Letters Home: Michael Freece

Skidmore and other communities in Nodaway County had sent their brothers, sons, fathers, uncles, and neighbors to fight for their country.

The Skidmore Standard often printed letters from the soldier boys.  Some wrote directly to the paper, as Michael Freece did in August 1898:

From Camp Alger
Camp Alger, VA, Aug. 16th.
Editor Standard –
The 4th Mo. is still at camp Alger, but are going to move to Middletown Pennsylvania soon.  Part of them are going to start to-morrow, and I think Co. B will go about Saturday. The whole of the second division of the second company corps will be encamped there.

We boys are having a fine time now; we form Co. Q every day and raise Ned generally.  I made another trip to Washington the other day ans saw some new sights.  The Smithsonian Institute which is a large building about a block long and one hundred feet wide and two stories high, filled with all kinds of mounted animals, birds and fishes.  The National Musee is a building about the same as the one before mentioned, filled with old relics of the last century, and skeletons of all kinds of animals.  I also went up to the top of Washington’s monument which is 555 feet high, and got a fine view of the surrounding country.

The 4th Mo. all took a hot bath on Uncle Sam last week at the bath house in Camp Alger.  They have been treating us pretty nicely the last few days; we don’t have to drill but three hours a day now.

We had a fine rain the other day.  It didn’t do a thing but rain all one day and part of the night; and raised the branch between us and the hospital until it was about 40 rods wide, and we couldn’t get across it at all.

The sick are getting along fine most of them having been moved to Fort Myer, between here and Washington.

With my best regards to all, I will close.
Michael Freece.