Letter from James C. Fanning to his family, October 6, 1949


Letter from James C. Fanning to his family, October 6, 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]
Thursday morning

Dear Mother, Daddy and Sandy,

Classes start in a half an hour so I may finish this later in the day.

There isn’t much happening around here except studying, shining, and drilling.

Tuesday there wasn’t much doing except that that I mentioned.

Yesterday we had our first dri parade it was very pretty, but the upperclassmen said it was very sorry compared with the ones they had last year. The band sounds good anyway and we are playing some tough marches. I am the only freshman playing 1st clarinet parts. I got

[Page 2]
about two demerits yesterday for tarnished brass. You are allowed 17 a month before having to walk a tour. It is really rough around here because they have eyes like “eagles.” They are really improving my posture. Col. Williams, Asst. Commandant, the band’s attack officer or officer in charge, told them to straighten me out in my posture and they are really trying to do it, but I will do anything they say if it will keep me straight.

- - - - - After dinner. - - - - - -
We had a good dinner today. I don’t have any classes this afternoon so I may write, sleep, and go swimming. Maybe right now I can tell you a little more about the place.

After history yesterday I went swimming with Bob and

[Page 3]
Jim Black. Right before that a Mr. Benedict, who is in charge of the BSU here in Charleston came to see Bob. He is a very nice fellow. Bob is a Baptist or did I mention that.

Last night we had choir practice for about 45 min. It doesn’t bother me much for I have an easy day on Thursday, and you are quite a priviledged [sic] character on Sunday.

Today we had a test in algebra to see if we should go back to the non-credit section. It was very simple. I also had a test in MS (military science) which was fairly easy.

I got your Oct. 5 air mail letter this morning (Oct. 6), so it is rather fast. On other letters it takes about 2 days.

[Page 4]
I got the 4 dollars yesterday. Thanks.

About the flag unbraid it rom the stick and send the material. I should have mentioned this sooner, anytime you send a box always pack it full of rags - need them bad to shine stuff with.

It is hot today, it hasn’t rained for about 10 days. I am over my cold. I had a little trouble with the hospital the other day. I had a swollen finger - ingrowing [sic] finger nail (all right now) but I didn’t know what it was then - anyway I reported to sick call and they excused me from the rifle drill for the day. I reported the next day because what they did to it had made it better and I wanted

[Page 5]
to be taken off the sick list. They some how [sic] got me mixed up and reported me the next day as excused from drill. I didn’t report the next day they chased all over the campus looking for me. The nurse was very mad at me for not reporting that morning and I was all confused. She said I might get into trouble. Anyway I reported the following morning and the doctor was very apologetic about it.

It all happened over one little sore finger if you understand. I don’t believe I will be caught dead in that hospital again. It sure was a nuisance and lots of trouble. So ends that tale.

About the questions.

[Page 6]
(1) We manage our room very nicely. We meaning the upperclassmen + sometimes Bob and I.
(2) We Bob and I definitely have to clean it. Every morning has to be in a certain order, has to be swept, dusted as according to the details set down in the Blue Book (Book of Regulations)
(3) What rooms look like. [see original letter for drawing]
Good lamp on table. Yellow walls with brown trimmings.
Same layout on both sides.

[Page 7]
That is what it generally looks like. We have a definite way to fold clothes. It makes it look very good. PA self [shelf] has pictures, shaving, medicines, comb, mirror, flag in rear, etc.

The clipping on the library is very good. Send some clippings or write about the city happenings. I read in the Charleston papers about Atlanta’s all Negro radio station WERD. What happened to Judge Carpenter?

The library is very pretty. It is paneled in very dark wood and has very high ceilings.

[Page 8]
It is not only a library about the size of Carnegie cir. dept. reading room, stacks and all, but it is also a museum with school mementos. A lot better looking than Emory’s library - lots of books and magazines nice librarians. I have a job made at night when the boy quits. I probably won’t have it until next year when he leaves. The job is just checking out books and is not as involved as it was at Carnegie. You can study alot [sic] when you do it.

The swimming pool has the warmest water I have been in. It is very large. They have a lifeguard there all the time (4-6). That’s enough I guess 8 pages.

Lots of love,


Fanning, James C., “Letter from James C. Fanning to his family, October 6, 1949,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed December 2, 2022, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/529.