1899, July 1 – Letter from soldier George Hesse to friend Rosalie Bauwens

George, a soldier stationed in Cuba during the Spanish American War, recounts working the pack train with mules, his desire to give his brother a loan & his intention to come home & spend the winter partying. 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:

Holgiun Cuba 7/1/99

Dear Friend:—

I suppose that by this time you think I have forgotten you, but I have not.  I have been so hard worked the last 6 weeks that I realy could not find time to write to any one & as I have just got back from a trip I thought I would write a line or two before I was ordered out again. Well I guess you are wondering what I am doing now as the regiment has gone to the States & I am here yet.  Well I will tell you.  I am working in the pack train This is what a pack train is: it consists of about 65 mules & 14 men & carried provissions & forage (??) for the soldiers where a wagon can not go; the packs are all done up in neat bundles & carried on the nules backs & we cacn go where a team & wagon could not get started for the roads here are not roads, but more trails & part of the time you are not able to see 30 feet ahead of you, & again, you may be able to see a mile or so, according to the country that you go through.  Well I think that next month I will go back to the States & stay. (for awhile) & I think I will have enough coin to lay around all winter & do no work at all but have plenty of fun, &  you can but I like my fun & if possible I am going to have a little. Do you think that a couple of hundred will keep me all winter? But I’ll tell you what Rose, & no monkey business about it either, you ask Lewis & see if he needs any money & if he does, no matter for waht, just tell him all he has to do is to ask for what he wants if it is any where up to a hundred & I wil send it to hi immediately. for I have not forgotten what he has done for me & I want to do something for him if I an without hurting his feelings do this for me & I will never forget it & if I am within a thousand miles of you when you get married, I will eat a piece of your wedding cake if I have to walk all the way to get it. Well Rose give my love to all & tell them I am in the best of helath all but my hands, they are just chuck full of sores so good bye & write soon & address

Your Friend,

George Hesse


2 responses to “1899, July 1 – Letter from soldier George Hesse to friend Rosalie Bauwens

  1. I love his generosity! Shoving mules for easy money, but nothing around to spend the money on…what a predicament…:)

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