We are grateful to those who are serving our country and are stationed far from home this holiday season. December 1917 brought many letters home to Skidmore from her boys. This one arrived from Emmett Littler and was printed in the December 27, 1917 Skidmore News:
From Emmett Littler
Philadelphia, Pa., Dec. 23, 1917
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Shell, Skidmore, Mo.
Dear Folks: I got back to the yards last Monday and have been drilling and working around the dock and yard. Came up town yesterday at four o’clock and will have to be back at seven in the morning. Had a dandy time last night had a good picture show here at the club and sandwiches and coffee, cheese, pickles, celery and apples for lunch. Went to bed around midnight and didn’t get up till after eleven this morning.
Went over to the Y.M.C.A. after dinner and read awhile and then another fellow and I went to the Independence hall and looked over the old curios which consisted of Civil and Revolutionary war relics also Indian trophies. The building is where the Declaration of Independence was drawn and signed. Here too is the old Liberty bell which is cracked on one side. This is a very interesting display and if I am here long enough am going to pay it another visit when I can take my time and go all through the building. I couldn’t begin to name all the interesting things here so will not try to.
Saw tomahawks, stone hatchets, flint lock pistols and rifles, swords worn by the British and American generals. Among them was the one worn by Anthony Wayne, pieces of wood and a chair made from the elm tree under which Washington took command of the army.
This is the greatest city I was ever in. There are more jogs than anything else in the main part of the city. I am getting so I can go most any place now.
Wish I could stay here the balance of my cruise, but am expecting to be sent out any time now.
I understand the most of us will get a 48 hour leave from the yard Christmas.
Well it is almost church time so I will bring this to a close hoping you all have a good time Xmas and wishing you all a happy New Year, I am,
Russell Littler, League Island Navy Yard, Barracks No. 238, Philadelphia, Pa.