1899, September 10 – Letter from soldier George Hesse (Henderson) to friend Rosalie Bauwens

George recounts the violent confrontation that forced him to switch places with a man in another detachment and change his name while a soldier stationed in Cuba during the Spanish American War.  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:

Mr George Henderson, Packer, Mayari Cuba, 9/10/99

Dier friend:—

It has been quite a long time since I have heard from you & I want to know the reason why; now Rose don’t think I am scolding you for not writing, for I am not, & I know you have been looking for a letter from me quite a long time & I haven’t written. but for a very good reason.  I have been out on a detachment for the last month or so, & I write this not knowing if you will get it or no, but hoping you will. for I give it to a captain to mail in Mayari, (but if you don’t get it write & let me know, that’s what the Irish man said) Well Rose, I am afraid I will not be able to be in St. Louis this winter at all for I think I will take your advice & earn a little more money & then try to get married; so I guess I will stay here until about the middle of April, & then go to the states & try to find a wife I am very sorry to not be able to be in St Louis for the wedding. but let me know when it comes off, & I will send you my best wishes. Well Rose, let me know all of the news that is floating about & tell me if Lewis is still working in E. St. L. Rose, I am going to tell you something & I hope you will think I done right. A short while ago, this young fellow & myself got into a fight with some cubans & one & the fellows & myself were so hard pressed that we commenced shooting & severly wounded 3 of the cubans & we had to get out so we got our packmaster to let us exchange places with some of the men who were out on a detachment & he did, advising us to also change our names, so we changes our names & mine now is George Henderson, so when you write please use that name & the packmaster will forward all letters to me. Please do not let anyone know but LewIs & you will do me a favor. Tell Lewis to send them cartridges right away, I may need them Well Rose, give my love to all & write soon (??)

Your Friend,

George Hesse


3 responses to “1899, September 10 – Letter from soldier George Hesse (Henderson) to friend Rosalie Bauwens

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