Friday, April 22, 2011
1861 April 22 Harpers Ferry, Va.
Harpers Ferry April 22nd.
I’m again seated in
my quarters at Harpers Ferry, rather unexpectedly.
I did not get expect to get from the Mayraland
Heights as soon as this. I got back this morning
about eleven oclock, did n’t get breakfast
until twelve, and of course had a very good
appetite for it when I did get it. after such a
long & tedious Jou[r]ney. We all had a very rough
time of it on the mountain, as the walking was
so dre^’a’dfully bad, & we had to keep guard all
night, each man had to stand two hours. I had
to stand from ten to twelve. We also had to sleep
on the ground, with our muskets in our arms.
I had a very good nights rest, made a first rate
bed out of leaves, a stump for my pillow, &
a blanket to cover with, some of the Boys could
not sleep well on such beds, but I went to sleep
a nearly directly my head touched the pillow,
& dreamed all night long about you all at Home.
I know you would have laughed af if you had
seen me a little while ago, washing my shirt, colars
& hankerchiefs, it was something I neve[r] did before.
I do n’t know how clean they are, as they are not
dry yet, but I think they are washed very well
for me. Tell Mattie, I wished she would come up &
do my washing for me, as she is so fond of it.
I never eat a meal, but what I wonder, what you
all would say if you could see what I was eating.
I think every thing is very good, but the “old beef”. I
can’t think that is good to safe [save] my life, it is so tough.
I’ve complained often at home, of the coffee, but
do n’t think I’ll every complain of it again, for after
drinking such stuff, as we drink here, I can drink
anything. I reckon Sister would as soon, think of
drinking slop water, as our coffee. Some of our men
found a middling of meat on the mountain, which
was quite a treat to us, we cooked right on the spot.
I bought a “five cent” apple puff this morning, which
I enjoyed very much, as it was the first thing
of the sort I’ve had since I left Home.
When I left Home, I thought I was going to have a
a very nice pleasure trip, did n’t expect to stay more
than than two or three days, well of course, I was some
what disappointed, but now I’ve made up my mind
Just to stay here six months if it is necessary,
for it will be better for me to be satisfied, because
I ca n’t go away, as long as I’m wanted here.
I’ve no idea when I’ll be home, as It is nescessary
to have this place well fortified yet a while.
We don’t think there is any danger of a fight
here now. Seven hundred more men are expected
this evening from Rockingham.
I’m very much afraid you will not get this,
you will not if it goes by Washington as all of
our mail is stopped there, but you may get it
if it goes by Winchester.
Several of men are complaining with colds. Joe
has a cold, though it is better to day. I think I’ve
been very lucky since I left home, as I’ve been very
well since I left. I heard Joe say this morning, that
he had rather be in the store than here. Joe got a
letter from Albin this morning, from Gordonsville,
dated the nineteenth. This is the third letter I’ve written
& have received one. I’m afraid you can’t read this,
for it is written so ba[d]ly, & I can’t get a pen or ink.
I believe Mr. Lane has written to Pa for some things
for the men, tell him to put in a shirt & two or three colars
for me, that is all I need.
You all must not be uneasy about, as there is
no danger now, I know a camp is the most
corrupt & demoralizing place on earth, but I will
try & overcome all temptation, & take Ma’s advice.
Tell Cousine Julia Mr. A[?] is very well. Tell Sister
Page & Bro. Jones & all of them at Home to write to
me. Joe & Mr Br sends their love. My best love to
all at Home, & all my friends. Write very soon
to yr most dvoted Bro.
Via Winchester - Cap. Murray
40th Regiment Louisa Blues