Saturday, January 19, 2013

1863 January 4-5 Fort Gaines

   Fort Gaines   Jany 4th   1863                    
My Dear Wife –
                        I received by Hands of R A
Wellborn last night the things you sent me
(shirt & Drawers) – I attended worship to day at
the Baptist Church and heard a pretty good
discourse from the Revd Mr Burnett – From
the size of the Congregation however I am
forced to the Conclusion that the people of
this little Village are very much like
they are every where else these war
times – Not inclined to attend divine
service – The inclemency of the weather
may serve as an apology in this case
for the Ladies also Men in delicate
health – Our Company is situated near
the River Bank in a larger two story building
one Hundred and fifty feet long with
some dozen Rooms in it which easily
accomodates our Company and about
Eighty Negros – This building was when first
erected intended for a college but was
never occupied for that purpose – The size
of Fort Gains is about the same as that
of Clayton – The Methodist Presbyterian
and Baptist all have Churches here but
very seldom have any pastor to fill
the pulpitt since the War Commenced.
I am enjoying very good health
My appetite always sharp – Mess No 1
which is our Mess live fully as well
as the surrounding Country affords.  Occasiona-
ally Turkey for Dinner   Fried Ham for
breakfast – Beef steak for supper

[page 2]
some time – Biscuit – wafals – Egg bread –
Rice Pudding & Numerous other side dishes
too tedious to mention – suffice it to
say that we live about as well as we
did at Home – I am trying to buy a cow
for our Mess so that we can have
a glass of milk for Dinner – We
can keep her perfectly fat on our two
[The next line occurs at a page break and is not discernable.]
Man has given us free access to his
Turnip patch right at our quarters
the finest I have ever seen – about
one acre – We also have a splendid
Cook – one who is an adapt in the
business – I have been hunting two or three
times but did not get any Ducks owing
to the fact that they have been shot at
so much – I am getting right anxious
to hear from Home and guess I will
to night from what Wellborn told me
about your sending a letter by Mail.
                                  We are all getting
very impatient about the Murphussboro [Murfreesboro]
fight not having received any of the
details except that we had whipped
them in the first days fight and
that Col Clayton was slightly wounded
and his brother J. C. Clayton mortally –
                                  I cannot see for my
life why it is that we do not hear
more about it – unless it is owing to
the fact that the enemy came in
with large reinforcements and whipped
us finally – This I fear is the cause

[page 3]
Since New Years day I have set in to
read my Bible through this year but
if I Continue to read every day for
two or three Months as I have read
the past four days it will not
take half the year to get through
it.  Buford and Myself are the
only two officers here or that have
been here since I arrived or since
Kendall [-] – but the duties that
we perform here are altogether lighter
than if we were in the Confederate
Service   Consequently our business
is by no means laborious –
                                  Hoping that not many
days or weeks at farthest will
elaps[e] before I Can have the
happiness of seeing my good Wife and
lovely little Children –
                         Your affectionate Husband
                                       W. H. Locke

P.S.                    January 5th 1863
                   I have just received your favor of the
2nd Inst. – Glad to hear that all are well and
delighted to know that “Henrietta” sold –
                                  Don’t send me any more
clothing as I have as much here as I will
need.                                     Yours &c
                                                   W. H. L.

William H. Locke, Eufaula Minutemen

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 13485

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