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

5th Letter: Antibilious Pills, Hucksters, and Whiskey (October 9, 1861)

Camp Fisher Oct 9th 1861

Mr S Luckie

Dear Sir.

October 9, 1861: page 1

October 9, 1861: page 1

As I have an opportunity of sending a letter by Mr. Wilkins. I thought I would take advantage of it and send you a few lines.

It has been at least three weeks since I rcd a letter from any of you. I can not see why it is that I do not get your letters for I am fool enough to believe that you all write oftener than that. Mr. Paine is the only that rcs letters from the Hill with any thing like Regularity.

Click image to view source.

As usual I have nothing of interest to write. I was quite sick two days last week with cold and fever. I took a dose of Antibilious pills which set me all right. I am now in fine health and doing fine in all respects with the exception of our eatables- which are few and far between, though we get things from Huxsters sometimes- which helps out considerably- but we have have to pay double price for almost everything we get.

Our Regt went down to the batteries one evening last week and lay on the ground all night + went back next morning. + and I think it probable we will have to go back in a few days.

Click image to listen to "Think of Your Head in the Morning."

Click image to listen to “Think of Your Head in the Morning.”

Gen Whiting gave orders that if any civilian was caught selling whiskey in this Brigade to tie him up and give him 39 lashes with a Waggon whip well laid on. I know it is not generally the case to run down a company or Regt in ones own Brigade- But there is one Reg in ours that bears off the palm vis- the 1st Tennessee. I have no doubt but they will do good fighting- but they are a rough set certain. Some of the them to my certain knowledge has sold whiskey in this Reg for 11$ per quart. and I think they ought to have about 40.

October 9, 1861: page 2

October 9, 1861: page 2

I would like to know when I will get my clothes. You must be certain to send a blanket or two if you can get them. and I don’t reckon a pr good brown pants would go amiss- for one pair that I started with are literally no account. the pr like my coat. My overcoat is the very thing for cold and rainy weather.

Give my best respects to all the family. Tell Ma I will write to her next and Mary Jane to answer my letter as soon as possible. Write soon yours.


P M Buford

P.S. About two hours after sealing this I rcd Ma’s letter. Tell her I will answer it as soon as I can conveniently. P.M.B

Blogger’s Notes:

  1. It appears Mr. Wilkins hand-carried this letter to Parham’s family.  Who is Mr. Wilkins?  Parham serves in the “Lamar Rifles” with Newton B. Wilkins, occasionally referring to him in letters as Newt.  Mr. Wilkins was possibly Newt himself who, according to Lamar Rifles: A History of Company G, Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, C.S.A., enlisted at age twenty-three while single and a clerk at Oxford, Mississippi; was severely wounded on the last day of Gettysburg; and died in Richmond in August of 1863 from effects of wound in right shoulder.
  2. Newt should not be confused with Walter Buford’s father, whom Parham calls Uncle Newton or Uncle Newt.
  3. Parham indicated Mr. Paine is the only that rcs letters from the Hill with any thing like Regularity.  Mr. Paine was possibly David B. Paine who, according to the before mentioned referenceenlisted at age twenty-one while single and a student at College Hill, Mississippi; was mortally wounded at Battle of Gaines’s Mill; and died at a field hospital on June 27, 1862.