David J. Castleman letter to Mary Pride Jones, 22 November 1918
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The signal to man the guns was given several times, but they were false alarms. I'll never forget that ominous long single blast of the whistle! I hear them here in port every day & night & each time I think of those occasions. There was never any confusion or disorder; everyone got his life belt & quietly went to his assigned station. The first occasion was on a Sunday afternoon. One of the cannons fired & then the long mournful blast of the whistle. The thing happened so suddenly that no one knew whether it was a torpedo or the gun. All we knew was that there was a great crash & then the signal. We left N.Y. a few minutes before 6 P.M. 24th, and arrived in Halifax the following Thursday, where we stayed until Jan. 3rd. We were there during that bitter cold weather, One morning we were lowered to the water in the life boats & then we rowed about for a half-hour. I thought I'd freeze. The boats were so crowded that one could hardly budge. I thought to myself at the