Third Letter from Edson Woodman
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There were some things that I have omitted in the other “write-up” that I feel constrained to mention to you personally, you can use it or not as you choose. I had read of “The Fighting Edge,”
“The Firing Line,” “The Danger Zone,” “The Double,” etc. How “Bacon and Hard Tack were Poor Food,” how the poor fellows “Were Sometimes Short of Coffee and Sugar,” how “They Rarely Got Vegetables,” how that “At One Time Only Had 10 Days’ Rations” to last 12 days, how on “Shipboard they Had No Ice,” how at one time they had To Go Two Weeks Without Getting Any ‘Laundrying’ Done,” how they had to sometimes “Sleep on the Ground.”
Of a wounded soldier’s saying, “Beg Pardon,” when reporting to his Lieutenant Colonel.
Of their “Charging and Fighting” for “Fourteen Hours “Without Food” (and a very small dead list).
Of their “Hard Marching” (it is six or eight miles from the coast to San Juan).
How under “Army Regulations” each regiment should have “twenty-four wagons.”
How Little Old Joe Wheeler was “Second in Command.” How this . campaign lasted 26 days, and that had the troops not been brought back at. once “They would have all perished there.”
And now listen. When an old army officer, who had been in the service 26 years, told me that “He had ‘never seen or felt a gray back.’ “I looked upon him with sorrow and suspicion, for all the old boys know that he had lost much, and that we had much to UNLEARN. And I asked myself if this had indeed been war. Or where was I at anyway, and thinking of the joyous times we had, I felt we could “Never Have Endured” this kind of service.