Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Frederick H. White Writes Robert H. Boehme, 1900

Few documentary artifacts remain relating to Middleborough and Lakeville's Spanish-American War experience. Though Frederick H. White of Middleborough is known to have written a number of letters relating to his military experience in the Philippines to friends and relatives at Middleborough, none are known to exist. Excerpts from and summaries of at least two of White's letters, however, survive and indicate that while White was patriotic in the performance of his duty, he found the experience to be one fraught with hardship. Both letters speak to the high toll the Philippine American War and the conditions in the Pacific took on the American soldiers, though White was fortunate enough to escape them.

Robert H. Boehme of Rice street has received a letter from Frederick H. White, formerly a member of Company D of the 5th regiment, and now in Company A, 26th infantry, which is in service in the Philippines. He says that July 1, 1901, will be a happy day for him, for he if he is not killed meanwhile or discharged for disability he will be released from the service, and he will return to the old town of Middleboro, satisfied that while there are more progressive communities, there is no place like it for the writer. White hopes that the Middleboro boys will take a fool's advice, as he puts it, and stay away from the Philippines, for, although he has had a good time, there is nothing to it in the end. Of the 106 able bodied Americans who left New York city with him only 39 are able to do duty.

Brockton Times, August 29, 1900.


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