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Record 102/160
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Admin/Biog History Marshal H. Downs was a member of Company K, 2nd Wisconsin National Guard during the Spanish American War. Company K was from Beaver Dam, WI.
Collection Spanish American War Small Collections
Dates of Accumulation July 26, 1898
Abstract Letter to wife from Marshal H. Downs, Company K, 2nd Wisconsin National Guard, written shipboard. He discusses their sea voyage, their food (corned beef, hardtack, and tomatoes); company mascots (a squirrel and a chicken); lice; and prospects for battle.

On the Ocean, July 26-98
Darling wife and baby
I will now drop you a few lines more to let you know that I am well, and happy. And hope this will find you the same. We are now about 40 miles from where we land. The boys are all in good spirits. The gunboat Columbia just over took us, and we are now following her to Ponce sixteen miles west of San Juan. We have been on the ocean six days, and seven nights, and I have not been seasick yet. We had had it pretty rough for the last two days, and nights.
The boys have all stood it well so far. We have had to eat since we left Charleston nothing but corn beef, hard tack, tomatoes, and beans three times a day, and dam poor drinking water. The coffee has all most been impossible to drink. But as soon as we get ashore we will have better grub. It rained like the dickens for the last two nights. It looks as though it would rain again tonight. Well darling, do not for get to take good care of your self and baby. We still have our little gray squirrel with us. Company 'I' has a pet chicken with them. We still have our pets the gray backs [lice], and darn good pets they are to. So nice.
The sea is pretty rough today. Tell Tena Bose her lover is well, and fat.
I think that we will never smell gunpowder in Porto Rico, but if we have to we are prepared to give it to them just as hot as they want it. Now darling have patience, and do not worry over me for I will take good care of my self, and if anything happens you will know immediately. This trip has been worth a good deal to me, for the sites I have seen, and when I come back will tell you all about it. Wish you was along to.
Well I will close for this time as there is no more news to write. Give my best regards to all the folks. With love, and kisses to you, and baby. I remain as ever your true, loving and faithful husband.

M. H. Downs
Co. K 2nd. Reg't.
Wis. Vol. Inf.
1st. Brigade
1st. Division
1st. Army Corp.
Under Gen. Wilson
Event Spanish American War
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID SC411.7.4.2
Object Name Letter
People Downs, Marshal H.
Subjects Spanish American War
2nd Wisconsin National Guard
Military rations
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009