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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 27

try to look sober any more. He laughed and said, “All right, you do not need them any more,” and slipped them into his pocket; then looking at the other prisoners and not wishing to be partial, he stepped over to us and unlocked our hands also. When we pulled into the station at Ft. Leavenworth we were again handcuffed until we were safely in the walls of “Capitol Hill”. At 10:00 p.m. on the 15 of June 1918, the massive gates of the D.B. swung open for us and the gatekeeper greeted us with, “You are welcome to our city”. It took about two hours (there was a constant stream of prisoners coming in those days) to register and deposit our personal effects. It was there about 12:00 p.m. when we retired to our private cells. Everything was clean and orderly, and I am sure I’m speaking for my two partners also when I say that we rested peacefully under the Shadow of His wings.

The first few days were spent in getting rigged up for the daily routine. There was no particular rush nor should there be for we had on the average fifteen years before us. Regular prison garb was issued us and numbers painted on the backs of the shirts and jackets and over the knee of the trousers; thus we were literally numbered with the transgressors. Some of the boys did not make this very plain, when they wrote home about getting numbers on the back. In a few instances it was misinterpreted to mean branding and really caused the relatives some anxiety. I am sure that our government does not in any of our penal institutions mark a man bodily for life. They want him after serving his sentence to go back into society, as free as possible from the stain of a criminal record. For this reason all the mail coming to the D.B. was to be marked only with a box number and not the name of the institution.

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