Letter from James C. Fanning to his family, September 23, 1949


Letter from James C. Fanning to his family, September 23, 1949


James C. Fanning, Class of 1953, wrote these letters to his family during his four years as a cadet at The Citadel.




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James C. Fanning Cadet Letter Collection










Charleston (S.C.)

Date Valid


[Page 1]
September 23, 1949

Dear Mother, Daddy, Sandy,

This just about completes a week at the Citadel. The food is marvelous (hamburger for dinner and liver for supper today -- as much as we want), the weather is mighty fine, the 4th classmen all seem to be very good boys, and the training cadery is excellent in their knowledge of everything military and are fine Christian men. I just hope when I get to be in the 2nd class I am as good as Mr. Branch, my squad leader. They make us brace in the barracks and at the dinner table.

At the dinner table here is our routing, after the upperclassmen first we doubletime into the messhall, [sic] we stand behind our chairs until told to take seats, we place our hats in chairs and sit on the first 3 in. of the chair at a brace. After the blessing we are given rest and we may talk and remove our hats and put them under the chair, but we still have to

[Page 2] sit away from the back of the chair. The upperclassmen are served first, then when its our turn to be served we each in turn “pop off” at a brace “Sir. Mr. Branch, sir do any of you gentlemen care for the potatoes, sir.” (Example, we do this for every dish on the table butter, salt, meat, etc.,) There are lots of questions we have to answer and other stuff to do but this is the worst.

We folded clothes all last night and this morning we had band formation drill and rifle drill. This afternoon we met our faculty advisers. Mine is Lt. Carrington, a math teach, he is in charge of about ten boys which come to him for answers pertaining to academic problems. Studied Blue Book also this afternoon. It is a book of regulations. We drew the heavy wool uniforms today. They look good. They are the

[Page 3]
kind with the high black collars. The only thing I don’t like here is the fact we change clothes so much. Six times today, more yesterday. We wear cotton grey uniforms now with black hats they are nice, but the things we change into are hot, dirty and make us seem like convicts. They are the green fatigues. Once classes start though we won’t wear them much.

There are only about eight boys in the barracks tonight. Everybody has gone into town. I may go tomorrow night. I shot a couple of games of cue and took a bath. Am in bed now. Go to bed on regular nights at 10:45 and get up at 6:15. Took a tour of the campus also every cadet had to try out for the choir, I probably made it. It looks hopeful. I don’t won’t [sic] to be in it though, and I don’t

[Page 4]
have to. The tour we took was a good one saw all the sights on the campus.

The money is holding up fine. Still have three dollars left, but this is Friday. We have had to buy lots of cleaning equipment that’s what I spent most of it for. Didn’t have to pay for mattress cover. Send Daddy’s bath [clacks] some of the boys have them. (Don’t rush about it)

Five days and not but one letter. Write soon.

Your son,


Fanning, James C., “Letter from James C. Fanning to his family, September 23, 1949,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed December 2, 2022, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/523.