News from Co. L 5th Reg. N.N.G. (8/18/1916)
(Written Expressly for the Echo by LeRoy Lapp)
Camp Llano Grande, Texas.
August 18, 1916.
A very heavy storm visited camp here today doing much damage to property and our camp, at 5 o’clock tonight there wasn’t a cook tent left standing, and many of our small tents were blown down in spite of our grave efforts to save them. This afternoon the whole company was out, officers and privates were ranked the same, as everyone was trying to save either their own tent or some one else who was in distress. The bigger tents were the hardesst ones to save as most of them went down in spite of us.
The wind blew continuosly from 10:45 this morning until almost midnight tonight when it partly cleared off and the wind ceased blowing so hard. It was reported here late tonight that the worst of the storm was yet to come so we had one man out of each squad to set up until midnight, when there was another one to relieve him at that time should the storm continue but after it partly cleared off we did not finish the night in keeping watch on the weather conditions but all turned in for a good night’s rest after spending a hard afternoon fighting for the safety of our tents.
Tommorow night at 7 o’clock the Dedicating of the Nebraska Y.M.C.A. building, which is just completed down here, will be given at the new Y.M.C.A. building, Brigadier General Blacksom will be speaker for the opening address. Colonel Every of the 4th Nebraska Infantry and Colonel H. J. Paul of the 5th Nebraska Infantry will give special talks along the line of what the Young Men’s Christian Association is doing for our country in general. We are very glad to be honored with this new Y.M.C.A. building as it will give us a nice place to spend our lonesome hours and services will be held there every Sunday for the soldier boys, which will be greatly appreciated by all. It will also furnish us with reading and writing accomodations, which we have never had before. Many improvements are going on among the different companys every day, they are now building new cook houses, two rooms in each, one to be used for cooking purposes and the other one for eating purposes, which is greatly needed, as we have always had to eat out on the ground before.
Monday, the sound of thirteen big cannons was heard in camp when General Parker entered camp for general review and inspection trip. He was accompanied by his Adjutant General and several other high officers from the regular U. S. army. The entire camp was out for review drill and inspection, General Parker said he was well pleased with our drilling and was proud of his boys as we did exceedingly well for the comparative short time we had been in camp. He also said he would soon have an army that the whole world fear when we had a little more practice, it made us feel very greatful to have the General speak that way about us and we feel like doing our very best in the future to make a gaining in our field duties.
Wednesday was field day, and the entire camp was dismissed from drills and detail work, to amuse themselves in all kinds of athletic sports, there will be two days out of each month for athletic sports of all kinds. The next one will be held August 30, and we are preparing to pull off some very good stunts on that day. Our program Wednesday consisted of foot racing, ball games, jumping and boxing; the 4th and 5th Nebraska Regiment played ball that afternoon, the score being 13 to 3 in favor of the 5th regiment, aside from the ball game each Regiment had their exercist separate. Several of Company L boys won different prizes and we hope to carry off a good bunch of them August 30th.
Mr. Cecil Williams had become very popular among all the women down here, (there is only one woman in camp and she has been married over thirty years.) Cecil stands very highly with her.
Mr. Chas. Owens says he will acquaint himself with all the new styles and fashions down here so he can become a regular society dude and learn all the new customs of the natives so he will be able to show his home people the latest when he gets back.
Mr. Roy Lapp was the hero of the guard the other night. At an early hour in the morning there came a clear and unmistakable sound, “Halt, who goes there,” and the third time it was heard, but still no response came, Mr. Lapp at once called for the Corporal of the guard giving his post number and the Corporal was at once on hand to discover the trouble, they surronded the unspeakable object and found it to be one ot the Company “Donkies” eating grass.