A letter to the ‘dear ones at home’
This is a letter to family written by Bernard Comey, 23, while serving as a Bugler in Company B, 2nd Massachusetts Regiment.
“Dear Ones at Home:
“Once more I have a chance to write to you since being kept from writing since we landed. I can’t tell you on paper [details about] any of the trip. I was well nearly all of the way and would have been so all the way, but for the terrible smell from the hold of the vessel where over 700 men were bunked. We are having almost all kinds of experiences, hunger, thirst, long marches, rain, fording streams waist deep nearly, and then camping down all wet with no chance to dry off. Talk of drinking dirty water, we mind nothing of it, we even drink muddy water, color of coffee and are glad to have that and lukewarm too. Well I have everything to be thankful for, I am well and safe after so much danger.
“We have had three engagements so far, the last, the battle of el Caney will go down in history. Old soldiers say it was more severe than the battle of Gettysburg, over ten per cent engaged were killed or wounded.
“Our clothes are in rags … our shoes are all worn out, we all have whiskers, and are black from the sun. You would not know any of us I believe.
“Tell Father I know what the hum and whistle of bullets is and heavy musketry as well as he [does now].
“We are in hopes that Santiago will surrender without further fighting. There is strong talk of it, and the flag of truce is waiving. We have everything to be cheerful for, especially as we are in hopes to be back home when the cherries are ripe.”
Santiago, Cuba July 5, 1895