1917 September 28
Letter from Sam Ethridge at Camp Pike to his future wife, Nathalia Kauffman, who he calls "Bunny Hunch."
Samuel E. Ethridge was the son of John W. and Victoria Ethridge. His wife, Nathalia, was born in 1899 in Alabama. Before the war, Sam worked as a tinner in Little Rock. Nathalia was an exercise teacher in the public schools. They married on April 29, 1920.
Camp Pike Ark
Sept 28 - 17
Bunny Hunch: -
Received your most welcome letter
Thursday. Sorry indeed to hear from
you. ("Wipe your chin")
We are still here. Some few
have been allowed exemption
Had one examination yesterday, ears
eyes feet marks of identification
finger prints etc. Quiet [sic] a number
have flat feet but I dont [sic] beleive [sic]
they will be exempted.
I think we are to get another shot
in the arm for typhoid about to-
Have not received uniforms yet
but will probably in a week or
10 days. I noticed some of the
first 5% have been uniformed
Most every one desire [sic] to have uniforms
before returning home after quaranteen [sic]
which will be over about next
Was on guard night before last
10 to 12 - 4 to 6 a.m. Was
relieved of duty & drill yesterday a.m.
Yesterday p.m. we were examined.
I have finally succeeded in locating
Gen Powell. He is in a squad that
has quarters upstairs. We also have
a Mr Cox[.] His father runs
the Cash Stores.
[illegible] (Whittaten) Boling is in kitchen
today. Said he was permanent but
I dont [sic] think so. I look to be
[illegible] to kitchen about tomorrow or Sunday
When called to kitchen duty, we are
termed "kitchen police". Sometimes
we get a nice feed and sometimes
we dont. Sometimes it is necessary
to kiss our foot to take taste
out of the mouth.
We have a loud mouth [illegible]
up here. Always butts into
every thing, business, pleasure
and private affairs. I as well
as several others have expressed desire
to swat him in the jaw.
When anyone gets a package
he hangs around until he finds
out the contents and forces himself
upon them. He knows everything
and a little but more. He
has been given the title of
"Major Lick Skillet." He deserves
a title of some kind. The
first chance I get I will try to
Give him a swift kick right
up in the hatch room or kitchen.
Arthur Bolt returned about 11:30
Wednesday night. Some one stepped
on his foot yesterday and he
has been laid up today. Some
time ago about middle of August
he had an accident and was
crippled in his right foot. He
is corporal of squad 20, the
one I am in. I make report
when he isn't in formation.
Today he has been out all day
Donnell's wife (Perla) was out
to see me a day or two ago
but I didn't get to see her
Donnell wrote me about her being
here to see me. Perla has a
nephew who is a Second Leiutenant [sic]
in 345th Infantry. Donnell said
he was full of college. I havent [sic]
One boy had his sister (whom he
had not seen for three years) visit
him here. Wasn't allowed to shake
hands much less kiss her. Not
supposed to get within less than
three feet of visitors. Must
have permission from captain
and then are not permitted to
talk any length of time.
Another fellow's wife came over
to see him but he was refused
permission to even go out to
car to speak to her.
After quarantene [sic] we will be
given all the priveleges [sic] I suppose
Ben has been working at
the camp. Was over to see
me one noon. I took a chance
by talking to him. I couldn't
shake hands with him.
Has been rumored that
we will got to Alexandria
Louisiana before long. More
than apt to be after quarantene [sic]
We have heard no decision on
yesterday's examination but judging
from the extention to finger prints
etc I guess we are all soldier
boys. It is stated by "authentic"
authority that should the war
end tomorrow we would have
to serve at least 12 months
in Army to complete our training
we had phisical [sic] training this
morning. Director was a
student under some great and
well known phisical [sic] director at
West Point. He was a
picture of health. Well developed
as any man I have ever seen.
He was very hourse [sic] as he had
been directing the training of
Harry Kyler still has hopes of
being exempted but I dont [sic] think
he will be.
We have what is call [sic] Canteen
next building to us on South side
where we can get anything from
gum to towels & handkerchiefs.
It is well patronized by all.
This is certainly a relief during
our quaranteen [sic]. It is so
crowded at times that it is
almost impossible to get up to
Saluting prevails among all the
men. It is very necessary.
Sometimes we forget ourselves
and dont [sic] salute but when
we get uniforms we will
be expected and required to
salute. When I get a chance
to visit you I will show
a few things that we are taught.
Henry & Sam are very familiar
with all these things.
I attempted to teach some of
the fellows how soldiers sleep
but they seem to think it bosh.
The reason you havent [sic] seen
Elizabeth is that she is in shop
undergoing some minor repairs
and will be painted before
being sold. The man I left
her in charge of wrote me that
he had an offer of $270 before
he started to work on it. Said he
wouldn't take that as he felt
sure he could get more and
that it would not be but a
very short time. If he hasnt [sic]
sold here when I get a leave
from here I will try to get
the use of it for at least one
I could almost hear Bob Burns
laugh up here. He will be
calling you [illegible] next, wont [sic]
How is Thresa getting along?
You dont [sic] a thing about
her. You had better treat that
girl right. If you dont [sic] I will
jump on you. When I jump it
Have you heard from [illegible]
lately? I neglected writing her
still I didnt [sic] know her address.
When we write it is in jumps
write a while[,] drill a while
then write some more then drill again
Had a hike this P.M. about
1 1/2 miles and back. We never
fail to "sit" every chance we
I owe several letters. Yours was
first to be answered of course
dont [sic] think I am slighting you a bit
by writing 12 1/2 pages. Still I havent [sic]
Bunny you dont [sic] miss you me any more
than I miss you. At nights I
feel like I should ger dressed
crank "Lizzie" go south on High St
nothing doing tho [sic]. You can bet
your boots I will come out
there when I do get away
from here on leave of absence.
I do want to see my Honey
bunch. Shake hands - well I guess
and so on. So on again and
again then some.
Bunny write me when you get
time, which I know you will do
Give my best wishes to the folks and
friends. Just be patient and I will
came back soon again to see you.
Why sure we can receive packages
of eats from outside quaranteen [sic].
Some get lunches, some candies, but
no ice cream. I appreciate a
letter as much as anything. Especially
a letter from my "honey bunch dove"
Still I had rather see you in person
Dont look for me till you see me.
Honey I believe this is about
two cents worth letter[.] I dont[sic]
want you to have to pay
Write me as soon as you have time
with lots of love and best wishes
Co 4 326 Infantry
12.75 sheets not 13
Letter, 13 pages, 5.25" x 7.75"
World War I; War; Correspondence; Military camps; Military training
Camp Pike, Pulaski County (Ark.)
MS.000107, Box 1, Folder 3, Item 2
Kauffman-Etheridge collection, MS.000107
Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives
Letter, Sam Ethridge to "Bunny Hunch" (Nathalia Kauffman), 1917 September 28, Kauffman-Etheridge collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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Military History | United States History
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