The Michael Lang Letters
Letter 5

Praised be Jesus Christ!

      Since I was still in South America and now 21 years old, I remembered that back in Russia every male at the age of 21 was required to appear at the draft board. I was in a quandary--should I go to back to Russia or should I remain in South America. After due deliberation I decided to write to my dear parents and ask them for a decisive answer. After a short delay they thought it best for me to return home to Russia and take out my identification papers. This happened in August 191O. In October of the same year I received my verification papers and was classified with those fit for military duty. In November about 2 years and 1 month later, I had to leave home. This was a hard blow. The three years of drill and study were not so hard because I had pictured to myself the woes and  hardships of the wars. But now "Lord Thy Will be Done” no matter what happens.

      My assignment was Tiflis in Warsaw Russia, a place so strange to me and the food was of the poorest. How I missed ??????? Russia where I had the best of everything. Then, too the 3 months of hard study as young soldier before we were sworn in. After that they selected a few of us for minor officers and of course they didn’t miss me. That meant 8 more months of hard study very much worse than the first three. At that time I was drilling with canons which then were drawn by horses. This necessitated drilling with horses and gymnastics very much harder than the daily dozen. The officer in charge read the drill and then called for volunteers to do it. Since many of the soldiers were afraid of falling either to death or of breaking arm or leg I was generally the first to do the trick. Once it was just a month before the examination we had to drill with a horse. When my turn came along inspite of my love for horses this one was the limit. The officer held the horse by a rope and it reared and pluged and I was supposed to jump on. At the propitious moment I jumped on but the horse lurched and I fell off on the other side, and struck my ankle so hard that I thought I had broken a bone. I was wheeled through the town to the hospital in a two wheel cart. The pain was terrific. I suffered intensely from the jolting of the cart, however that the thought to be hospitalized wasn't so bad as the thought of the examination just a month away and all my hard studying and drilling would be in vain. But it turned out differently. Again "Man proposes and God disposed”. After 3 weeks I was released from the hospital and I passed my examination and was then known as Lieutenant or Captain. My great pleasure was that all the hard drilling and
Learning was over-- a thing or the past.

Michael Lang
Michael Lang
(World War I)

      Not long after however we received word that there was an insurrection in Russia and that our soldiers with the canons and a whole division must go and restore peace. We started afoot or on horseback with all our belongings and after a 3 day march arrived in Persia in 1912. Rumors of dead and wounded soldiers had reached so we placed our canons around the town, and sent a notification to the Persians that unless they would surrender they would be canonaded. The Envoy raised the white flag and we entered the town peacefully. A great pleasure for the soldiers. We remained there 2 months and then returned to Tiflis. My duties as captain were not hard but anyone who has never experienced the heartaches and longings of homesickness cannot know what it means to suffer it. How I longed and waited for the time of release and dismissal. This story for the next time.

The dear Lord bless you all. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Lang and Katarine Lang and Family.

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