There two letters are interesting in that they show the typical initial wave of enthusiasm experienced when enlisting in the U.S. Navy and eventual decision to leave the U.S. Navy prior to the enlistment running out. This same type of reaction would have been typical of that experienced by many men who signed up for service during the war. Serving in the military, as they soon found out, was not all glory and action, but was generally a somewhat boring, if strenuous, routine.
The CHICAGO did not see service during the war. The VERMONT was a receiving ship, an old wooden ship-of-the-line used as a floating dormitory for men awaiting assignment.
The YOSEMITE did see action, but
Timperley may not have been aboard at that time. The YOSEMITE
was at League Island (where the second letter was written from) from
August 31 to September 1, 1899 and then again beginning on September 22,
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Dear Mother, -
I have enlisted in the U.S. Navy as Electrician for one year or untill after the war but I don't want you to think any thing of it for its possible that I won't see any fighting I was down the coast for a few days on the "STRANGER" a small dispatch boat but we got back last night and will be at Brooklyn N Yards untill the first of the week when think they will send me with one of the boats in Watson's fleet or possibly will stay here for the CHICAGO which is a fine boat but will not be ready for a few weeks Was sorry that I couldn't stop over when I went through there but it was impossible
Tell Jennie to write me a short note telling if that package that I left at the Depot there and the one sent from Erie also the one sent from here were received O.K.
don't say much about me being in the Navy untill I write again for by that time I will be assigned to some boat
I do not have to eat with the crew so I will get along here quite well. The captain of the VERMONT has been quite a friend to me but do not think will stay here for more than a year every night that I am at the Navy Yards can go over to New York so will be quite well acquainted round here if stay long.
Don't forget to have Jennie write telling me if my things arrived safe The pen is horrible and the boat I am on rocks badly
Hope you are all well as this leaves me
Good Bye for few days.
My address for few days.
E Clyde Timperley
c/o VERMONT Brooklyn Navy Yards
League Island 29/98
Dear Fred. -
As some of the boys have received their discharge in answer to their applications of a few days ago I have this day forwarded one approved by the Chief Engineer to the Navy Dept. so with your help think it will come O.K. wish you would have Ada send my gray pants and light weight blue coat one if it is so I can wear it send them by first Express "The American" have it sent collect so they will hold it for me let Ada or one of the girls get them off on first train I may be waiting for them and then they may stay in Express office a week I am quite well hope all there the same
Love to Mother the girls and Nellie
P.S. Send package to Philadelphia Pa
League Island, Pa
c/o U.S.S. YOSEMITE
Our Express office address
E. C. Timperley to be called for