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September 10, 1899

Was on outpost last night. Outpost is an easy guard, from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M., four hours off, two hours on, and the next day to yourself. It is not pleasant to sit out there waiting to be shot at, for they have been firing on the outposts steadily for a week. Last night however was perfectly quiet, not even any rain, whether or not it was their licking of the night before that kept them quiet I do not know. The mosquitoes however were worse than my wildest imagination ever painted. I wore simply a chambray shirt over the upper part of my body, as usual, and it was no protection. I had not been on post five minutes before all sense of danger merged into a prolonged cuss at the mosquitoes. Company badly drilled, talking on outposts.

(It is the same moon, dear mamma, but we see it some hours later.) We used a freight car to sleep in, all the cars and engines are European model, having shelter tents, blankets and ponchos. My first four hours in could not sleep an instant on account of the mosquitoes, but sat up and smoked. The head net, blessed invention, kept them off my face, but they bit through the shirt. The next time I came off, by sleeping between the doors in the draft got asleep. Not a shot was fired oil or at any of the outposts. Almost continuous and very vivid lightning during my first trick, very little thunder. Drew clothes. When we drew clothes at Willets Point I followed the advice of some old soldiers and drew very little. It did not occur to me at the time, but they were thinking of my “finals” and the saving in clothing allowance. The result was I felt the need of underclothes. Determined not to repeat the mistake, my knapsack is now filled to bursting. Luckily it won’t break my heart to throw things away.