April 10, 1899 – Letter from soldier George Hesse to brother Lewis Hesse

Soldier George recounts his bordom with deployment, his painful 8 day walk to Santiago with 74 other soldiers, the USS Dixie en route to get them & his desire to settle down when he gets back home. Read a transcript of the letter below (original misspellings & all) or click on the image links to view the actual letter. As you read the transcript of the letter click on the links to view information & images about what they are discussing.


Click on a link to view the image: (some images can be further enlarged by clicking on them once they open)

Envelope Front     Envelope Back      Letter Page 1      Letter Page 2-3      Letter Page 4


Transcript of letter:

April 10/99, Holguin Cuba

Dear Bro; ——

It has been quite a long time since I received a letter from you, & I have written several to you, why don’t you write Lewis? Have you got so much to do that you can not spare me a minute or two, to write a letter? Well Lew if you had all of the spare minutes I have got you would surely write for I am idle nearly all of the day now since I came back from Santiago.  I didn’t tell you I was there did I?  Well I was & had a dickens of a hard time getting there too for I walked all of the way & so did 74 others but it was all right coming back for we all made a horse & led another so it was not so bad.  it took us 8 days to walk over there & 6 to ride back.  Say talk about people being tired, well I just guess yes; when we got to Santiago we were so tired that if we had had to go another 5 miles we would all have dropped out & given up & no mistake i have had there feet blistered from toe to heel & others had lame back but where it got me was in the groins, It swelled up there as big as eggs & was awful painful for a couple of days until the swelling went down & I could harly drag one foot after the other it hurt so.  Well Lewis I have got some pretty good news for you; we are going to be sent home by the end of this month sure for we know the name of the ship that is going to carry us home it is the “Dixie” a Morgan line steamship & one of pretty good size too.  Well Lewis I have made up my mind what I shall do when I get out of this I am coming to St. Louis & try to settle down for I have seen enought of this world I think & I find most places in it just the same, cold & distant with no one to love & no one to love me, not that I want to be loved exactly.  but it makes a fellow feel happier & better to feel as though someone takes interest in what he said & done Now when I was in St Louis I had always an idea that somebody was always watching me to see what I would do next & I always come to the conclusion that they were prejudiced against me & so I always went away & tried to make a living elsewhere but find that St Louis is as good a place if not better than most places I have been & so I have made up my mind to go to St. L. & settle down & do as you are doing try to get married. Well Lewis paper it scarce & as I have no more I will close hoping to here from you as soon as posible I am your loving Bro Geo Hesse

P.S. Give my love to all & tell Julie to write & tell Rose I want her to send one of my cards away which I will enclose 1 for her & 1 for you Your Bro Geo.



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