Letters Home: Tobe Weddle

The November 22, 1917 Skidmore News published this update from Forrest “Tobe” Weddle:

From Tobe Weddle

Charleston, S.C., Nov. 14, 1917.
To The News:
I received the News yesterday.  I was especially glad to get it – it was unusually newsy.  I am glad to know the soldier and sailor boys are so well satisfied with their lot.  Their letters are very interesting to me.

I have been out of quarantine almost a week.  I am now one of Uncle Sam’s blacksmiths; I made the rate yesterday.  I am rated from November 5th.  Congress just lately passed a bill making two classes of blacksmiths; first-class pays $77.50 and second class $61.  Uncle Sam gives us a chance to make good and is willing to pay those who can make the rate along different lines.  I am sure I can do my bit better at my trade than any line I could have taken up.

There is a demand now for men qualified for gas engineering in the aero branch of the navy.  The ordinary auto mechanic can pass this examination.

I am now in Company 7, Regiment I, Ships Company.  The company is composed of electricians, carpenters, yeoman, cooks, etc.  I am the only blacksmith.  I don’t know at present whether I will be assigned to land or sea duty.

Well, it is a little cool today; a fire would feel pretty good, but we have not put up our stove yet.  There has been light frost which damaged the late beans to some extent.

Well everything here is about the same; nothing new in particular.

The workmen are putting steam heat in the wash houses which will make them more comfortable.

We have two canteens here which are well patronized.  I have every day liberty from 1 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday liberty starts at 10:30 a.m. and lasts till 8:30 p.m.

I took a walk around Battery Park Sunday.  There are several old cannon in the park; some were taken off ships that were sunk in Charleston harbor during the Civil War and some were used in Fort Sumpter during the war.  Fort Sumpter can be seen from the battery.

Well, news is scarce at this time so I will have to close.

With best wishes to all,
Forest J. Weddle, U.S.N. Training Camp, Co. 7, Sec. 2, Reg. 1, Charleston, S.C.