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

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8th Letter: Schooners and War Ships (October 20, 1861)

Camp Fisher Oct 20th 1861

Dear Mother,

Oct. 20 pt 1

October 20, 1861: page 1

I rcd yours and sisters [appears “the old mans” has been ripped off and “sisters” penciled in, possibly in another hand] letters two days ago which afforded me the greatest pleasure.

I have no news of importance to communicate.  We are hemed [sic] up here and never hear news, nor know anything only what is going on just around us.

I am enjoying good health at present having entirely recovered from the cold I had.  Newt and Dick are both complaining, but not very sick.  There is not much sickness in our Regiment at this time.  Though one died yesterday.

UnknownOur Battery on the River captured two schooners, loaded with Hay, Whiskey, and Corn. They also injured the War Vessle [sic] Pawnee, and thought she would sink if she did not get help soon. They have fired on our Batteries several times, but have done no damage yet.

It is thought we will have a fight pretty soon up about Mannassa [sic], but it is all conjecture, no privates know anything in these wars.  We now have orders to be prepared to march at a moments warning. We may march to morrow [sic] and may be a week, no one knows.

We got our cooking utensils last week and now doing our own cooking. I can make very good [“good” written in pencil, possibly in another hand] bread, good coffee, good stake [sic]. One of our mess has sent to Richmond for a negro– though I do not know [“know” written in pencil, possibly in another hand] whether he will come or not.

The Shaw boys rcd their winter goods yesterday all safe and sound.  Mine has not yet come, though I am not in need of them just now.

October 20, 1861: page 2

October 20, 1861: page 2

I must close for want of something to write. Tell Mary Jane and the [appears torn from page, possibly said “old man”] I will write to them soon.  Give my best respects to all the family and receive a portion for yourself. I remain as ever your devoted son.

P M Buford

6th Letter: The Missing Overcoat (October 12, 1861)

Damfries Va

Oct 12th 1861

Dear Mother.

October 12, 1861: page 1 right

October 12, 1861: page 1 right

I have written two letters home since I heard from any of you, and now as I have an opportunity I will write you a few lines.

I have been in camps two weeks and have enjoyed good health so far, though I had a severe rising on my lip which troubled me two or three days. The mumps have been in our company for 3 weeks, but as yet I have escaped them. There is not much sickness in our Brigade at this time.

I suppose you rcd my letter speaking of the march we made. Scince that time we were called out again, expecting to meet the enemy, and again disappointed. We went about 3 miles, then returned to camp, and now we are expecting marching orders daily, keeping three days rations cooked ahead.

We are about 5 miles from the Potomac. I saw the river to day. I went 1/2 miles from camp, and saw it by climbing a tree.

I can not write much now, as I did not know that Dark was going to start so soon.

Click image of overcoat to view source.

You must tell the Old Man that I think I have lost the Over Coat clean. I was not in camp when it came. One of our boys put it in a box and when it came to the camp it- the coat was gone. I never saw it all. I was was away when it came to the other camp, and also this. I wrote before for one blanket, and I don’t believe we will draw any, and if you can get another I would like to have it. I suppose you got the other list.

October 12, 1861: page 2 on left, page 3 on right

October 12, 1861: page 2 on left, page 3 on right

I rcd letters from Claudia Rodgers and Aunt Polly. They are all well except Ab Rodgers child was dead, the deaf and dump one.

I must close for the present, as it is night and the boys keep up such a fuss that I cant write. I would like to get letters from you all at any time. Give my best respects to the family and inquiring friends. Write soon.

Yrs respt. P M Buford