Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1861 Nov[ember] 30 Camp near Centreville

My dear John

I received last night your letter of the
26th and one at the same time from my[?] dear Sallie Browne
for which my welcomed letters I return you both my
heartfelt thanks--By a letter received at the same time
from your Mother. I am sorry to find she has been detained
there by the ilness of our dear Courtney B--who it seems
has scarlet fever--I fear this will keep you mother
in Richmond for some time--It is a great treat to me
that I can not under these circumstances go there for a
day or two to meet your mother and to see our dear
sick child--You understand how this is---but your
Mother complains bitterly of me--as if I saw free to
go I would--But both a sense of duty and the rigid
rule against leaves of absence keep me here--this army
stands between the enemy and our homes & all that are dear
which we have left behind us--If we leave our posts
here at the present time--we desert those we ought
to be willing to die to protect & defend -- and hence
the extreme strictness in regard to leaves of absence

[page 2]
But I hope the dear child will do well as the
hands of our good friend Dr Drane and a kind

I wrote you in my last about procuring a supply of salt
if possible I wrote to Deane H & Jones to buy what you
might want--or aid you in doing so--I learn that one
of salt if carefully and is enough for one thousand
pounds of pork- and hence the Govt. has been authorized to
regulate the price I hope you will get what may be
absolutely required. Crenshaw & Co. will probably have it
if you have had a satisfactory explanation of your author=
ance--so as to renew transaction with them--But
unless they manifest a better [?] I would not
intimate upon them or push the matter--
I hope you have been able to cause Miss [?]
time to pass agreeably--by having some young friends to meet her
and otherwise entertaining her--She is a very superior
young lady if I mistake not--Please present my kindest
regards to her--
Now that I am absent I would caution you to be very
circumspect as to whom you write to visit our home
or allow to visit--for in these times there are persons not
gentlemen who will intimate themselves--with any such you
should be [?] Should any [?] occur--But his part
is enough--
So far we are not suffering --but soon shall require more than
a tent to cover us from the winter's cold--If I had Edward
Charleston & Frederick & a couple of good sawyers with
a few loads we might put up cabins for head quarters--
May write for them--With love to all & hoping to hear soon from
you I am yr affec father Philip StGeo Cocke

MSS 640

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