Otto CW Kappelmann to Anna-Marie Bubendey


Otto CW Kappelmann to Anna-Marie Bubendey


Kappelmann, Otto Carl Wilhelm, 1888-1960




1917 December 1


Daniel Metraux


World War, 1914-1918




Spartanburg, So. C.

My dear Anna-Marie,

Many, many thanks for your dear letters of the 12th & 21st of November. And I also want to thank you most sincerely for your Thanksgiving Packages which came as a great surprise to me and ways most welcome! In fact, the packages containing candy and cake, which, by the way, was immensely enjoyed by my comrades and myself, came at a most fortunate time. I had just returned from the rifle ranges at Camp Glaze, So. C., and, the company still being out there, found no eats for lunch. So I chipped in the cake, another fellow two pies and another one some canned tongue, shrimps, crackers, jelly etc. which he also just received. So you see, we had quite a meal.

No doubt father received the postal, which by the way, I unfortunately kept in my pocket several days, from which card you will have seen that, after returning from the trenches, the battalion went on a 3 days hike to the rifle ranges. Having worked until 4 a.m. that morning, and having some other things in camp to take care of, I started after the company the next day in a motor truck. It was a very cold day, Nov. 24th , and we reached the company by noon. After supper, I took a walk alone, the country is grand, it is right in the Blue Ridge mountains, and visited several farm houses. The people are all very hospitable and made things very comfortable around their firesides. Their houses are exceedingly primitive, one family in some instances living in one room, but we had a good time and interesting conversations about the life and doings in these parts. In the third house I visited, it was then near 9 p.m., the people invited me to stay over night and I would gladly have accepted, but was afraid of oversleeping, the people do not get up before sunrise, i.e. about 7: a.m., and therefore had to go back to our camping grounds. Of course, we all slept in small pup tents on the hike, but using a poncho and six blankets (each man had three, so we put three on the ground and three on the top of us, two men sleeping together), we were very comfortable. The next morning we started on our last lap, 12 miles and after completing about 11½ miles I was forced to drop out. A nail had worked through the sole of my shoe and insisted on sticking itself into my heal. No damage, however, was done, and I profited by it by staying over at a farmer’s house and getting a nice lunch. You see, I’m certainly getting the best out of things.

The first few days in our new camp we slept in the small pup tents but then finally moved into large ones with stoves. There are no cots, but I feel just as comfortable on the ground as in a regular bed—we’re all used to this now.

Of course, being the end of the month, I was extremely busy again with payrolls. Unfortunately, or I should say, very luckily, one of the fellows assisting me made a mistake on the pay roll which I did not discover until they were sent to Camp Wadsworth; and I say this was rather lucky because it is the cause of my being back in our old home to-night. I am going back to the range on a truck to-morrow afternoon, these rides are great through this country; the distance is about 32 miles, and the battalion will return on Tuesday morning making the distance in 2 days, and reaching our old camp probably Thursday noon.

This afternoon, after correcting the payrolls, I went down to Spartanburg in a motor car, attended to some business, had a great supper in a regular restaurant, took a hot bath in a regular bath tub in back of a barber shop, and am now in the Spartanburg YMCA.

The other evening I had a talk with Lt. Büsing about my future prospects. Not having heard yet from my friend at Division Headquarters, I thought it wise to take other steps, and therefore requested the Lieutenant to look around for me for a good job at some Headquarters or in some Quartermaster’s Department. He promised to do this for me as soon as we return to Camp Wadsworth, and this ought to bring results. As I already said before, I am sorry to leave my old company and friends, but there is absolutely no future for me where I am, at least not before some time and time is getting precious.

What do you think, Tante Dixie sent me another package containing another sweater, wristlets & helmet. This is certainly awfully nice of her and I appreciate it very much. Tante said that in case I was sufficiently supplied, I should give these things to someone who needs them badly, and as I now have sufficient sweaters, etc., I will inquire and give them to the right fellow.

I hope that by this time you have found some suitable help. It is too bad that you have so much trouble again!

Am very glad that you liked the picture and in case you want some more, let me know per return and I will order them.

I forgot whether I told you in my previous letter that the sweater you sent me fits fine—the sleeves are a little long but I turn them up into a cuff and it gives quite a good affect. I can wear it at all times, it being the same style as a regular army sweater, only better material and better made.

How is your poor throat getting along? I certainly do hope you are well again by this time!

Was very glad to hear that you all could go out to Bound Brook and I certainly wish I could have been present. No doubt you had a good time? Elizabeth sent me some candy and a pair of socks which she knitted herself. This was very nice of her.

You asked me whether I could get a furlough for Christmas. Unless things change unexpectedly, I am very much afraid that this will be impossible. Some men get them on account of serious sickness at home or other important reasons, but fortunately I am unable to give such excuses to Headquarters. Therefore, I do not see any way to obtain a furlough—you see I also had a long furlough last year and it would not be the right thing for me to insist on another one at Xmas time—Possibly, however, we may all be up north by that time? There are rumours to this effect—possibly they may be true? At any rate, I kind of think we will be in NY again before going over the pond!Now I will have to close as the YMCA closes in a half hour and I want to write a few lines to father.

Please give my love to the children. I do not know whether I will be able to get them Xmas gifts down here and as you will no doubt know better just what they want tor need, I will ask you to attend to this. Also please see what father would like to have. Then let me know just how much you spent and I will ask father to give it to you together with the other 4.00 as he has some of my money. Please get some nice things for all, I mean, a few dollars more or less does not matter.

By the way, I made about $30.00 recently selling company rosters to the fellows. One of these rosters I mailed to father.

With love and a kiss,

Your brother,

Original Format



Bubendey, Anna-Marie Kappelmann, 1887-1986





Kappelmann, Otto Carl Wilhelm, 1888-1960, “Otto CW Kappelmann to Anna-Marie Bubendey,” 1917 December 1, WWP18904, Otto Kappelmann Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.