Letter from Robert Emmet Gribbin to his sister Mary, March 6, 1903


Letter from Robert Emmet Gribbin to his sister Mary, March 6, 1903


Robert Emmet Gribbin, 1887-1976, graduated from The Citadel in 1906. His collection in The Citadel Archives includes letters written to his mother and two sisters in Blackville, South Carolina during his first two years as a cadet. A selection of these letters have been digitized and transcribed for this website. The full collection can be viewed at The Citadel Archives in Charleston, South Carolina.




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Robert Emmet Gribbin Cadet Letters










Charleston (S.C.)

Date Valid


[Page 1]


Charleston, S.C.

March 6, 1903

Dear Mary,

I received your letter Thursday. Please excuse paper as I have no better but will get some better soon. I remember that I forgot to thank you for asking about sending violets, I cannot thank you enough for remembering me but as we have not mantels or bureaus to place the violets on and I would have to put them in the back part of my press I would not get much fragrance and I can appreciate the intentions and the thoughtfulness of you by writing me a nice long letter. My marks are a follows French 14, Physics 11.5 & Math 10. I have not heard from English yet but those three marks give me an mark average of 11.5. My average on Math for 5 mos

[Page 2]

Is 7.6 so you see I am alright yet. At present I study the same French, Thwing’s Elementary Physics, West’s Elements of English Grammar & Milne’s Plane & Solid Geometry.

The Geometry is brown colored and about the size of my old Algebra. We started it Monday and in 5 days have went over nearly 20 propositions including definitions. It seems right hard but I try to study it out.

On Wednesday night on account of a fine play, Flora Dora, leave was given to the corps and out of about 60 men in our company only 7 staid [sic] in. I was among those seven. I staid [sic] in to study Geometry and reviewed what I have been over.

To be able to study longer I got 1st Sergeant and Inspector of barracks for that night so I would have a light until 11 o’clock. You see I am doing my best to make good marks. Maj. Bond teaches us Geometry.

I did not tell you about parade on the 23rd of February because I did not think it of enough importance. From after guard-mounting

[Page 3]

(8:25 A.M.) until 2. P.M. we had leave that day. At 2 P.M. we went into dinner and after we came out we dressed for inspection. We had to put on dress clothes & leggings. We marched out on the green about 2:45 P.M. and we together with the 3rd regiment were inspected by Adj. & Insp Gen. Frost. He was well pleased with the appearance of cadets & condition of guns of the corpt. After the inspection we led parade composed of our battalion, the Porter Cadets & 3rd regiment down King through Hasell down Meeting around East Battery where the parade was dismissed. We marched back through Broad & up Meeting.

One boy was put under arrest for smiling at a girl while he was in ranks.

Today we had the regular dress parade. You have no idea how the people turn out to see it.

When Miss Birdie comes back I want you

[Page 4]

me a sheet marked like this:  Gribbin

A is the company and 1 A-1

is for the 1st corporal who counts our clothes. There is to be a lecture tomorrow night by Maj. J Colton Synes on “Woman”. He has lectured before on this but has been asked to lecture on it again.

I had my measure taken today for khaiki [sic] & duck. We will wear campaign hats in place of shakos. 

How do like Mr. Martin? Do you like him as well as Johnny Mac?

We have studing [sic] in Grammar or at least in connection with it Phonetics. Phonetics is sure hard. Didn’t you study it at Winthrop. I do not wear my glasses except while I study. I got 1 ½ merits last week as I thought, but this week two reports have been entered against me. One was wearing soiled gloves on drill, another was not carrying piece properly on drill.  

No! I did not see Mrs. Beckman. I do no go out anywhere now on Sunday evenings as I can study better for Monday then.

[Page 5]

There is a new Rat here from Augusta by the name of Walker. Boys or at least some of them cannot tell us apart.

You seem very solicitous about my funds and I think you must have X-Ray to be able to tell the condition of my pocket. However I thank you for asking about my funds as you surmised [sic] about right. Thank you for those stamps as they came in the right time.

Hope Mamma’s arm is better. Tell her to be sure and write whenever she can.  How are the cows getting on and does Willie still carry the milk?

Remember me to the boys  - and all inquiring friends.

Hoping to hear from you soon. I will close now your little brother,

  1. Emmet Gribbin

P.S. When Miss Birdie comes be sure & send some grub.


Gribbin, Robert Emmet, 1887-1976, “Letter from Robert Emmet Gribbin to his sister Mary, March 6, 1903,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed October 4, 2023, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/856.