Thursday, December 2, 2010

June 20th, 1862

Camp No.9 Tishomingo County, Mississippi June 20th 1862

Dear Mary,
I have just finished a letter to the boys and I don’t know as I can think of anything more to write that will be interesting, but as I am at leisure for awhile now I will try to write a little to you. I don’t know but you would like to know what I have to eat.
Well to begin with I will say that since I got my pay I have been faring sumptuously, that occasionally. To tell you the honest truth our fare before was anything but desirable. We had plenty such as it was, and so long as I done the cooking, I could fix it up in some kind of shape as I could eat it with some relish, but when my time was out, the cooking fell into hands that made it a point to get along as easily as possible. The cook we have now is a very clever young Irishman, but he can’t cook like Mollie. Now that’s a fact. What we have had for bread is hard crackers and the hardest kind of hard crackers at that, they are sometimes mouldy and sometimes we can hardly bite them. As for soaking them in coffee till they are soft is out of the question for the more we soak them the tougher they get, they are about as tough as sole leather. But for a change we have hominy and rice, which when Mike makes them into soup which he invariably does, are even worse then the hardest of the hard crackers. Then for variety we have bacon or salt beef which he boils without taking the salt off of it, and if we have fresh beef he boils it without salt. Then we have coffee, sweetened, but without cream which is miserable stuff generally. This I believe constitutes our bill of fare till we got to buying for ourselves.
Since I have been paid off, I have bought butter such as I would not think of tasting at home and called it good. We can buy good bread and cheese, but it comes high and I have to make a little do, dried apples and peaches are tolerable cheap and now I have one or the other everyday. But there is a prospect now of our living better. Our quartermaster took flour in the place of hard crackers the last time he drew rations and we are getting it baked up in shares. One of our contrabands has gone after the first batch of bread and we are expecting him back so that we can have some for supper.
Fruit is also getting ripe such as plums, blackberries, and raspberries, and if I can manage to get sugar I can live well. Occasionally I go out before light and draw a little milk and somehow or other a pig comes into camp. Some of the boys have been drawing on old Whitfield’s potato patch, but I guess he has just a veto on that by digging them or rather having his darkie women dig them. When we came here he had one trusty old slave, but a week ago today, he sent him to mill and he has not got back yet. That’s all together too bad, he was kind enough to let Beauregard have all but one, and now to think that he should be so ungrateful as to run off and leave him with all the work to do, its too bad ,too bad. But I expect some of the sympathizers of Rebellion up there in the Union will say the black abolitionists run him off, well I wouldn’t wonder nor I wouldn’t think they have done anything wrong by doing so.
June 21st,
Dear Mary,
I resume my pen this morning to write a little more. My days guard duty is over and I shall have nothing to do till afternoon, only what I choose to do for myself. I think of doing up my washing. Mollie , so far I have endeavored to keep myself clean and free from vermin and I have succeeded beyond all expectations. I don’t think I have had a louse of any kind about my person since I came into the service. A good many of the men can hardly believe it, but such is the fact. If all the troops would try to keep themselves clean, I think there would be no need of getting loused.
Another contraband came in this morning. Last Sunday he went to see his wife and while he was there he visited a Yankee camp. When his master found out about it he got very wrathy (angry) and was going to lash him for it, but if he does he will have to come into our camp to do it and then he can have all the lashing he desires.
Well Mollie, I don’t know how soon I shall be home, but I think it will not be long before a good many of the troops will be discharged and I think that I stand as good a chance to be discharged as anybody. I hope that Tooley will see that the wheat is cut in season and properly taken care of. I want you all to write and let me know how you get along and what for a visit you had down to Darby. How Ernest is getting along and whether he is pretty well contented or not.

I remain truly and affectionately your husband,
C. M. Adams

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