Charles Leonard Davis mentions the Nebraska Guard recruits who are gathering in Wakefield and who will soon ship off to The Spanish American War. He is oblivious of the fact that War will strike again and again during his lifetime and bring much sorrow to him and his future family. (Please note that misspellings are Lennie's and not mine! As much as possible, I've typed as he spelled.) And please read to the bottom to see how future Wars affect Lennie's future family.
Sunday, May 22, 1898
Went to Sunday School.
Guy, Sam, Ellis & myself went out walking.
Monday, May 23, 1898
Planted potatoes in morning and afternoon.
Went to band practice.
Tuesday, May 24, 1898
Went over to see the soldiers drill.
Wednesday, May 25, 1898
Rained. Nothing much happend today.
I fixed Guy's wheel. (his bicycle wheel)
Thursday, May 26, 1898
Recruits are in town to enlist.
Had a social at J.E. Dates? (spelling?)
Friday, May 27, 1898
Fixed flag pole on schoolhouse.
Went to band practice.
Saturday, May 28, 1898
Soldires camped down by the railroad.
They have a hot time.
Sunday, May 29, 1898
3 trains of soldiers went through.
Staid down to train after school.
Monday, May 30, 1898
Memorial day celebration. Click here for history of Memorial Day, formerly called Decoration Day.
Went to Wayne (Nebraska) came home and went to band practice.
Tuesday, May 31, 1898
Went to school half a day.
Guy and I fixed his wheel.
Watched the soldiers drill.
When he wrote these words Lennie was seventeen years old. The presence of an encampment of recruits from the Nebraska Guard is big news in the small community of Wakefield, Nebraska. Lennie and his buddies will visit the encampment many times to watch the soldiers drill.
What Lennie does not know as a teenager is that war will affect his own family. His future brother-in-law, William (Billy) Kuckku, will die on the fields of Cantigny, France on May 28, 1918. You can read more about Billy here. He was 3 weeks past his 27th birthday when he died on the battlefield.
And his future wife's cousin, Dale M. Hansen, will be awarded the Medal of Honor after he dies in action on Okinawa in May 11, 1945 one year to the day after his induction into the Marines. Read more here. Dale was twenty-two when he died.
The bodies of William and Dale were both brought home for burial at the cemetery in Wisner, Nebraska.