My order for discharge has come, and through your kindness I am once more in prospect of gaining my civil rights. I can hardly realize that my soldier experience is almost over; but I am glad that it is so. If I looked forward to the kind of work we have out here now, I should want to prepare myself for it by a course on the West Point plan. As it is, I am convinced that what training I have, which my life so far has been spent in gaining, is not available for the Government’s service. I should either know more or less. I think the General was right in saying that in this military government out here there was no place for me unless I had a commission. You will like to know how I got the news. On Saturday afternoon, Captain M——, General Otis’s aide, sent for me and gave me some trifling bit of work to do, and incidentally asked if I had heard that an order had come from Washington for my discharge. He was smiling all over, and enjoyed seeing me “take the news.” I told him that I had heard nothing, to which he felt bound to reply in a perfunctory manner that he should not have mentioned it, as the order was not out yet—one polite military lie.
General Hughes seems as well satisfied as I and in speaking to him of my plan to go home via India, I said that in case my finals were not paid here I should ask him for an advance of $100 until I could receive a remittance from you. The gentleman said, “I have five months pay coming to me and you can have whatever amount you
want up to $1000. It will be a convenience to me to have you take it, because I have been wanting to send some money to my sisters, and this will save me all the trouble of exchange.” All I could think was that it was quite like the General.
My order of discharge, which I got this morning reads:
(Special Orders No. 119, §8.) Pursuant to telegraphic
instrnctions from the Adjutant-General of the Army, dated
November 25, 1898, Private Eliphalet H. Blatchford, Troop E,
Fourth United States Cavalry, will be discharged from the
service of the United States. The Quartermaster’s Department
will furnish transportation to this soldier to San Francisco,
Cal., from which point he is entitled to travel-pay to place
of enlistment. :
By command of Major-General Otis.
Tuomas H. Bary,
(Signed) L. P. Sanvers, Aid.
Manila, P. I.
First I will get an order relieving me from duty here and sending me back to the troop before I act on the foregoing.