Capt. Granger Claims to Still Hold the Lease.
The Company's Health
Is Excellent and Their Work is Pleasant.
An Interesting Letter from Capt. Ross Granger of Company A, Thirty-First Michigan Volunteers Now in Cuba.
Headquarters U. S. Focres, Placetas. Cuba, March 3, 1899.
Editor Daily Argus,
Dear Sir : - The men of Co. A are in excellent condition, we average less sickness a day here than at any other camp we have been in since leaving home. The men realize that they are in the army, not as some dissatisfied ones thought, on a picnic excursion, Roll call, drills, etc., being attended to promptly and cheerfully. We drill but one half hour per day and of course have the usual roll calls. Also Saturday and Sunday inspections. Guard duty slight, four posts being all that, is necessary during the night, and but one during the day. I have about 50 Cubans employed, rebuilding and repairing the Spanish barracks here, which will be occupied by a battalion of U. S. Infantry as soon as finished. Dealing with them is peculiar and quite interesting. I am obliged to pay them every evening, which requires six pay rolls per week. The skilled labor, such as masons and carpenters get $1.50 per day in Spanish silver, the laborers 80 cents. Freight is payable in Spanish gold. I have all U. S. gold and buy silver at an average of 77 cents, you can imagine the trouble I have in procuring change for each night. In paying freight, I handle three kinds of money, buy Spanish gold at 97 cents, pay the freight and receive change in Spanish silver, which is quoted at 82 1/8 cents today, against Spanish gold. Possibly another thing of interest is the tact that yesterday I procured the names of all Cuban soldiers in my jurisdiction which extends about 15 miles out and around Placetas. There were 324 Cuban soliders. I sent the Barnes to General Bates by telegraph, which together with explanation made quite a long telegram.
As to the armory at Ann Arbor, I can say but little. The men worked hard in putting the building in shape. It was a fine place tor an armory, being on the ground floor, we could also rent it and use it to great advantage for parties, circuses, etc. One circus would have paid the rent for a year and given us at least $100 for general expenses. The men would rather have the old armory just as we left it, than any other. Mr. Cook naurally wished to get hold of the building soon after we repaired and remodeled it, and of course took the first opportunity offered. As captain of Co. A, lst Infantry, M. N. G. , I still hold a lease of the building for several years and am also held under $5,000 bonds tor care of property and will have to make a settlement before being discharged. The majority of us will not very likely wish to continue in the National Guard after our present army duty is over with, but some will. I am sorry that the armory is in the shape it is at present. It's too bad and that is all there is to it.
Junius E. Beal visits Cienfuegos Saturday of this week, and if he finds it possible to make proper connections so as to catch his boat at Havana will visit us over Sunday. The boys will certainly give him a warm reception if he does.
This city has picked up in cleanliness some since our arrival, visits to our camp has given them an idea or two. The men are all willing to stay until their ull duty is done, but are more than pleased to see the end so close at hand.
In behalf of Co. A. I send kind regards to all our friends.
Capt. 31st Mich. Vol's Commanding Co. A.