Letters Home: Cecil Phipps

Today we bring you a letter from a former Nodaway resident.  From the February 28, 1918 Skidmore News, page 5:

Polson Lad Likes Service.

Fort Worden, Wash., Dec. 30, 1917.

Flathead Courier, Polson, Mont.

Dear sirs:

Having Sunday off, I decided to write you a letter.  I am assigned to the 4th Co. Puget Sound, Coast Artillery, stationed at Fort Worden, Washington.  As there are over 100 in our company and the majority are recruits the old members have their hands full training us.  We also have a detail of about 30 National Army men.  Owing to the rush only a few have received any clothing and equipment.

I have had only about one week’s drill in the three I have been in.  But we all expect considerable increase after the first of the year.  At the most, army life is not as severe as I expected it to be.

This is our schedule:  first call 7:00 a.m.; breakfast 7:30 a.m.; drill 8:00 a.m.; recall 11:00 a.m.; dinner 12:00 noon; drill 1:00 p.m.; recall 3:00 p.m.; supper 5:30 p.m.; all lights out at 9:00 p.m.

We are well fed considering the rush of everything.  This was our Christmas dinner:  turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, gravy, celery, bread and butter, coffee cake, pumpkin and mince pies, cranberry sauce, an apple, oranges, and a cup of candy and nuts.  At other times we always have plenty of meat, beans, potatoes, bread, coffee and pie, pudding or sauce.

Each soldier received from the Red Cross a package of sweets, writing material, games etc.  We were also treated at the Xmas tree placed in the Post Exchange Gymnasium.  We are also given a free picture show each night except Tuesday.  There is a reading and recreation room in each barracks.  So you see we have plenty of amusement.  For variety we are allowed to go to Port Townsend just one and a half miles from here any holiday or evening we wish.

As tomorrow is muster everything has to be scrubbed from top to bottom.

So far I do not regret enlisting and am most certainly glad I did not wait for the draft.

At Spokane, Montana had more than three quarters of the enlistments.  Hooray for Montana!  It has surely done well by itself.

With best regards to all, I remain, Yours truly, Cecil G. Phipps.  4th Co. Puget Sound C.  A. C., Fort Worden, Wash.

The above letter was handed to us by Mrs. Millie Eib, aunt of Mr. Phipps and as he was raised in the vicinity of Lower Elkhorn, no doubt it will be read with interest by his friends.