Private Irving Poole,

of the First Texas Volunteer Infantry

Writes Home

Contributed by Jeannie Hartwick

Irving Poole

Private Irving Poole of the First Texas Volunteer Infantry 

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General:

Fletcher Irving Poole was born on April 26, 1880 in Liberty Hill, Williamson County, Texas.  He was the son of Luther McBee Pool(e) and Mary Frances Humble.  His father died when he was eight years old and, being the oldest male of seven siblings, he took seriously the  responsibility for the survival of the remaining family members. Coming from a family with a military background, Irving enlisted in Company K of the First Texas when the war broke out. Upon his return, Poole worked for a short time in the mines at Cripple Creek, Colorado.  In 1905, he married Lenora Eugenia Pickle at Leander, Williamson County, Texas.   They were the parents of three daughters and lived near his Poole Sherman Store, a general merchandise and unincorporated bank, at Leander.  After retirement, he and his wife moved to Austin and he enjoyed being an active docent in the museum at Camp Mabry, a military mobilization area during the Spanish American War.  Fletcher Irving Poole died on August 15, 1959 and is buried at Bagdad Cemetery, Leander, Texas.

After its formation, the First Texas Volunteer Infantry, along with Irving Poole, was relocated briefly to near Miami, Florida from June 25 to August 8, 1898. During that time, Poole became ill with yellow fever and was sent to the army hospital at Miami, and remained there when the regiment continued on to Camp Cuba Libre at Jacksonville, Florida.

Private Poole actually did not write the letter below, but apparently dictated it to a volunteer of the Army Christian Commission named Mrs. Thomas B. Cochran, who included her calling card along with the letter. The Army Christian Commission's main goal was to provide soldiers with hard-to-find paper, stationery, pens, as well as books and newspapers. In camps, they provided tents with tables and chairs for soldiers to sit, read and write letters. Apparently in hospitals, they aided by writing dictated letters as Mrs. Cochran did for Pvt. Poole. Given that Poole had apparently not written home for some time, and would have had much to say about his adventure in the army to that point, the letter is short, with little actual news. This could possibly indicate that he was still quite ill and not feeling up to dictating more. Also, the effort may have been impeded by his sudden deafness (mentioned in the letter) and the communications difficulties that would result. Poole was lucky to have survived, and, when the letter was written, was not yet fully recovered.

Poole Envelope

The letter below was written to Irving Poole's uncle, Will Poole.

The Letter:


Miami. Fla
July 26 – 98
Mr. Will Poole
Dear Uncle,

I will now try and write you a few lines.You will have to excuse me for not writing sooner because I have just got up from a three week spell of sickness and could not write and before that I did not have any stamps nor any money to buy any and we did not get payed till --- the twenty-second.

I have just got through an absess in my [word missing] and am so Deaf & can’t hear any–one talk.

I got a letter from home the other day and they said they had got plenty of rain and had fine crops.

I think we will be moved in a few days because there are so many sick. I will close for this time. Will write more next time for I Dont feel like it now - Irving

Calling Card



Bibliography:

Letter, family data and photo of Irving Poole - contributed by Jeannie Hartwick

"Good Work," The Weekly Tribune. (Tampa, FL), July 14, 1898, p. 6 (info. on the Army Christian Commission)


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