Company C, Sixth Infantry Regiment, Illinois Volunteers
At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Sandburg enlisted in Company C, Sixth Infantry Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. They were sent on the Rita, stopping in Cuba en route to the southern coast of Puerto Rico. The regiment rarely fired a shot, except in training, However, it wasn't easy. Soldiers fought the heat in woolen uniforms recycled from the Civil War, ate hardtack, repelled malaria carrying mosquitoes with rubber ponchos, ate beef and beans from tin cans and picked graybacks out of their shirts that were finding shelter from the incorrigible rain. Sandburg declared it "was a dirty and lousy affair while it lasted." He lost 25 pounds and gained a one-year college scholarship to his hometown school, Lombard, in Galesburg, Illinois.
Paper. L 27.3, W 35.1 cm
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, CARL 107492