October 7, 1917

124 EAST 28th ST., NEW YORK
The Association Follows the Flag on Land and Sea
Public Correspondence Table at Camp Baker El Paso Tex.
October 7, 1917

Dear Father & Mother:

Your letter received a few days ago, but haven’t had time to answer. I have been away from camp for a few days. On September 27th we all went overland on a trip to Las Cruces, New Mexico to the Dona Anna County Fair, a distance of 45 miles. We stayed two days and gave a public exhibition of our skill at the fair grounds. The people all thought our work was great and we received all kinds of cheers and compliments.

We returned home on the 29th. There were also two Companies of the 7th Cavalry and the 7th Cavalry Band, Field Hospital Company No. 1 and a Motor Machine Gun Company there. One whole day of the fair consisted of military maneuvers. Wished you could have seen it. The machine guns are mounted on motorcycles.

On Friday, October 5th we went on another trip to Las Cruces to put on a demonstration for some medical reserve officers, but this time I happened to be a patient so didn’t have anything to do but let them bandage me up. There was a big dance in the evening and we all had a fine time. We returned home yesterday afternoon.

Joe [cousin] got a letter yesterday from Harry Goulding.* He is at Fort Riley, Kansas in the 7th Regiment of Engineers. He seems to like it fine, but says he is like the rest of us: hates to hear the bugle in the mornings at getting up time, but likes to hear it at mess call.

There was a newspaper outfit took the picture of our company last week. I am sending you one. It doesn’t show up very plain, but I will mark where I am with an “R” and Joe with a “J” so you will know. I am getting a large picture of the company which is the same only it is much plainer and is about eighteen inches by three feet. I am going to send it to California to Elsie [sister] to keep until you get there and I wish you would have it framed and save it till I come home. It cost me $2.00 so couldn’t afford any more at that price or would have gotten more of them.

I guess there are worse places than the army, but I don’t want to follow it for a career. As soon as the war is over and I can get my discharge I am going to get out of it.

There were a couple of boys in our company got drunk and stole an auto downtown a few weeks ago and last Friday were given a bob tail or dishonorable discharge. One boy was only 18 years old and cried when he had to leave, but the other was about 23 and didn’t seem to care much.

Well, I guess I will have to close as I have some laundry work to do. I do my own washing and so save about $2.00 per month by it.

Answer soon with love from your Son,

Robert E. Schalles
Amb Co. No. 1
Camp Baker
El Paso, Texas

*[This is the Harry Goulding who founded the Monument Valley Trading Post. He also went to Hollywood to convince Director John Ford that Monument Valley in Arizona would be a good place to film westerns. John Wayne was in the first movie filmed there, Stagecoach, and it went on to win an Academy Award.]