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Spanish American War (1898)
A Long Way from Home — A Story of the Spanish American War, Part 2

A Long Way from Home — A Story of the Spanish American War, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.29

     challenging words:    journal, afloat, bawl, drilling, ducking, fondly, fresh-cut, hitching, mowing, rubble, teaching, treaty, original, outfit, handy, fetch
     content words:    Lawson Parker, Montana Volunteers, War Department, Captain Keown, Uncle Sam, Gallatin Valley

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A Long Way from Home — A Story of the Spanish American War, Part 2
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     Journal of Lawson Parker, 1st Montana Volunteers
2     July 2, 1898—San Francisco
3     The whole outfit is getting to be touchy as a teased snake. We were supposed to ship out weeks ago. Yesterday wouldn't be soon enough for us. It seems like we're playing games while the real fight is going on without us. I guess the War Department is having trouble finding ships to get us where we are needed. You'd think that folks who took on the job of having a war would have things figured out a little better.
4     Uniforms and supplies are another problem. We did finally get some things. They are issuing the same old blue wool uniforms, though. They'll be about as handy as a cow on a crutch. Someone should tell those guys that we're headed for the tropics. Better yet, we should send some of the desk jockeys in Washington out there to the jungle dressed in wool. I bet, if they survived, there'd be some changes. I wonder about all those "brains" back there in charge of things. The whole works seem about as sharp as cue balls.
5     We did get cotton underwear, though. Nankeen—it's the newest kind of cotton. We also got some checkered shirts and white pants. Makes you look like something that just stepped off the pickle boat. But it's cooler for drill. That's a relief. We got socks, too. I just hope I can keep the critters corralled. I can never seem to hang onto a whole pair of socks to save my life.
6     July 13, 1898
7     A black day. The whole bunch of us is about as flat as a duck's hind foot in the mud. We done missed not two, but THREE calls to ship out. Sure is wearying, facing more drilling and no real fighting. I think we might be telling our grandchildren about the war we fought marching around a pile of sand in California.
8     I wonder what they're doing at home right now. It's time for the first cutting of hay on the home place. I can see my dad hitching up our big old work horses, Molly and Clyde, to the mowing machine. I wish I was smelling fresh-cut hay instead of the latrine just down the tent row. This hot weather doesn't do much for the aroma. This bowl of beans and grease ain't Mama's fried chicken and apple pie, either.

Paragraphs 9 to 21:
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Spanish American War (1898)
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