Re-Enlistment and Furlough

Confederate Muster Roll documenting Parham's re-enlistment

Confederate Muster Roll documenting Parham’s re-enlistment on February 10, 1862

Parham wrote I suppose you have heard some talk of the 60 day furloughs to his sister, Mary, on December 30, 1861.  Wrestling with the decision on whether or not to take the furlough, Parham wrote several weeks later on January 21, 1862 that he would wait to hear his parents view on the subject.

A Confederate Muster Roll, with Parham’s signature of acceptance, makes it clear that he decided on the matter.  Documented in military records, it shows he re-enlisted at Camp Fisher, Va, and furloughed Feb. 10, 1862.  The Muster Role also indicates the bounty due was $50 for re-enlisting and that his term of service was extended for two years.

Immediately upon re-enlisting, Parham took a brief furlough to visit his family in College Hill, Mississippi.  What was it like for Parham during his furlough?  Did he sit around the dinner table with family, enjoying every bite of the home cooked meals?  Did he sit in the pews of College Hill Presbyterian Church again for Sunday worship service?  Did he walk the streets of Oxford and vicinity with friends? Did he contemplate if this would be the last time he would see and experience his childhood home of College Hill?

Click image to listen to "Take Me Home."

Click image to listen to “Take Me Home.”

The next blog post will be a letter Parham wrote home on March 31, 1862 about his safe arrival to a different camp near Fredericksburg, Virginia.  The Blockade of the Potomac had ended, and the Peninsula Campaign had begun.

Sixteen days after writing of safe arrival, the Confederate government passed the Conscription Act, a draft which required all healthy white men between the ages of 18 and 35 to a three-year term of service.  The Act also extended the terms of enlistment for all one-year soldiers to three-years, granting the 60 days of furlough to those with extended enlistment terms.

 

 

Advertisements

14th Letter: Delirium Tremens (December 30, 1861)

Camp Fisher

Dec 30th 1861

Dear Sister

I rcd your welcome letter a few days since which afforded me great pleasure.

Photo Source of George W. Hope:

Photo Source of George W. Hope: “Lamar Rifles: A History of Company G, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A.”

I have a chance of sending this to you by George Hope who is discharged, though I do not fell much like writing to night as I have been hard at work all day and fell very much fatigued, not knowing untill a few minutes ago that he was going to start so soon.

This leaves all in very good health except Newt and. Myself who have a very bad colds. One of our Regt died last week with the Mania Portu, the one death that we have had in the Regt for over a month.

December 30, 1861: page 1

December 30, 1861: page 1

It was thought for for two or three days since, that we would have a fight here but it has died out as usual and I do not beleive we will have one untill I am in it, though there is not a passes but you can hear the roar of cannon on the River, but I have never seen yet what good it has done, though I may not be the proper judge.

We have just finished repairing our house. It was a flat roof, and inferior boards. Last week it rained quite hard- and it was all he we could do to keep ourselves and chattels dry. We pitched in and made more boards and put a very respectable roof. The whole Regt is very comfortably quartered now, and I think we will stay here untill Spring.

December 30, 1861: page 2

December 30, 1861: pages 2 and 3

I suppose you have heard some talk of the 60 day furloughs Some of our company will take it, and a great many will not, and I think I will be among that number. I will serve my time out and I if I fell like reenlisting then I can do so.

I drew 50$ the other day and I will let send you 5$ for Pocket change.

I want you to send me a strip of Sand Paper in your next letter to I want it to polish some rings, none can be had here,

The drum is now beating for “lights out” and I must close. Give my love to all and tell the old folds folks that I will write to them soon.

You must burn this as soon as you read it and then answer. Yrs truly

PMBu


Blogger’s Notes:

  • It appears George W. Hope hand-carried this letter to Parham’s family.  George W. Hope enlisted April 26, 1861. Born in Mississippi, a student, single and 20 years old. According to Lamar Rifles: A History of Company G, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A., he was discharged…by reason of accidental wound through left wrist. [After recovery he reenlisted in the 30th Mississippi and did gallant service for his country in that command.  Was killed at battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn.].
  • Parham writes one of our Regt died last week with the Mania Portu.  He is referring to mania-a-portu, also known as delirium tremens.

13th Letter: Corn Dodger and Broiled Fat Bacon for Breakfast (December 5, 1861)

Camp Fisher

Dec. 5th, 1861

Dear Mother,

Dec 5 1861 1:2

December 5, 1861: page 1

I rcd yours of the 23rd abt two days ago, as also a short note from Mary Jane. I was glad to hear that you all were in moderate health, except Virginia, who I hope has recovered this reaches you.

I have had the Diarrehea quite bad for two days, but am now well, though that is a common complaint here in camps. The health of our Regt is better now than at any time since I have been in it.

For the last two weeks we have had some severe weather in the shape of rain, snow- sleet and freezes, though yesterday and reminds me of Spring.

Dec 5 1861 2:2

December 5, 1861: page 2

If nothing happens we will be ready to move into our House tomorrow. I think we can live in it very comfortably all winter if we stay here. It is a very neat cabbin with the exception of the floor. Most of the Regt have already have already built, and the rest are hard at now.

As for war news I am flat, for I can hear nothing from no source whatever. It is still thought by some that we will have a fight here yet but I can see nothing to make one believe it. If the Yankees on the Occoquan intend to attack us, it seems to me that now is a good a time as any, If attacked we will suffer, but I am confident of victory.

Mary Jane said that the cal cavalry company at the Hill and some of the Home Guard were going to Columbus Kty. If they have gone you must let me know, who went from the Hill.

Click image to view recipe "Gritty Corn Dodgers" by Lorraine Thompson.

Click image to view recipe for “Gritty Corn Dodgers” by Lorraine Thompson.

We had something nice for breakfast this morning in the shape of Corn Dodger. It certainly did taste sweeter than ever wheat Bread did after doing without  a month or two. It has been over two months scince I tasted any. I never was as tired of beef and flour in my life. I have not eat(en added in pencil) any of the former in a week, preferring a piece of fat Bacon slightly broiled. We have had no sugar for two weeks until yesterday.

If you can get a chance send me some nick nacks for you have no idea how they do go here. Catsup – Pickles – some raw onions for hash – Pepper – Butter. Potatoes, +++. Anything that you can send and know that I would. like.

I wrote to the old Man (old Man scratched out and Mr L written above in pencil), the other day by Isom. which I hope he rcd. I must close. for the present. Wishing to hear from you soon I remain your devoted son P M Buford

12th Letter: Log Cabins and Hog Drives (November 30 – December 1, 1861)

Nov 30 1861

Mr. S Luckie                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     L.No. 2.

Dear Sir,

I will number my letters from this time on. You can know how many of them arrive. Mary’s was numbered. 1.  You must do the same.

Photo Source of Ad Isom: http://www.11th-miss.com/roster.htm

Photo Source of Ad Isom: http://www.11th-miss.com/roster.htm

As Ad Isom has at last concluded to go home, I thought I would send you a few lines – if for no more than to let you all know that I was enjoying good  health.  I sent a letter to Mary Jane last week and one to Ma, the week before, which I hope they rcd, as they were sent by hand. There is less sickness in our company now than any time since I have been in it. One of the company returned yesterday from Warrenton. He says that Walter is improving very fast, and will return shortly to camp. George Hope was gut sick last week with the Jaundice, but is now well or nearly so. Dick Shaw has been grunting for a day or two. There is not much excitement now in camp, though they have been telling us for the last 3 weeks that we would have a fight, but it has not come off yet, nor at present do I see any signs of it, except stopping of a road with trees, that leads from the River to this place.

November 30, 1861: page 1

November 30, 1861: page 1

Last Tuesday I was on guard, and while at the guard House I heard the Col, give the orders for the companies to fall in with their guns and cartridge boxes. I thought there was something exciting on hand, and I was anxious to go with the company, which I could not do, unless the Officers of the day released the whole guard, about 60 in number. We tried him, but told us there was no fight on hand and for us to be contented. The Guard is never released unless in cases of that kind. Gen Whiting had just took a notion to drill the Brigade a spell, about 2 miles from Camp.

November 30, 1861: page 2

November 30, 1861: page 2

I don’t think I will mind anything much in the military line this winter, but standing guard. Up to this time we have never been allowed to sit down or stand by a fire, while on guard duty, and if that is the case this winter, you may listen for hard times comin(g), though I think I can stand it, as well as any, from my experience so far. We have had a little snow, sleet, heavy frosts, hard winds, freeses, and every thing that constitutes a winter except hail. and still the weather is very changeable.

Image Source:  Library of Congress

Image Source of Confederate Winter Quarters: Library of Congress

I spoke of the rcpt of my goods in the other letters, but for fear they did not receive them I will do so again. I have got(ten) all that you have ever mentioned, as also my Over Coat, which I found in the company, the one that had it not knowing the owner. My boots are rather large, but all the better, as I can wear two pr socks. with them. I have enough of clothing for the present. About half of this Regt have built log cabins. not knowing how long we will stay here.  Our two messes went to work two days ago and erected two cabins. Paid  about 15 cts a piece for the hauling of the logs. To day we made enough bolts of timber (without any saw) to make the boards. We intended to cover with dirt, but there was a hard rain last night, and we saw that some of them leaked. We can finish in another day.

Slices-of-Cooked-Bacon-iStock

Did Parham and his comrades eat bacon shortly after the hog drive?

We were interrupted in our work yesterday by a little circumstance that made me feel quite tired and hungry. The evening before our company only had rcd orders to get supper early and prepare one meal victuals, and be ready to march by sundown. We put breakfast in our haversacks and started about dark. I was then raining and very muddy. We went about a quarter, when the order was countermanded and we came back to camp. We were going about 7 miles down on the River to get some confiscated property, belonging to a Virginia Yankee that had left.  Next morning we were ordered to fall in and try it again, I happened to be off at the time, and when I came in they were about starting + I did not have time to get anything to eat. We got there about 11 OClock, finding the farm situated in sight of the River and the Bay of Occoquan.  Beside ours there was one company from each Regt, the expedition being commanded by a Major. I suppose they thought the Yankees might come over if we did not have a good force. Besides a large lot of horses, cows, sheep and hogs, there was were turnips, sweet potatoes, and about 500 bushels Irish potatoes, put in suppose for the Washington market, but they are gone by the board now, as our little Brigade are roasting them daily. I made by my dinner of roasted potatoes, not liking to ask of the boys that had carried it so far. Some were detailed to drive the hogs. I to load the waggons. The Hog Tail men had to stay there all night, getting in to day. We got back about dark.

November 30, 1861: page 3

November 30, 1861: page 3

I will note the prices of some things here so that you can tell how much we stingy fellows buy. Fresh Pork is 15 cts, butter 75.  Chickens, 40 apples 75 per dozen, tallow candles from 10 to 20 cts a piece. + + O + so on, the most extravagant I ever heard of. If you can get a chance, send me some little nick nacks, butter, potatoes. Peppersauce Onions and Pepper + + +.  The Three or four of the boys in our mess have rcd boxes of that kind and I don’t want to spunge on them.

November 30, 1861: page 4

November 30, 1861: page 4

I must close, as I am nearly froze(n), not knowing that Ad would start in the morning until after dark. Tell Uncle Newt I will answer his letter first opportunity. You can let ma read this. I will answer hers also. Give my love to all the family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as possible I remain yours truly. PM Buford

In the morning Nov 31st Dec 1st. Ad has concluded to wait untill. Monday. (Cannon, at our batteries I suppose opened this morning on some vessel firing 48 times).  I will have time to

Respt,

PM Buford


Blogger’s Notes:

  • It appears A. (Ad) Dudley Isom hand-carried this letter to Parham’s family.  Ad enlisted April 26, 1861. Born in Mississippi, a farmer, single and 24 years old. Discharge of disability December 1861 and reenlisted March 1862. Killed at Gettysburg 1863.
  • Parham mentions George Hope was gut sick…with the Jaundice.  George W. Hope enlisted April 26, 1861. Born in Mississippi, a student, single and 20 years old. Discharged December 1861 from accidental wound and later killed at Murfreesboro with the 30th Mississippi Infantry.
  • The log cabins constructed may have been similar to those within the above image of nearby 1861-1862 Confederate winter quarters in Centerville, Virginia.