I had always lived in
places which needed no garrison, and the army, except in Germany,
was an unknown quantity to me.
Fort Russell was a large post, and the garrison consisted of
many companies of cavalry and infantry. It was all new and
strange to me.
Soon after luncheon, Jack said to Major Wilhelm, "Well, now, I
must go and look for quarters: what's the prospect?"
"You will have to turn some one out," said the Major, as they
left the house together.
About an hour afterwards they returned, and Jack said, "Well, I
have turned out Lynch; but," he added, "as his wife and child are
away, I do not believe he'll care very much."
"Oh," said I, "I'm so sorry to have to turn anybody out!"
The Major and his wife smiled, and the former remarked, "You must
not have too much sympathy: it's the custom of the service - it's
always done - by virtue of rank. They'll hate you for doing it,
but if you don't do it they'll not respect you. After you've been
turned out once yourself, you will not mind turning others out."
The following morning I drove over to Cheyenne with Mrs. Wilhelm,
and as I passed Lieutenant Lynch's quarters and saw soldiers
removing Mrs. Lynch's lares and penates, in the shape of a sewing
machine, lamp-shades, and other home-like things, I turned away
in pity that such customs could exist in our service.