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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 15

Detachment we boys got to know each other; had our own cooks and good ones too, for they held the camp record for cleanliness and economy. We took plenty of informal exercise, such as playing baseball, and hiking to the mountain near by [sic]. A few times attempts were made to drill us, but these met with but little success and the efforts in this direction were soon given up entirely. All our mail was marked Surplus Detachment, and the friends and relatives took special notice of this. My dear wife wrote me and said that if I was a “surplus” here I had better come home and help take care of the place. Speaking from the civilian standpoint there are many surpluses in the army.

In this Detachment we had many privileges to receive visitors and have religious worship with them. Rev. Heatwole of LaJunta, Colorado came to us twice and preached the gospel pure and simple without any references to war or patriotism. Then Rev. N.J. Krehbiel of Heedly, California stopped in enroute [sic] to Kansas. Also Rev. Kliewer and Rev. H.P. Krehbiel made a special trip to our camp to inquire concerning alleged mistreatment of C.O.’s. Their visit was of a diplomatic nature, and I’m convinced the results were very satisfactory for all concerned. Rev. King and Rev. Loucks of the Old Mennonites also visited us with a message of encouragement, love and sympathy, and also an admonition to remain true to our convictions. Brother King made the statement that the very integrity of the whole non-resistant church will be measured by the course of its adherents, under pressure and tests. This somehow became to me as I pondered it a tremendous challenge, have not gotten rid of it yet, and I believe it holds true under any crisis. Otherwise I was not influenced much by what friends had to say (or others also) in regard [to] what course

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