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.
The letter below was written to Irving
Poole's uncle, Will Poole.
July 26 – 98
Mr. Will Poole
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
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