to go. The 2nd Ohio left today for Macon Ga. Co.C. remained to move Div. Hdqts. The Y.M.C.A. will follow us up. The boys are most all leaving for the city. Co. K. had ½ of its supper left that it prepared. Several Co. teams are in practice on the gridiron. Street roll call today. Some of our wagons helped the 2nd O. out to day. Scores of cars are awaiting our removal on the side tracks. The weather is fair. Last night was cold.
Nov. 16 Wed. 98
The 2nd Ohio did not leave owning to some order caused it is thought by some move of the Peace Commissioners. Steve Buckland is expected home. In the eve I shot off a 45 in the shack and caused very my excitement as it landed within 6 ft. of 7 or 8 people in the shack. We had turnips in the eve, we got them at a neighbors. Very muddy and misty.
Nov. 17 Thurs, 98
Awoke at 6.45 A.M. I took two lessons of a friend in hynotism. I was hynotised for a few moments and hypnotised a fellow myself. Practiced foot-ball and got bunged up on the elbows. The 6thhas a ball at the Woman’s building this eve. The band was invited, but some of the members had made dates, previously. Co. K. on guard. The Y.M.C.A. thinks of tearing up as they haven’t enough funds. Much money has been stolen since pay-day No parade or drills only retreat by buglers.
Nov. 18th Friday, 98.
It rained last night and my blankets acted as reservoirs. I went to the city in the A.M.
took a bath and met a man who claimed to be R. J. Herndon the composer of "Stella Polka". He was on the bumb. I bought to cleaned rabbits from a farmer and returned home with Co. L’s wagoner. The Col. has bought a new horse. His old one is as near a hobby horse as anything. Todays paper says that we leave for Cuba within ten days. We don’t expect to ever see Atlanta. Sergt. Buckland returned to the Co. Corp. Welker has received a discharge. We gave concert in the evening, and I played baritone to our sheet music "living pictures," and Songs of our boys in blue.
Sat. Nov 19th, 98
The night was a very wet one. The A.M. opened up nicely. We were to have inspection at 9:30 then it was posponed till one then till 8:30 A.M. Sun. I played foot ball in the A.M. and P.M. Things are continually being stolen from the band boys. Capt. Porter brought me two solos this A.M. and I had to play them for him. Corp. Hazel has found that he tore loose a ligament at his elbow by foot-ball. I have one large sore at each elbow. I hypnotised a subject again to-day. It now gets dark at about 4:30 P.M. In the eve I played in the Y.M.C.A. orchestra composed of 2 trombones a tuba and a cornet.
Sun. Nov. 20th, 98
The A.M. opened up fine. We played concert in the A.M. and were inspected by a major of the signal corps who noted our wants in clothing and necessities for Cuba. The Div. hospital is preparing to move to Washington. The contract surgeons to Cienfugos mostly. We gave concert in the afternoon I met Miss Forbes also a lady who knew Miss Stevens of Syracuse New York. Krag-Jorgensen guns arrived today, also clothing issued. Some Legion Band fellows played with us in the afternoon.
Mon. Nov 21th, 98
The A.M. cool. Clothing issued also guns and bayonets. I went to the city in the P.M. to have stripes put on my trousers. I weighed 164 ½ at the market. I was perplexed as whether to wear my hat with a peak or not. In the eve the band practiced with the Legion band in the city. In the eve the winds were alternately cold and warm. The boys are delighted over their new guns. Corp. Welker left with his discharge for home to-day. The legion band busted up and we are to have no concert.
Nov 22nd Tues, 98
Rain last night. Very cold to-day. Rob sent me $1 for a Thanksgiving dinner. Co. K. received $38 from home for a dinner. I bought and am studying a Spanish instructor. We practiced foot ball in the afternoon. Studied Spanish in the eve. The eve very cold.
Wed 23rd, 98
The A.M. opened up very cold. The horns froze while on guard mount. Practice in the A.M. Braily returned yesterday. Practiced this A.M. at foot ball. West Virginia band invited us to eat with them to-morrow. So have the Co’s of W. V. invited the respective alphabetical companies to dinner. Brigade Hdq. are at our Regimental Hdq.
Thurs 24th, Thanksgiving
We arose at 5.30 and went over — and awoke the snakes by parading up and down their streets. At noon their band came over and escorted our regiment over to dinner We had a fine dinner at the band mess we had turkey and dressing, chicken, duck, lima beans, peas, cranberries, sweet and irish potoes, butter, sugar, milk, cocoa, tea coffee, eggnog and celery, also pies and fried- cakes. After dinner the boys had merriment with some others who had much egnog. At 2.30 the foot-ball team left for the city with the band and some enthusiasts. We played the 31st Mich and beat them 18 to 0 I played left end. The 31st band was up in the city waiting to escort her victors home should they win but they didn’t have the chance.
Froze during the night.
Friday 25th, Nov
Last night very cold. Co. K. had a good dinner Turkey, dressing, celery, pickles, mashed potatoes, chease, pie, cranberries, bananoes and tea. No one is allowed out after 4 P.M. as they are afraid the Snakes and Buckeyes may get together for some sport.
Sat. Nov. 26th, 98
The Snakes left at noon. We escorted them to their loading place in the A.M. by the way
of a short cut through a large woods. They gave their arches used on Thanksgiving to the Co’s of the 6th The Band gave us their coats-mess tent etc. They are to go to Columbus Ga. In the P.M. we brought over the stuff and commenced a mess shack—by permission of Lt.Col. Bulger. The temperature on the eve of Sat. was 18° below. I still keep up my Spanish. I signed up Clothing schedule at Co, K. #1404. "Remember the Dummy" was a frequent yell as the Snakes passed before the Buckeyes.
Sun 27th, 98
The A.M. opened up terribly cold. I ate no breakfast. To cold to get up. At noon orders came to hold the regiment ready to move as soon as transportation could be furnished.
Mon., Nov. 28th 98.
The A.M. opened up warm and rained and hailed about 9:30 We worked on the shack and put on the roof. We were issued music pouches and music stands. The 4th Tenn. left for Cuba at about 11. P.M.
The 6th Ohio and 31st Mich. are the only regiments in Camp Poland.
Tues Nov 29th, 98
The day was misty We had no guard mount. We tore down the old shack and placed it behind our new mess shack. also started an oven and made tables for the mess shack. The W. V. tentfloors were issued we getting 4. 40,000 more troops to be mustered out. The band received two new stoves for 20 men. The non-com staff received 4 for 10
Wed., Nov 30th, 98
I arose at 7.45. We finished the shack. Rations were ordered drawn seperately for the band. Rations arrived. Tents rearranged. The weather rather cold. A long practice in the A.M. Practiced Trombone Solos, "Because"etc. Also Cornet Solo, "Silver Stream Polka". Worked on the shack and boarding up our tents all day. Co. K. received the old State goods stored at Chicamauga.
Slept last eve in the new mess shack to keep away pillagers. Heider and I have turned our tent against Oscar Wyatt’s and Dave Bennetts and boarded in the intervening space and have a stove also. We were issued rations for the band to-day. Candles, soop pepper, salt, beans, sowbelly, rice, coffee, potatoes onions and sugar. We receive a loaf of bread a day for each man. We also receive fresh meat every day. This eve was our first supper. We had potato sup and hot water also bread and sugar. We have no cook detailed yet. I started the mess by cutting and paring the potatoes. Officers think we’ll get out next week. The foot ball team dressed up to have their picture taken but Sergt. Maj. Hollopeter was missing We had a good practice this A.M. in the Y.M.C.A. We are only allowed 1.30 to practice in the tent a day as it annoys the writers. Co K. received its old State goods back to-day I got one of the old hats chopped overcoat a cap and a sieve blanket. I have been a little lack on studing Spanish of late. We held dress parade tonight on the W. Va field in regiment front, the first time since our arrival here. Below are the plans of our new mess. It took about 5 days to build the shack as a few flunked at it.
Dec 2nd, 98
I arose at 6.30 and went to the shack and helped with breakfast, sow-bosom and mush with the usual coffee sugar and bread. The football team had its picture taken. Band practice in the A.M. as usal also guard mount with our new music ponches. Pay is expected to-morrow or Monday and we may leave soon. No dress parade Sleighing is reported in Sandusky Ohio.
Sat Dec 3rd, 98
Breakfast of oatmeal milk and sowbelly. We now have the 2nd cook from the officers shack to be our head cook. He is a Spanish descendant. The band hasn’t a superfluous supply of cooking utensils so the band turned out in the eve and got a host of stuff at the different stores. The Pay-masters are at the Imperial. The band played for the funeral of Pt. Brower of Co. H., in the eve. Rain in the evening.
Sun. Dec. 4th, 98
The A.M. opened up very cold. We had 2 quail for breakfast. We had snow during the A.M. and the Y.M.C.A. is down on the ground. I heard the State Sec. of the Y.M.C.A. talk about his travels in Europe. I started ro read the new testement and read 10 chapters. The Paymasters are in the Imperial.
Mon Dec 5th, 98
I arose about 7 A.M. to a breakfast of pancakes and potatoes. The Y.M.C.A. has been raised. The Prof. who was to have spoke on Cuba absented himself so Chaplain Harbough talked on his march with "Sherman to the Sea". Yesterday I received a telegram from Jim asking if I were sick. We got paid after supper. The Paymasters being so exact and footing everything up. We played a short concert in the Y.M.C.A. before the address. The Reg. was inspected by Gen. Wilson Com. of the 1st Army Corps. The weather is very damp.
Tues. Dec 6th, 98.
The A.M. was taken advantage of by the Creditors and they were very busy. I read Peck’s fun in the eve. Check-roll calls were numerous in the companies. Santanelli (a hypnotist) is at the theartre and many went to see him. I am helping the photographer, and can print fairly well now.
Wed Dec 7th. 98
We had our cakes for breakfast as usual. Many boys were absent at roll calls last eve. To-night we play a 30 min. concert previous to Rev. Harbough’s talk on his march to the sea with Sherman. I have helped the photographer, Bennett our mess, to day. I am learning to play the picollo. I picked it up 2 days ago. Santanelli was at the Opera House in the eve. He had 6 band boys on the stage and could get none of them. The band played a few selections in the eve. I played because to an appreciable audience—received encore. My first public solo.
Thurs Dec 8th, 98.
Practice all A.M. In the eve I became acquainted with Cor. Balsinger of Com F., who has travelled with Leo and other famous hypnotist. He is a cousin to the Late Ex President Hayes also of Walter Camp the foot-ball authority. He has some points for me. I helped the photo-grapher today. The plan of our tent is thus.
dirt-drop boarded over
In our mess we have trombone 2 piccolos 1 flute 1 fife 2 clarinets one alto and a mouth organ. I am the youngest by 6 yrs.
Friday Dec. 9th, 98
The instruments froze on guard mount, so we adjourned after the first piece. In the eve we went to Holbrook and played between acts for the amentur play "Rio Grande". It was very good. Coming home the Col. kindly told us to make less noise. So did Capt. Crandell of M. who was "Officer of the day." he also threatened to take us to the guard house. We shortly quieted down. Rations arrived. Detailed for 40 men to build a rifle range.
Sat Dec 10th, 98.
The instruments froze on Guard Mount. In the eve Several of the band boys were hypnotised by Santanelli at the Opera House. He got me and tried to make me blow a solo but I got on to it so he promised to cut that out.
Sun, Dec 11th
The A.M. was very chilly. In the eve. I attended the Episcopal church in the city. and saw Miss Forbes.
Mon Dec. 12th, 98
The band played a short concert in the Y.M.C.A. in the eve. After concert Heider and I went to the Hospital fund benefit at the Opera House where our lady friends were in acting on the stage. There was snow on the ground.
Tues. Dec. 13th, 98
Cakes for breakfast. Practice with a couple new walzes. Guard Mount at 11 A.M. I slept the afternoon In the eve Prof. Pannal gave a little hypnotic entertainment.
Wed. Dec. 14, 98
A lecture in the Y.M.C.A. by Col. John (on Cuba). Zeigler expected back to-morrow Len Nichols of Co. K. came back.
Thurs., Dec 15
Chas Zeigler came back from a sick furlough. Things in our mess now have to be changed around to make room for him. We had a dress parade in the old W. V. field I witnessed a lesson in hypnotism and received a few more pointers from a fellow who travelled with Leo.
Fri., Dec 16
We had our usual A.M. practice. I got two new solos. "In the deep Cellar", and "The
Song that reached my heart", Zeigler is now playing first alto.
Fri., Dec. 17th.
Rain in the A.M. No guard mount on practice. The weather was very misty. Jimmy McQueen of London Tenn visited me, and ate dinner with me at the shack. He invited me down Xmas. I went to the city in the eve.
Sun, Dec 18th
Guard mt in A.M. Weather misty. An Evangelist preached in the Y.M.C.A. in the A.M. Day very disagreeable. I played a solo. "The Song that reached my heart" in a phonograph for two men who were perusing the band for musical talent.
Mon. Dec. 19th
The A.M. loomed up as disagreeable as did yesterday. We had a good practice in the Y.M.C.A. Played "Poet and Peasant" also two new trombone solos. I went to the city in the eve and bought Xmas gifts.
Tuesday. Dec 20th ‘98
Guard Mt. and practice. We played several selections also Because Things are drying. The above selections were recorded by the phonograph.
Wed Dec 21st ‘98
We have had no fire for two days. We slept with the door open. The usual practice and dress parade. Also had rifle practice. I got 28 out of 50 points at 200 yards making 2 bulls eyes, and 29----out of 50 at 300 yds. making no goose eggs. A concert in the eve. I hurt my lip at the range by the recoiling of the gun so I couldn’t play in the eve. The eve came on a little colder.
Jimmie McQueen came to camp in the A.M. also Miss Goans and Miss Custeon of London were in the city. I was in the city all of the P.M. It rained much of the time.
A spoon I had ordered for H.E. was not carved or the proprietor acted obstinate so I had to let it go. The London Folks again invited us down.
Morning order are to prepare to get to Charleston S.C. by the 26th. The boys are selling and sending home extras. and getting ready. The weather is a little chilly. I was in the city in the eve.
Band serenaded Gay St. people in A.M. I played solo in front of Imperial. We were to leave at 11 A.M. but ordered was rescinded. I staid in the city over night as my goods were all packed. Many boys were in the city in the eve. I am to send back news from the 6th to the Sentinel while in Cuba. Many ladies cried to see the soldiers leave.
Expect to get orders at any time. Received a dandy razor from Walter I have bad cold in the throat, Very bad. Sunday night I received an ex. package from Rob.
We got orders that the transport was ready for us. The Col. telegraphed hdq, of that affect and receive a reply for us to leave in the A.M.
Reveille at 6 A.M. Breakfast 6.30 and immediately afterward----pack up. We packed up and left camp at 10.35 A. M. Four rookies went with the band. We had dinner by the tracks at the loading place. The officers noticed the rookies but didn’t say much. We boarded train at 3.30 P.M. at Lonsdale Playing De Molay and No. 6 as farewell pieces. The hospital detachment is with us 4 mos to a day since we arrived in Poland on our section also the staff- non-com staff and the first battalion. We arrived at Cleveland Tenn about 8.30 P.M. The transportation trains (2) are ahead of us and 2 battalion trains behind us.. We took the seats apart so we could sleep well. We received coffee at Cleve.
Wed. 28th. Dec.
We arrived in Atlanta about 4 A.M. Put the train on a y and then left again I rode a short distance on the locomotive. We received our A.M. coffee at Coccoa Ga at about 9.30 o’clock. We got a noon walk in Greenville So. Car. also Coffee. The 2nd Batt. took us here. At Greenville is Camp Meade 201st 2nd and 203rd N.Y. V.I. 4th Mo, 4th N.J. 5th Mass. And 2nd W. V. I was on train car guard for an hour out of Greenville.
We arrived at Columbia at about 10 P.M. and at Charleston at 3 A.M. We left the cars about 8 A.M. and marched to Aiken Park where we stayed till the afternoon. At noon a woman from New York who lives near bye gave the band soup for dinner. In the A.M. I went to Masonic Hall where the poor children were given a fine meal. I was given two special bags of stuff by a good young lady at the Hall. The 12th N. York are boarding the Manitoba. Our transportation was loaded in the A.M. Leader Braily and Sergt. Wachter are under arrest for leaving the train this A.M. We left the park for the train about 3.30 p.m. and made an hour halt along the dock before loading, at night I bought some butter and necessities which the other fellows couldn’t get out to get. The loading went on all night. We slept in the forward part of the boat with the non-commissioned staff in hommacks.
Awoke at 7 A.M. and put up our hammocks. and left dock at 7.30 A.M. playing national airs in company with the Manitoba with the 12th N.Y. Reg. We have with us Division Hdq. and a detachment of engineers Hospital corps 2nd Ohio and 4 Tenn. The boys began to hunt their bunks about 10 oclock Our cooks are allowed a place to cook but our cook only has canned beef hard tacks etc. which he can only mix up and make a soup. They are cooking for the boys on the aft. deck. I have only eaten one meal there so far.
The boys begin to get sick and they all rush for deck. The officers are living high. The waves are getting larger and larger and the boat pitches more.
Dec 31st 98
We awoke in the A.M. most of all drunk. I should say sea sick. I lost my old campaign hat overboard. The crew had practice with the lifeboats. We all took a bath with the big fire hose. We passed a boat last night. The weather is pretty rough. My lemons come in handy, also the oranges. Guard duty is still kept up also bugle duty.
Last night at 12 the whistle blew and the officers had a supper to celebrate the new year. At 7 am we came abreast the isle San Salvalor where Columbus landed. There is scarcely anything visible on the Isl. from our distance. For breakfast coffee, onions, tack, horse and beans. The water is smother. Yesterday the company’s were mustered in some were mustered bunched on their backs on deck. At 10.30 passed a 2 masted sailor on port side apparently bound for a northern U.S. point. About 2.30 P.M. we became abreast of Crooked Isl. on our Portside shortly afterward we saw a 3 masted schooner on our port. We are now getting into the windward passage. The boys took their usual saltwater bath. The band played in the eve on the aft deck. The officers wanted ego to play a solo but I was in no condition. Most of the fellows are on deck tonight. Lemons are in great demand and some offer 50 a piece for them. The weather is very fair this eve. The different companies took a run around the deck and officers cabin. Three mules have died so far. The boat is making about 15 miles an hour. For supper we had some fine supe. Some fellows are to be discharged upon landing in Cuba. There is said to be 60 some coffins on board ship. Etra air tubes have been shoved down the hatches. My appetite is regaining.
At 1.30 A.M. the forward watch saw Cuba on our starboard side. At about 10 A.M. we saw where Shafter landed a little later we saw the burned town of El Caney. At about 11.30 We came abreast of El Morro fort at the mouth of Sandiago Harbor. The 1st U.S. I. are camped just east of the fort. The American flag floats above it. A cross designates the prison. Nothing but a funnel of the Merrimac can be seen. The Mecedes can be seen on the east side of the channel leaning on her starboard and about half under water. 3 Marines rowed out to see our boat. Next down the line a few miles is the Orquando badly damaged and run way close to shore with the guns pointed to the port side fore and aft. About half under water all iron rusty. Behind are palms of various kinds, About half past one we past Viscaya pointed toward shore with her bow inward.. We saw her from a distance of about 4 miles. No humans have yet been seen with the naked eye. We are following up the shore at about an average distance of 2 and ½ miles. The climate is getting warmer and the winds are slacking up. When we came abreast of El Morro, the band played Star Spangled Banner and Hottime; and the men cheered to an echo upon seeing the wrecked boats in the channel leading to Sandiago Harbor. The boys are written down facts for further orders. The Col. ordered them down from the rigging, but to no avail. Scarcely any are now sick. We go much out of our course to see these points at the request of General Bates. The coast is a continual line of mountains covered with verdure. on the extreme east they were more barren. The boys are on the alert for the Colon. We passed the Colon about 5 P.M. but on account of mist we could not see much of it. We had a rain along about mess time in the eve. We passed a Lighthouse on the shore about 8 o clock. We gave a concert in the eve. Played a solo.
Jan 3rd ‘98
We awoke out of the sight of Cuba in order to avoid small semi submerged islands. At noon we discovered worms in the hard tack. The waves splashed over board in the A.M. and soaked many. I had a good roost on the 2nd deck on the first hatch in front of the Cabin. At noon we had beans beef coffee and tack for dinner. The time continually is changed as we go west. It is thought that we will need 10 days to land. The air was very foul 1st night beneath decks. The Officers have donned their cackies uniforms. The fellows still have to go through the mule quarters to and from meals. The stench is terrible. I told my first lie of the year last night when I was getting some soup for sick Zeigler.. I told the Comissary Capt. that I hadn’t been up before for soup. We are having two sick calls a day. The officers are rounding up the colored stowaways and mascots who will have to work their way back. At about 2 P.M we saw a suburb of Cienfuegos. Upon approaching, we met a pilot who took us into the harbor. We saw several thousand Spanish troops at two different points up in the harbor. They were at first loth to cheer. The buzzards were very thick in the vicinity of the troops at one point a lady waved an American and a Cuban flag from a window directly behind a lot of Spanish troops. We passed a British boat in the harbor. The Mayflower a U.S.S. is also in harbor and sent an officer to see us. The Spanish Port Dr. came on board to see the ships doctor. Some Civic Authorities tried to follow but were told to stay down. Some U.S.V. officers from the city came out to see us. At 3 P.M. we dropped anchor about 3 miles from shore. At 3.45 we commenced to unload horses and mules etc. Division Hdq. staff first. Maj. Logan son of John A. Logan is directing a good part of the unloading. The Colonel made a speech to the boys after retreat. The encored in great shape. The large fish are playing around the water and the flying fish are not to be seen. We expect to land to-morrow A.M. The climate is so far delightful. We have been advised to only drink boiled water and to leave Rum alone. Also to treat the Spanish soldiers with respect, and to make no trouble. The harbor is a fine one with a narrow entrance, easily mined. We are all writing home as a mail leaves this eve at 8.30 P.M. Today we discovered worms in the hard tack. Saltwater is used altogether for cooking purposes.
Wed. Jan 4th.
We boarded the lighters in the A.M. and reached the shore a little after noon. We took up a place in the square next to the dock. The band played several pieces and the Spanish musicians made a line to us is seemed. When the regiment executed order arms on the pavement the Spaniards were surprised because we did it so well. Some one hollored Vivos Los Americanos and the Spaniards groaned. We marched through the city and passed several thousand Spanish troops, on the way to camp which is about 4 or 5 miles from the city. We sleeped in pup tents the first night and I sleeped with a fellow from Co. F. 2nd Ill. 2nd Batt. now camped beside us near the railroad. Many kids followed us out from the city
Thurs. Jan. 5th.
Played at Reveille. The boys are all trading stuff with the soldiers who hang around the camp all day long. We have been eating travelling rations so far. Last night is was a little dewy. In the eve I rode to the city on a hand car and came back next day. I slept at provost hdqts. I was on the plasa and had coffee with some Spanish Soldiers I saw and talked with some Cuban Officers. Many Spanish officers on the Plasa. I spoke to many Cubans and Spaniards and they appreciated it. I was speaking with two Spanish Guards and a Cuban told me to "Look out for them" Harry Morgan of Co. K is sick in hospital. Behind the camp is a trocha The block houses are very thick about 3 or 4 ft. The fence is barbed so [Drawing]. The wagon train got stuck on the way out. Just coming in today, I met a Jamaican young man who is very friendly to me.
The battalion of the 2nd Ill. came here on the first train over the road in 3 years. Our soldiers have 10 rounds of ammunition a piece.
Friday Jan 6th.
I sent a letter 17 pages to the Sentinal, Knoxville Tenn. I received mail from home. Spanish bugles can be heard much. We get our water from Matanzas. It is very warm. Our camp is in a palm grove a very nice camp at present. In the eve I and six other band men went to the city on the way up we stopped at a Cuban Barber shop where there were some Cuban patriots. They hugged us and kissed our foreheads, and told us that their home was ours at any time. Up street farther we went passed several Cubans Senoritas in the houses. We met many Spanish musicians Including Saxophone, flute, drum. clarinet and cornet players. I received some butons and bugles from them. Between here and the city are four trochas. The Spanish soldiers are very good bargain makers and traders. The musicians very near went crazy over us.
Jan. 7th ‘98.
The band still has no tents and I slept with Rhodes of Co. K. In the A.M. went had band rehearsal under some palm trees. I took my first bath in a Cuban rivulet this A.M. At noon the temperature is a little high. yet the boys are most all out in it. In the eve the band played for a show at the Teatro Terre We went down in wagons and played on the outside 2 pieces. The Cuban band also played a piece that sounded like people playing discordant. On the inside are four galleries. The show was the first American in the province. The Cuban band played for the dancing. There were many musicians around us on the outside and a piccolo player gave me a couple of bugles. We played "The War Songs of Boys in Blue" and No. 6 on the stage. Trouble was expected as the show was the first American one. There was a Cuban flag on the building so no Spanish officer entered. There were Spanish guards only. Kilpatrick the one legged cyclist has control of the show. Our revolvers seemed to discourage any disturbance. We left for camp at 11 or later. The rode is very rough. The Spanish have no slide trombone so they commented much on my instrument. We have our big tents put up where Co. G. should be. I expect to get aquainted with the owners of most of the railroads around here also many plantations.
Sun. 8th, 99.
In the P.M. 3.30 we went to the city in 3 wagons. We played a concert in the plasa in the
afternoon. I played a solo The Senoritas don’t come out in the day as they are afraid of getting tanned. We ate supper at a Chinese restaurant it cost 7.50 in Spanish money for 23 men. We had potatoes and meat also café. They have a big trade. Our cots came while we were in the city. In the eve we played 3 pieces in front of the teatro and played within. The violinists brother took 1stprize in the conservatory in Vienna. I went out and got me a drink of water when I only said I was a little thirsty. I met a Cuban Major who has been in the service 3 yrs. and 6 mo, He came 50 miles to see us. I could go back with him I think if I weren’t in the army. A Cuban soldier gave me a flag that his girl made for him. He said he received on dollar a month and 1 meal a day. At the teatro the people hollered for the horses but they weren’t on the deck for the night. Chocolate drops 1 ct, a piece. Things are very expensive. Watered milk 10 cts. a quart. Pure 20 cts a qt. The Spanish are getting paid off and are blowing in their money. Oranges are not sweet and the lemons have a peculiar taste.
A book like this cost about 75 or 1$ here so from now on I shall have to be more saving with the paper. We have our cots at last. About 20 Cubans are cutting the foliage around camp. The band hasn’t faired very well yet. Today has been a dead day. I slept all afternoon and feel good by doing so.
Tues.10th ‘98 
The day opened with us playing at reveille. I visited a Spanish camp which is in a
Cuban town about 2 miles away. I obtained a few relics. They are all afraid of the officers, so don’t care to trade. They live in the citizens houses. I heard the buglers at practice. They played good but marched poorly. I retired at about noon. Zeigler who went with us didn’t return till dark as he got in with some Cuban Officers. They intend to leave for home within a week. I received a letter from Jim. Also wrote some The weather today seemed a little warm.
Wed. 11th ‘98. 
We played at Reveille today. I went out and saw some oranges figs cocanuts etc. We get fresh meat tomorrow I saw some killed today. I intended to go where we get our water, but missed the train. We get rations today. I put on a linen shirt today The first one in a long time. I got a hair cut today. We had practice this A.M. also raised a flag, the first on raised by a regiment in this part of Cuba. The band played, and the battalions presented arms. I gave a masonic person a hand out this noon. I saw an old man who had been driven to the Mts. by the Spanish but has since come down. He wanted some boys to kill him. The thinest mortal I ever saw. He is dying from exposure. We received lumber to-day. The commisary store has started on things are sold moderately and much is sold. 2nd Batt. Today the 2nd Ill. left for Havana at noon we gave them a hearty farewell.
Thurs 12th Jan. ‘99.
The band went to the city in wagons and played a concert in the plaza. We ended up with "the Star Spangled Bunker". The people here refused to clap for us. They thought it funny that our soldiers should take off their hats when we played the S.S.B., Comming home
Zeigler and I missed the wagons and had to walk. I in my patent kicks (shoes).
Friday Jan 13th ‘99
I played a baritone horn for reveille as I had left mine in a store in the city the night previous. In the A.M. we caught a locomotive and rode to the city for our horns. The engineer turned on streqm and from then on looked ahead about 1/5 of the time. We walked back about noon going past the Spanish Hospital where 8 were dean- and we to be buried that eve. We stopped at a bakery where bread for the Spanish is made. We each received 2 warm loaves and café gratis. We walked out with the Cuban butcher of our regiment. He killed 4 vacas [cattle] today. We are unloading immense lots of lumber. Sand flees bother the boys much. Spanish dead are put in a house without a roof and left for the buzzards to eat.. The cemetary is full and graves were dug one intersecting an old one thus showing half decayed bodies. The railway trains are very crowded.
Sat Jan 14th ‘98
A young fellow who has been in the U.S. to school acts as interpreter for our officers. He told us where to get skulls etc in a creek where Spanish throw away the bodies. Most of the boys went to the city to day. I bought a Mauser cartrige. Saw 2 Tirantalas fight. 3 transports in the harbor to take Spanish back to Spain. Our bakery is being put in readiness. The beef that we eat looks like starved rats but are very wiry and ferocious. I got some cough medicine at the hospital today also a carthartic.
Sun Jan 15th ‘99
In the P.M. were driven to the city and gave a concert which was not appreciated because the encore was slim. The Drum major tried by force to put back the crowd, and he was kindly told that he would be remembed with a knife. There are 3 transports in the harbor. The Plasa was crowded in the eve. It is said that we are booked for 110 days. The 31st Mich. left Knoxville the 9th inst. Our 2nd battalion is expected to go to Santa Clara within a few days. Beef is being unloaded at the docks for us. The meat has a peculiar taste. The buzzards are reappearing. The boys tie rags onto pieces of meat and have a little fun with the birds. In the eve, some Cuban Officers rode up to our headquarters. There is a crowd of Cubans, always around the Merry-go around near the Opero House.
Mon. Jan 16th ‘99.
Played the Red White and Blue while the flag went up at Reveille also a march Zeigler, Heider, and I rode to Palmetto, our watering source in the A.M. There are 7,000 pon’s there. One battalion was at San diago, but the said numbers were conspicuously few. I saw some musicians whom I had met in the city. Some of them leave for Spain tomorrow. We came back at 10.30 A.M. on the locomotive. While in the town we saw an American who owns a plantation and was made a prisoner in the late war. He invited us out to his house Thursday. In the afternoon I went with Bennett to a Spanish fort and after having been mixed in 4 pictures was entertained by a squad of Spanish soldiers who tried hard to drill. A family was living in part of the fort. I had a picture taken with a pretty Cuban Senorita. In the eve Capt Cox hypnotistint Ramsauer of Co. K. Our ice water comes in very good these warm days. The Spanish Officers sell the food for the soldiers and appropriate the funds. During the blockade a soldier received 6 ears of corn a day. The Soldiers are glad to get home as some have spent 4 and 5 years on the Island.
Tues. Jan 17th ‘99
The 2nd Batt of Co’s B.K. D went to Santa Clara left at about 2.30 P.M. The band played on Guard Mount held at 4 P.M. Braily was sick and Munnel was in charge things went no good. A Sergt of H died of pheumonia at I A.M. The flag is at half mast.
Wed. Jan 18th ‘99
We played at reveille this A.M. also had a practice in the A.M. The dead Sergt. of H was sent home this A.M. We changed camp to day and put our tents on floor. The tents are 2 ft. about from the ground. We are now situated at the foot of the regiment. A train load of
Spanish troops passed through toward Cienfuegos this P.M. We are to be paid within 2 or 3 days. No Guard Mt. as we were very busy with our tents. A Spanish Corp. came to our camp with a prisoner, whom he wanted to put in our guard house. He was refused.
It rained some in the eve and at tattoo it was a little windy. The whole band has been attacked by the squirrels. I saw a Cuban Cabalier with 2 wounds in his leg.
Thurs. Jan 19th ‘99
Co. G. in the city has made camp near the bay shore. The day was a little disagreeable. We moved our cookshack to the end of our street. We played concert in the city in the P..M. and with the aid of guards kept the crowd back. Zeigler and I took in the merchants’ stores, also the Engine House. The horses went back to their stalls faster than they came out. I heard some Cuban Senoritas sing and their voices showed cultivation. The Spanish Officers gave Munnel the laugh on account of his directing. The Cubans are beginning to understand the meaning of the Star Spangled Banner. Spanish troops are leaving every day. Cubans seem to be wandering in also. There is talk of splitting the regiment and putting the Co’s on plantations. We are still receiving our cargo, which has been stored here and there. I saw oranges today that were as large as a fair sized muskmelon. We receive Mail twice a day. Once from Havana and once from the city.
Friday Jan 20 ‘99
The night was cold enough for me to use 5 thicknesses of blanket. The coldest night we have had. We builded a cook shack in the A.M. Our rations are about out. We had sow and crumbed hardtacks for breakfast. The new hardtack come in cans and are crisp and fresh tasting. A train of Spanish soldiers passed toward the city about noon. An order has issued against giving Cubans who hang around camp, any food. Tonight food was thrown in the fire while a poor cuban outside the line very nearly cried. In the eve I beat Zeigler at a game of Chicamauga. A fellow brought in a couple of green cocanuts this eve. A fellow in the mess ate a large can of sardines this A.M. and is now very sick. We drew rations today. The car with potatoes in was derailed so we couldn’t get any.
Sat Jan 21st ‘99.
We had practice this A.M. In the afternoon Prin Mus. Scott and I visited a near bye (1 ½ mile) plantation. There we saw a troop of Cuban Calvalry, They were eating well and had good horses also poisoned bullets. The machinery of the place was from Glasgow Scotland. I saw the manufacture from cane to sack. Oxen were in evidence by about 1,00 and the men all trying to learn english. Saw a banana grove on the way. Oxen pull from the horns. I spoke to some Cubans and a little girl said, "Do you love us". in English. I explained matters, but was surprised to hear an infant speak english. An engine with two cars passed toward Cienfuegos this eve. Spanish Officials were on board also a guard. The biggest ever in charge of band.
Sun. Jan 22nd ‘99
We had a practice in the A.M. also one fuss with the non-coms. We played a concert in the city in the eve, and I found out that I am the first trombone soloist and played the first solo in the Province. Many fine people were out last night. I dented my slide while coming out, a detachment of signal corps men are in camp with G. of the 6th in the city. Spanish soldiers continue to leave daily.
Mon. Jan 23rd ‘99
The signal corps are putting up lines from the camp to the city. A detail of 15 men left for a sugar plantation the A.M. The pay rolls for this month are being made out. In the eve a few of us band boys visited a nearby Pueblo Cannao where there were 2,000 Spaniards but who evcuated the other day. The Cubans were celebrating the event, and a dance was on deck. I met a fellow who I had seen at a Sugar plantation. He has 2 yrs of german and 2 of latin. The dancing was slow, in a circle and more of a walk. 30 Cubans were on guard around town. Two officers were also present. They had filibustering Remingtons.
Tues Jan 24th. ‘99
We dig a hole to day for rubbish. Baked beans and oat meal for breakfast also condensed milk. No practice. We received a heavy mail in the eve. I received some gum from Ohioi and it tasted fine.
Wed. Jan 25th ‘99
We had rain in the eve of the 24th and my eye was swollen nearly shut in the A.M. from poison. It will be warm the rest of the day on account of the rain today and last night. One of the block houses near our quarters have been made into a guard house where seven prisoners are to be keeped for being absent without leave. I sent the Knoxville Sentinel a letter this A.M. The non-com. staff built themselves an eating house yesterday. Co. F still growls when we practice.
Thurs Jan 26th ‘99
Co. I, left about 10 A.M. for Sagua La Grande for duty. The band played Guardes DeCourpes. And 22nd reg. marches. They took one wagon and one Surgeon. I was on water detail. We left for the city directly after retreat and played a good concert. There were some pretty senoritas on the plaza in the eve. Before the concert I went down to the docks and saw a cattle boat also a dead beef. Some Spanish soldiers were on the dock. The Civil Guardes are no longer to be seen on the streets. I think they have left for home. Volunters are now on guard. The last Capt. Gen. Of Cuba is in the harbor at present on a Spanish boat. A priest was in the band street in the A.M. and told us about Spains rule. There is a Jesuit college here. We are having sinkers [doughnuts] to eat now once in a while. Our sugar has given out.
Frid. Jan 27th ‘99
The fellows are signing the pay rolls today. Lieut Duffy left today with a squad to go to a sugar plantation. The non-com staff made a kick to Adjt Porter about our getting the best food. Had a good practice this A.M. I have been eating sugar cane all A. M. I got an armful last night on the way out. A prisoner in the block house had the sentinel call for a corporal who upon approaching the block house, was greeted with " I want one orderly, Corporal". I am minus 4 cts. today for the first time out. I have that much out though? I am poisoned a little. Harry Morgan is out to-day for the 3rd day. He looked like a corpse.
Capt. Cox came up from Santa Clara to pay his men here. He brought some up for me. They paid in Silver today. The Chinese connselate and two Cuban Officers witnessed retreat.
Jan 28th Sat. ‘99
Two trains of Spaniards passed through to day. We were paid off in the afternoon in bills. Change is very scarce. Orders are for everyone to be in before tatoo. Co’s F. and M. were paid after supper as the paymaster had to go to the city for more money. Harry Morgan brought over some papers from home. The commisary had a big rush after receiving our pay.
That terrible sup for supper’rice, tomatoes and potatoes all in on kettle. Had rain today.
Jan 29th Sun ‘99
The detail of the 2nd Ohio passed through here for U.S. There are 40 or less of them and they came over with us on the Minnawaski. They are a happy lot. Rain in the A.M. and the dirt sticks to ones’ shoes like snow in the winter time. The camera fiends are selling a great many pictures. The commissary are selling lots of goods. This A. M. a Cuban police came to our camp and wanted assistance in arresting a saloon keeper who was drunk and creating a disturbance. Theese police are simply no good. I am stocking up a little on Spanish verbs. Received a big lot of papers from Papa. They are just the thing for a day like this. We had retreat at 5. P.M. and left directly afterward for the city - our wagon only had 2 in a seat fortunately. I helped Zeigler and Cline to buy some goods- acting as interpreter. We were a little late at concert on that account. It looked very much like rain in the evening so there were few people out of doors. I saw Cap’t Cox in the city who is down from Santa Clara..
Mon. Jan. 30th ‘99.
Rain prohibited us from practice in the A..M.. I received 5 or 6 letters from home today also some papers which I scanned closely. In the eve I with a few others, went to Carnao where I had a private consultation with a Cuban Lieutenant. He was making out the muster roll and I received a great deal of information from [him] and he laughed much and patted me when I said, "La bander a Cubana tendro’may bien por de Republico de Cuba in dos or tres mes, excepta, ahora la bandera Americana estd la mejor por de hoimbres cubanos." I met a Spanish merchant who thought I was Spanish also a Cuban soldier who thought I was a Cuban.
Tues. Jan. 31st ‘99
We had a short practice this A.M. also signed pay rolls and mustered. I saw a beef killed yesterday that had a large bruise on one side. It was to be condemned but whether it was or not I don’t know so therefore I think I shall eat no meat today. Bought a box of oatmeal also some condensed milk and sugar thus making a nice dish easily cooked. Yesterday I caught a buzzard eating bacon out of our frying pan while the pan was on the floor. We may get paid off again to-morrow. Wyatt taken to hospital yesterday.
We scrubed out our tent in the A.M. Now have a new cook in Eating of Co. H. 17 coaches of Spaniards passed by here this afternoon. The 31st Mich. Arrived on the transport Chester. Five Co.K. boys were also on the boat. They had rough weather and had to through goods overboard in order to save the mules. We played in front of the Cuban Bazaar in the evening. A great many of the fellows bought daggers for over value. I met a fellow from Boston who invited me to dinner with him to morrow night. His name is Horace F. Rugles. I had a nice conversation with some Cuban Senoritas in the bazaar. They were selling tickets on the goods in the building. Wined lemonade was passed but I drank none. It is said that a great number of old 1st Ga. boys joined the 31st Mich at Savannah. The 31st turned out on Gen. Lees. birthday anniversary.
Thurs. Feb. 2nd,’99
For breakfast we had a fine sup but I augmented the menu with a little oatmeal. We had a lengthy practice in the A.M. and took up the "Trip around the Metropolis". An excursion train passed to Santa Clara this A.M. and the passengers waved flags and cheered. There is being held sort of decoration day there I understand. Cline returned last eve from there where he was collecting of 2ndBattalion money he was own. There is a little breeze today. The bakery is turning out some fine large sinkers we are being assured that they will be more like bobers in a few days. Cuban venders sell much bread. In the eve we took the wagons for the city and played a short concert and for the first time used the news lamps made for us. The 31st Mich band played concert on the plaza before we did. At about 4 oclock one battalion of the 31st passed over the railroad, for where I have not yet learned. Our band turned out and played not 20 to their health as they passed. In the eve. upon reaching the city I met my friend Mr. Ruggles of Boston with whom had six oclock dinner at the Hotel Union. At the table next us sat Gen Bates and his staff. At another table sat Mr. Atkins of Boston (15 millions) who owns a large sugar plantation something like 20 miles from here. On the way out John Hentzel of Co K. took my place in the seat and I rode the floor. he slept with me in the eve.
Friday Feb. 3rd ‘99
Zeigler came in early in the A.M. He lost his revolver yesterday. I gave John Hentzel a good breakfast on my oatmeal. We had our usal morning practice over the railroad. We had a good dinner of steak and mashed potatoes. In the afternoon some of the band boys went over to Cannao, and had our pictures taken with some Cuban soldiers and in the palm grove. On the way back we passed several banana groves. We went into a vacant house of the large variety and found it in a mixed up condition. A great many hats could be seen also a pump made in 1854. A room for the bath room contained a large stone tub large enough to swim in. A transportation section passed over the railroad this evening from the 31st The water tank was put in use for water today and I being on detail took the first canful out of the tank.
Studied Spanish in the evening.
Sat. Feb. 4th ‘99.
We had a practice in the A.M.. Two trainloads of 31st and outfit went through to day. In the eve a large prairie fire was seen approaching and our men turned out in mass to stop the oncoming flames and to save our corral. A couple of houses were burned. No other damage that I know of. In the eve a crowd went to Cannao. There was a dance in progress. You ought to have seen the drummer beat the drum and the nutmeg grater go when I told them that I was a musician. The dance was for whites only and a Major, Captian and a couple of Lieutenants were present. My friend Lieut. Palma wasn’t present on account of his color-mulatto He took me to his office and showed me some hard tacks rice salmon etc. that he got from our government for his company. There was enough hardtack to last a company a year it seemed to me. Tomorrow he goes to the city to get a promotion to 1st Lieut, that is if he passes the test. The blacks were dancing on the ground in the rear of the building, taking in the music. I bought a straw hat such as used by Cuban soldiers.
Sunday. Feb. 5th ‘99
We had a practice in the A.M. also played for church, and our quarters were inspected while we were at practice. Capt. Porter came down to hear us play, "A trip around the Metropolis," The lumber passed through today for the 31st I saw Bob’s brother Knoxville stand keep and auctions in one of the cars. While in the creek today I saw a buzzard hanging by cord from a high palm. He was still alive, and it was a strange sight. Those animals Col. Thom of Knoxville told me about are now coming on deck. The bakery is now running in good shape with the aid of the Spanish baker and the biscuits are cook now makes are more like springs than heels for shoes. The postmaster was at camp during retreat and the band played "Mardi Graw" very poorly. In the eve immediately after retreat we left for the city. I saw Lieut Palma in the city. at guard hdqt. was a Cuban Captain who was formally a Spanish Lieut, but deserted. He looked something like Rob. He applied for a cell untill the Spanish were gone. They were after his hide. He came out today, but did not go away any. The largest crowd present yet, was present at the plaza tonight. The Spanish ship Colon is in the harbor.
Monday Feb. 6th ‘99
No practice in the A.M. Bennett, Zeigler, Cline and myself got passes and went to the city on the 10 A.M. train Cline didn’t have time to write a pass so he had to use some one elses. Upon arriving at the city I went to the Postoffice on business. The stamp seller forgot that he received a 10 from me so I had to remind him to give me the change. After attending to the post office affair I with the rest retired to the docks where Capt. Newman secured of the Cap’t of the Port - a sail boat. We immediately took possession of it and Bennett the sailor started us to sea with sail oar and rudder in hand We ran into the nearby shallow water and then it was that two
Cubans came out to tell us to make for shore again. We never minded the guard but sailed against the wind passing in and around tugs and large boats and after dipping water and tacking several times we landed at the end or near the end of the peninsula in the harbor. We were about 3 hours going a direct distance of about 3 miles. We landed at the private landing of a retired family with a thud, Bennett never taking in sail till after we struck the poles supporting the little landing. We started after food and went in to a store and filled up on fine bread, chocolate, sardines, and nawa or Cuban jell. We took 2 pictures of a mansion valued at $40,000 owned by a Spanish millionaire. The stairs were such as used in light houses. After taking in the other sights such as residences and foilage we got into the boat and Bennett again presided and ran us amuck the pillings of a bath house. The Cuban surrounding the landing gave us the laugh and some Cubans in a boat asked in English if we were an American fishing smack and asked us if we wanted to be taken in tow. After sailing a little distance Clines hat was knocked out of the boat by the yard arm. Bennett tacked and we got the hat while going at a very great gate, We saw the Colon from Barcelona Spain. We were watched from all over on account of our queer tactics. Upon returning to the dock about 300 people were awaiting on the dock looking at us very strangely. On landing Bennitt missed the landing and ran us on the beach and then we took down sail and used oars. Upon getting at the dock the Cuban and Captain orderly gave us a great lecture. I didn’t feel scared but once when we were far out beyond the Colon amongst the big waves. We bought some café and buttered bread and then proceeded to walk home.