Saturday, January 19, 2013

1863 January 4 near Butlers Mill Caroline County, Va.

Camp near Butlers Mill Caroline Cty Va

Sunday January the 4th 1863
Dear Susan
  I have the pleasure of saying to you I am still in good health also
all of the boys from our neighbourhood and the company generally
I promised I would let you know in my next whether I could put in
a substitute for a short time, but we have bin so bussily engaged
in fixing up that that[sic] I have not said any thing about it to our
major yet, and that is the only diffaculty, that of geting his consent
(he is a strange old creature) application has bin made to him
some time ago and he refused, the capt is willing and the Genl
has sanctioned the like last summer, but I intend to try the
Major myself as soon as I think it practable.
   We have put up shelters out of pine brush for the Horses
to stand under in cold and windy weather and of nights
and all of the men have bin building chimneys to their
tents some have put up small cabbins and all seem to be very
well fixed as for myself we have a firstrate tent and we have
put in a chimney to it with an excellent fireplace made of
stone which makes the ten vary comfortable mutch more
so than any one would imagine their is six of us in the mess
just enough to have good room we have put up a kind of
bunk or burth with two  places to sleep on one alone the other
and three sleep together and we rest firstrate our bed is composed
of small pine poles and straw put on them then spread our Bla=
=nkets and we are ready for a good nights rest
we cook by turns too cook one day and so on til
it goes round I and Gentry cooks together
Tom & Harry: David and Gack[sic]

[sideways in bottom right corner of page 1]
Names of mess
King D J
"   "   E H
"   "   T W
"  "    G W
Gentry A J
Gillespie A J

[page 2]
I have recd too letters from you since we have bin at this camp
one dated Decr the 23 the other the 25 the last one seemes to have bin
concluded on Sunday in the Christmas you say in your last that your
mother never come to see you unless sent for that sound vary strange
to me What have I done that she wont come to my house, even in
my absence I did hope she would stay with yo the most
of her time if I have done anyt thing to insult her let me know
what it is and I will ask her pardon.
you want my advice about matters I dont know what to say
unless I was their to see what was going on so I take it for granted
you all will doo the best you can and try and get on agreeable with
every boddy as for my dictateing what Nathan ought to doo I have
nothing to say unless he should ask my opinion on any particular
subject then I would feel free to advise.
you say you will try and doo without Tom H. I think that will be
a good plan his bourd would bee worth fair more than you can
posably get him to doo you had better hire someone to cut wood
by the cord or day than keep him as that is all he will agree to
doo my last I gave you my opinion in regard to the land you ought
to cultivate provided you can get it done.
  you say you have only one sow and th too shoats left I would
like to know whitch one it is and whitch one Mr C  dogs killed
and if he has ever said anything about paying you for it:
surely if he knows his dogs killed the sow he will pay you
for her you have no Idea how it frets me to think what a fine
stock of hogs I lef at home and now to think they are near
nearly all gonn  it is a shame a scandle to Humanity
but I try to console myself in hopes of out living all of our
diffacultys and again enjoy the bliss of home and peace

[page 3]
   Some men talk lie they thaught their would bee Furloes granted
this winter but no one can tel as it will depend on the move=
=ments of the enamy if they go into winter quarters then their
will bee some chance of our gating Furloes but if I fail to
get a chance to come home I think I can get a place for
you to stay at in this neighbourhood if you can arrange
your matter so as to come down and see me you and Duck
King can come together it would bee mutch better come=
=ing here than it would bee to go to Richmond and you
said you would go their to see me But I mutch rather
come home so I could see all of the children as it would
bee imposable to bring them all with you
Tel Brother Gid to get on the cars some of these days and come
down here git up and start that is all
   I am afraid you started my bitter before you got my letter
informing you of our move I wrote you word to direct
your letters to chesterfield Station but I understand
the name of the postffis Ruther Glen Caroline Co, Va
so direct your next to the last named place
I am in hearing of the central cars even can hear the
Roar of the wheels if I gust had the privalige how soon
I could come home and it looks foolish to me to
keep us here all the winter and not give no Furloes
but if the safety of our country demands that we
shall stay, I shall quietly submit without a murmer
all we are doing after fixing up is three men a dat to gard
the horses and men to go with the wagons after feed and
dont have doo either  how did Luellen like his studs

[page 4]
at night by fire light about 8 oclock
  the Boys have all quited up and I thaught I would finish
my letter did you ever see stutch good weather for the
time of year the vary time to bee plowing I recon Nathan
is gust roleing the land over I tel you evry man that is
not in the servis augh to bee doing their best to try to make
something to eat doo you reccollect my warnings to you last spring
that bread would bee bread an other year and if I had bin at home
last fall I would of sowed some wheat or split a ham cross ways if this
war lasts another year where will you all get Flour.  I shuder at the thaught
It was thaught by some that I was not mutch account but I recon
sad experience teaches you that I am missed
write as soon as you get this and tell me all the news give me a
history of all the children doo they run off of days doo they mind
you dos they talk polite to strangers how I would like to see sis
and manny todling about over the Floor and hear them talk some
they would not know me if ware to come home I recon bless their little
Soles how I would Kiss them tell me if Lu & [Ted?] can spell their
names how many Rabbits have they caught this fall can Lu make
a trap and  metus[sic] does he want to see papa I would lik to
har him say Luella have you made him any britches yet has
he got an shoes I must close by hopeing when this comes to hand
it may find you all in good health - give my respects to the
neighbours and a Kiss to all the children and believe me stil
your devoted Husband Andrew J. Gillespie
I wrote a letter to Elizabeth Roberts I wonder if she got it
it was wrote before the fight at Fredericksburg
Thomas King is as fat as a pig harvys health is very good and Davy has
fatened up vaary mutch and is looking well I wonder that none of

[right hand margin of page 4]
his nieghbours dont write to him he say the are not able

[top margin of page 4]
to pay postage if they will let him know he will send them some stamps

Andrew J. Gillespie  Ancell's Co., Virginia Light Artillery
MSS 9564

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