7th Letter: Bang Went a Cannon (October 16, 1861)

Oct. 16, 1861

October 16, 1861: page 1

October 16, 1861: page 1

I rcd your welcome letters to day, + as I have an opportunity of sending it tomorrow I will write as I do not believe half our letters will reach their destination by mail.  I had not rcd any before in over a month.

I am just tolerably well at present, having suffered a great deal from cold and sore throat, but I think I will be clear of it in a day or so.  Dick Shaw is complaining to day, though generally there is not much sickness in our company at present at this time.

Image source of

Click image to view source of “Blockade of the Potomac” cannon.

We have had no more marching scince the last trip, of which I spoke in a letter by Doak.  About day light this morning cannon commenced firing at the River and for 3/4 hour as fast as you could count- and we expected to march every minute, but the Yankees did not land and I don’t believe they are going to try, though We do not know at what minute we may be called to march.

Image source of Confederate mess mates: http://www.rourscivilwar.com/food.html

Click image to view source of Confederate mess mates.

I hardly know what to write as we are confined here in certain limits and never here any news and know nothing only what is going on just around us. We have six in our mess, every man does his own washing, but there is two to cook each meal. I am on the dinner Relief. Can make very good corn and wheat bread- beff hash, coffee + +. though half the time We cannot get enough meat to make our own bread greasy, our rations of bacon gave out and we have to fall back on the beef.  I made Rice Pudding yesterday for dinner, which I pronounced good as it was the first we had had.

We have a very nice bed to sleep on, considering the make, by putting four forks in the ground and arranging pine poles accordingly. and then pilling on a great supply of pine leaves and blankets which last article I am in need of though I spoke of it in letter by Doak.

I want a good brown or Grey lined with some thiner material and one other doublet- if can be had. I reckon I will get socks and drawers in a few days.  I suppose they are boxed.

October 16, 1861: page 2

October 16, 1861: page 2

We rcd our letters today from Ivan by a visitor.

Bang went a cannon just then down on the River.  I suppose our battery was let loose again on the Yankee vessels. During the time I was writing the above two lines not less than a dozen fired, and still they continue, but we have become used to that sound, and are ready to march at a moments warning if necessary.

I must close for want of something to write. Give my respects to all enquiring friends and receive a portion for yourself. It is now Roll Call, and lights put out directly after.

Write as often as  possible.

P M Buford

Tell Mary Jane I will write to her in a  day or two.

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