Letters Home: Reuben Hall

The 1917 Skidmore News made sure the Skidmore boys serving their country received a copy of the hometown paper, and they encouraged them to tell the home folks how they were doing through letters to the editor.  In the November 8, 1917 issue, the News published a letter from Reuben Hall:

Reuben A. Hall Writes

Camp Funston, Nov. 4, 1917
Dear Editor Skidmore News:
I receive your paper every week and am glad to get it.  I always like to hear from home.

I like camp life fine.  There are several soldiers here now, but they are transferring several now to Camp Pike, Arkansas.  There were about one thousand went out this morning, they are making room for the next quota.

I see the boys that came from Skidmore most every night.  Harvey Hughes and I are in the same company.  We have been together ever since we left Maryville.

The other boys are in Co. I and L.  Earl Swigart is at headquarters.  There is just one barracks between he and I and we are together most of the time when we are not drilling.

Our regiment and another had a big sham battle last Friday.  I am not sure, but I think we captured thirty some prisoners.  They didn’t capture any of our men.

I don’t have any idea when we will go to France.  I don’t think it will be before spring.  We are all ready to go when the call comes.  The boys all want to take a look at Kaiser Bill.  We have a boy in our company by the name of Kaiser.

The train that brought us back to camp Sunday night was one hour late Monday morning.  We didn’t get back for revelle.  There was about one inch of snow on the ground Monday morning.  When we got off the train it was some cool, but when we got to our barracks the steam heat was on and we were sure glad of that.

We play all kinds of games here.  Football is played more than any other.  There are about ten thousand Negroes here now.  Their camp is at the east end of Funston.  There is one store two blocks west of Co. B.  We all call it the canteen. You had ought to see the boys line up to buy ice cream cones.  Sometimes you just get up to the door and they run out of ice cream.  They all line up single file to buy hamburgers and several other things.  You have to wait sometimes a half hour to get what you want.

There are several companies quarantined for measles and several other diseases.

Well I will close.  I will write to anyone who will write to me.

Yours truly,
Reuben A. Hall, Co. B 356 Inf., Camp Funston, Kansas