Banana Wars Letter U.S. Marine Seibo, Dominican Republic, June 15, 1919

The “Banana Wars” is a term commonly used when referring to a series of U.S. military actions in Latin America. This letter was written by a U.S. Marine, who was in Santo Domingo City, Dominican Republic, June 15, 1919. He was with 115th Company, 3rd Prov. Regiment. From the letter…..

   Hello, how are you this pleasant spring day. I suppose you think I am jealous of your friend the gob, but not so, for I have been too busy to write on account of moving in to the city since the day your letter arrive d at last our company is in from the field and misery for a while if not permanently. I would not be surprised if our whole regiment is in the States by August. We had some trip in from the hills and we were all so happy that two thirds of us put our rifles and on the bull carts and sang all the way into civilization. Here is a brief summary of the trip we had, starting with our orders to move:
   Orders arrived Tuesday  evening to leave Seibo immediately. We had no bull carts to take our equipment but found out that ten were coming into Seibo to get a cargo of cocoa beans and were but a few hours from town. At 3:00 AM Wednesday morning our Commanding Officer sent a detail of ten men to bring them into camp as soon as possible.
   Everyone got up at 5:00 AM and we started to pack up. At six o’clock the carts arrived and after we had eaten our breakfast we loaded the carts and started on our journey at 8:30 Wednesday June 11.
   We had a hot sun up until noon and we made good time. About 3:00 PM we ran into a storm and the roads and rivers began to get bad. We hiked till 6:00 PM when we stopped from supper and at 7:00 PM we resumed our walk, on our last ?. At 2:00 AM Thursday morning June 12, we arrived in a small town known as Consuilito when we unloaded the bull carts onto a train to go to Consuelo. We reached Consuelo at 3:00 AM and after having a light lunch we sat around waiting for trucks from Macoris to take and our equipment to a boat which was awaiting us at the dock at Macoris, which would take us to the Capital. The trucks did not arrive until 8:30 so it was not until 10:00 o’clock that we were ready to leave and then we had to wait until noon at Macoris on account of another company which came with us had not loaded on.
   We finally left Macoris and after a four hours sea trip we arrived here in Santo Domingo City. Just as we started to unload the boast a terrific rain storm came up or I mean down and kept up until midnight. At 8:00 PM we had the boat unloaded but we were soaking wet, nevertheless happy. Nine thirty found us in our beds dry clothes and feeling good after having an invigorating shower bath.
   As yet we have not gotten straightened out, for the regi8ment is being reorganized and in a fe days we will move into our permanent barracks in Fort Ozama, our first home on the island and I hope our last.
   Some hike, don’t you think. The distance between Seibo and Consuelito is thirty miles with bull carts in dry weather, the best time that can be made is about two mile and hour and in wet weather it is lucky if they make a mile in three hours. We had about fifty-fifty in regards to roads conditions and at that made as good time as is made in the best kind of dry weather.
   Now that I am in here and since hearing that lots of my old girl friends getting married, especially the one old friend, I am beginning to crave the company of a nice young girl. It is funny when I go around the park here with some of my friends and the main discussion of the evening is girls. We wonder why the higher class Dominican girl does not seem to care to have the company of we Marines. Of course we have to admit that there are good and bad in even the Marine Corps and I suppose that is why we are barred from the society of people who ar not classed socially, as high as most of us are. I don’t know what I will do if it keeps up much longer. I am thinking that the name Edward N. Schachterle will appear in the deserters columns of the United Stated Military Record, if I don’t get some where out of this disastrous country soon.
   Well Vera I guess I will have to close this letter or you might think I am loco, so good-bye for the present and hoping to hear from you soon,   

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