Enroute to Jacksonville, FL
March 3, 1908
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray
My own Sweetheart and dearest Wife:
It is now a few minutes past eight, dinner over, (and I never ate such a meal in my
life, Chester said he was ashamed of me). Passengers mostly in saloon because of
dampness and fog out doors. The ships fog horn is keeping up quite a noise, and if the fog
lasts all night, we won’t get much sleep, as the whistle makes quite a din. To briefly
describe the day: Arrived at Charleston about midnight. Was up at 6:30 dressed and as
breakfast is not served until eight had ¾ of an hour to walk about the town. The weather
was beautiful — one of those balmy mornings such as we get at home in June.
Temperature about 70. I walked up Broad St to Battery Park. This is a very pretty little park
on the edge of the bay. This whole place (Charleston, I mean) seems more than anything
else a relic of the Civil War, and the people look as tho they were still living back at that
time. The place is profuse in palm trees and nearly every house of any size has its door
yard with fruit trees and flowers.
Getting back to the steamer at 8, had breakfast and at 9 we sallied forth to conquer
the City on horseback. Procured a sorrel and a black and started out for our ride at 9:30.
For 2 ½ hours we rode about the city seeing all there was to see. Arrived back at the dock
at 11:45. I took a few pictures from the saddle. The boat, on account of heavy freight, did
not leave until 1:30, 1 ½ hours after schedule. It seemed like reading history to come out of
Charleston harbor into the bay, passing old Fort Sumter and Moultrie. Soon after getting
out to sea, a fog settled and we have been in it ever since.
Sorry, I can’t hug and kiss you this minute. All I can do is just close my eyes and
feel that I am doing it. Tomorrow morning I shall get your sweet letter at Jacksonville, and
this will give me a few delightful moments with you. Wish I could hug and kiss all the little
ones. I do hope Katherine dear little thing, is perking up, and that all the others, as well as
your own dear self, are keeping well. Kiss all the dear ones for me, and accept from your
lover all that I have to give.