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Dwight R. Yates Correspondence - MMS 1805

Dwight R. Yates, of Wood County served in the Spanish-American War.  These letters recount his experiences, including service in Cuba.

Dwight R. Yates - 1899 Correspondence

January 24, 1899

Santa Clara Cuba
Jan 24th 99

Dear Aunt Annie -received your letter a week ago but could not answer till I got a letter from Roxie with some stamps which I received this evening have been on Cuban soil just 20 days to day noon and have got enough all ready we have been faring awfull poor since we left Knoxville living most of the time on hard tack and coffee our Matalion the 2nd is camped 1 mile out of Santa Clara this is a much nicer city than Cien Fuegos we have been here at Santa Clara just a week this is a Cuban city they captured it from the Spandiards there is no Spandiards here our Company is doing provo duty up town since Friday we go on 5 hours at a time there is only 3 Companies here the pictures you see to home of these ancient cities describes them just right the streets are only 20 ft wide and the buildings are all made of brick their plastered on the out side no money would hire me to live here we are looking to be home by the midde of April we havent got our December pay yet we are looking for it soon the weather is very warm here through the days and cool at night cant sleep very good on account of the misquetoes and flees but I always think there is a night coming when the flees and misquetoes wont bother me what a grand old time that will be when I get home once more Cap Lee has got his discharge and gone home I suppose you are sitting around the fire shivering and I am sitting in my tent sweating like a good fellow it is awfull lonesome here we cant understand nothing they say if you see Roxie soon tell her I cant answer till Pay day for this is the last envelope I have only had 3 I got that box all right in Knoxville the pie was great also the cake and chicken never enjoyed anything better well this is all for this time it takes a letter 5 days to go and 5 days to come back write soon expect to see you all inside of a month and a half

Good Bye
Your nephew
D. R. Yates
[written in a corner is the following: Dwight R. Yates Santa Clara Santa Clara Providence Cuba Co D 6th OVI]

January 28, 1899

Santa Clara Cuba
Jan 28th 1899

Dear Aunt - We received our pay yesterday enclosed you will find money order for $20 you know I dident send any last pay day I lent some out and drawed it this pay day I am well the weather is very hot we get $1.30 fro our American dollar up town this is about the healthiest city on the Island there is only an average of 4 a day and that comes from Small Pox and fever there is some cases of Leporsy I just come off of guard up there Thursday we was up a week there is 4 in the Hospital Malaria fever I guess provisions came for the Cubans the other day a car load it was canned beans and Bacon our camp is full of beggers ever day the Cuban peddlers is think there prices is worse than Chick a Chick this is all for this time

good Bye write soon
Your Nephew Dwight R.
[Written in a corner is the following: Address Dwight R. Yates Santa Clara Cuba Co D 6 OVI]

February 1, 1899

[from]D. R. Yates Co. D 6th OVI
Santa Clara, Cuba]

[to Mrs. Annie C. Harley, 302 McDougle, St Fostoria Ohio, Ohio]

Santa Clara Cuba
Feb 1st 1899

Dear Aunt -I think you was a little hasty the way you write I am sure I have answered all letters I have received the best I could I think you wrote some and put in that letter of Roxies on Christmas dident you get an answer to that one I answered it and the next one I received was 3 days after we landed at Cien Fuegos I answered that one as soon as I got some stamps from home we dident get our December pay till the 28th of last month I sent you a money order 2 days ago of $20 did you receive it all right your letter was wote the 23 and I dident get it till the 29th so you can see how long it take for a letter to go and come back was very glad to hear from you I am well there is only 6 in the Hospital out of our Matalion there is 30 in the Hospital in the 1st and 3rd Matalion so you see this is much healthier than Cien Fuegos this City is occupied by the Cubans there is a few Friendly Spandiards living here the only nice thing about this city is the plaza they have there high toned Cafes their main drink is coffee that is the high toned people well I will finish in the morning Hello it is nearer noon than morning I have had the drowsiness all forenoon it is half past 10 recall from fatigue just blowed I layed down at 8 oclock and just woke up and of all the dreams I was to home Grandma was cooking we had sausage potatoes good butter we cleared the table once and run out of butter and Lew Risser was on his way to town to sell some butter and he had stopped for dinner and we used his wasent that a good one when I woke up I told Yocum my mess mate that I was liable to go in a trance some time I have fell away quite a bit will weight 130 it is on account of the food being so short it is not so warm to day the wind is blowing a little my duties are guard duty on camp and up town ever 3 days and probly do fatigue between the guard, the bannas and oranges and lemons are ripe they pick them off before they are ripe and hang them up you can get all you want of them for a nickel the coconuts are 10 c a piece, yes there is vegetables here they sell them around camp beets, radishes, lettice, onions, peas, beans and ect, I wouldent spend the rest of my days here if they was to give me the Island I dont like the weather the people you cant talk to them at all Oh I can say a few words give me a Home in Ohio that is good enough for me, I didnt get very sick coming over but I dident feel well al the way over nearly all the boys gave the sharks their meals I saw hundreds of the porpises we had a nice quiet sea all the way over, we was only 2 miles from the water in Cien Fuegos I guess we are 100 miles from there now yes the tide comes and goes thats the reason we couldent leave charleston till morning the tide was in full, I go bathing ever week and wash my under clothes my but the fleas and lice are thick down here, we have hard tack, beans and potatoes and our Matalion gets 7 beef every 10 days so we have fresh meat nearly once a day some of it is nice and some tough have only saw 3 milch cows since I have been here at Santa Clara I saw quite a few in Cien Fuegos milk is 10 c a pint I haint saw a sheep yet I dont believe there is any here we all have cots to sleep on furnished by Helen Gould if it wasent for her we would be sleeping on the ground the shade trees are scarce what there is is palm well I will close hope you are all well

Good Bye
Write soon Dwight

March 3, 1899

Santa Clara Cuba
March 3rd 99

Dear Aunt Annie -received your kind letter all O.K. this is a very warm day I just got my water carried for dinner and supper and 2 boilers boiled for drinking water I have got two new men on the detail we got payed last Saturday and the other two fellows went to town and dident help carry any for breakfast I waited on them till taps sounded and they dident come so I went up and reported to the 1st Sergant and he said I should get 2 more men so I went and got Lee Yates I and him is all right and Harrison so you see I am the main push now, I will keep it as long as I can it is more work than guard duty but what like is a good night sleep I get ever night I am as well as ever weight 140 lbs you are right about the time I am reading adventures of Alf Wilson I suppose you have read that it is very good about the Civil War it wakes me mad that we dident see such service as he ... carry 5 times in ... forenoon 2 boilers and a pail to a turn and 2 turns after supper so I have all after noon and I get awfull tired of laying around time would pass much quicker if I was working all the time ever day is counted it will be just 60 days to day at 1 oclock since we landed on this desolate spot how glad I will be when I see the old home once more but I am afraid it is a long way off that what you saw in the paper dident mean us it meant the 6 U. S. volunteers they are in the U.S. some place the cyclone passed without any serious accident in our camp we held our tent from going over, I will do all I can for you if we come through Washington Cy. I would like to see your old house myself I dont think I will be there in time to help move but if I am you can depend on me our chaplin was here once he stayed 4 days he is a Cien Fuegos now some of the Cubans are Catholics that is all the religon there is in this city this is all I can think of

Good Bye

March 24, 1899

[From D. R. Yates 6th O.V.I. Co D Js Robinson Lt 6th O.V.I.]

[to Mrs Annie C. Harley 302 McDougal Street Fostoria Ohio]

Santa Clara Cuba
March 24th 99

Dear Aunt Annie -received your long looked for letter last evening I was getting on easy about the order we got our February pay the 21st in the evening about 9 oclock and the next day had a review before General Bates he arrived on a special train the 6th Ohio Band came with him they are here now we was at the depot to meet him we saluted him there then we marched up to the plaza the General followed in a fine carriage we was all dressed in our best and made quite a showing we lined up in Company front there and opened ranks then him and his staff marched up and down the line and inspected us his train pulled out in the afternoon we have a very strict Major ever thing is strictly military with him just came off of guard this morning I was on fatigue to day to morrow I will get a pass we catch guard ever 3rd day we had a dress parade this evening the band played fine it consists of 22 pieces 2 drums it has improved greatly since they have been here they go back to Cien Fuegos Monday if they dont get any orders between now and then, the latest pipe dream is that the regiment is all split up again a couple companys goes to Trinidad and a couple to another town along the coast I also heard that we would be the last volunteer regiment to leave the Island according to that we wont be home till the 1st of June I hope this haint true I am feeling fine the health of the Batalion is fine that is the reason we stay so long enclosed you will find a $5 order I will also send you my watch and some spanish money which I want you to lay away for me till I get back then I will have it cleaned and a new crystal put in it I traded my old watch on it I am going to bring you and Brack a small water jug apiece for a relic I am going to get me a machete

[reversed at top of page] How much interest am I getting on my money well I am getting awfull sleepy I only had 4 hours sleep last night I received the Leader have got it all read through Hope the next time I write I will have better news

Good night Dwight

April 3, 1899

[To Mrs. Annie C. Harley, West Millgrove, Wood Co., Ohio]

Camp McKenzie, Agusta Ga.
April 3rd 1899

Dear Aunt -received your letter while we was in quarentine thought I wouldent answer till we got to Agusta I am in the best of health we are booked to get mustered out the 24th we arrived here last night at 6 oclock have a nice Camp 5 miles from Agusta I enjoyed the trip back better than going over but the grub was awfull poor nothing but soup we had coffee hard tack and corned beef for breakfast but we will have better late on answer this letter as soon as you get it for I am anxious about that watch it was a $17 watch gold case Swiss movement I dident have it registered but it was packed good If you dont get it I will be just $15 out I wouldent took less I wrote a letter to Mr Hoyt this morning and give him my opinion of him if he had took any thing off of that wheel he has no right to touch it I have enough trouble without that this is the last letters I will write will soon be home this is all write as soon as you get this so I will know about the watch

Your nephew

MMS 1805 - Dwight Yates Correspondence Guide
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