Tuesday, February 5, 2013

1863 January 31 Fort Gaines

                        Fort Gains   January 31st  1863                  
My Dear Wife
                        Since I last wrote you (which
was day before yesterday by Thom Locke) your
anxiously looked for letter has been received
which brought the welcome news that
all was still well – In obedience with your
request as regards Keeping a Diary of each
days transactions while absent from Home
in the Service – I certainly can raise no other
objection than the one already stated while
at Home – I have therefore entered upon
the discharge of that duty with the
hope that it may prove as interesting to
you and My dear little Children in
after years as it is pleasing for me now
to perform it – Situated as remote from
the enemy as we are and the dimin-
utive number of men stationed here
will Most assuredly render it almost
impossible for Me to say much of each
days passing events.  Probably this letter could
not be made more interesting than to copy
from my Journal what I have noted
down to day – Roll Call at 7 Oclock  Break-
fast at 7/4 – For Breakfast we had Coffee
sweetened with syrup – Beeff steak tolerably
tough – fried Potatoes – good Egg bread
Cold Buiscuit – warmed over – Nice
Butter and verry good Country made Syrup
After Breakfast was over – we sat about –
Some Smoking and Some Chewing – At
9 O clock  We drilled in heavy artillery
at the Battery – At 10 O clock we ceased
firing and returned to our quarters where
“Quarter M Buford”   Seargt “Bray” & myself
wirte a letter to Capt “Hardy requesting
him to see Robt M. Ricks and notify
him that it was the unanimous wish
[Written in the margin is:]
 Don’t say any thing about our writing to Capt Hardy in relation to Bob Ricks –

[page 2]
of the Co[m]pany that he would resign or quit it &c.
At 10 ½ O clock Buford   Bray   T.R. Sylvester  A J Locke
and myself went down town to get the news
but none had been received at the office –
At 11 Oclock we returned – At 12 M dinner
was announced by our sable Companion “John”
R. R. Sylvester dined with us to day – Grace
by J M Buford – For dinner we had baked
Beef – Corn Bread – baked Potatoes & Milk –
At 1 O clock I lay down and slept till 3 Oclock..
J. M. Buford & A. J. Locke left at 2
for Farnors who lives Six miles up the river
in search of Sugar & Syrup – at 9 O Clock they
returned having brought 200 lb [?] sugar – Mr F made
them a present of a Jug of butter milk & some
sausages – The day was fair and quite pleasant
untill about the time the sun was discending
beneath the western Hills – when it became
cloudy and now indicates falling weather at no
distant day – It is now 10 Oclock and all
quiet in Camps.  This being my night to relieve the
Guard I shall set up all night -  End
                        I have written more about
the incidents of this day than I will likely do again
for several days to come – I can as a general thing
fill up one page of a small memorandum Book
with the incidents that transpire each day – but do
not expect to write down every thing what we have
to eat – Have you got our cow at home?
How does she look?  How much milk does she give?
Do you get many eggs?  Has Louis finish finished
painting the Dining Room?  Has your Garden
seed come up well – How is the Wood holding
out – Did Mr Mc Leod bring the Fodder
that I engaged from him? and how much?
Tell “Benie” Howdy and give him a bottle of Brandy –
I wish I could see him – I would write to him to
come down to Camp Jackson – but his time is so
short I know he will want to Consume the whole of it
with his family -    Your affectionate Husband   W. H. Locke
[Written at the top of the page in pencil is:]
send John to V Eals for my coat
[Included with this letter is an envelope with a pre-printed return address is 3” X 5 ½ “:]
         W. D. ETHERIDGE,, Jr.                            Jan – 31st 1863
                EUFAULA, Ala
                                       Mrs. W. H. Locke

William H. Locke, Eufaula Minutemen, later the 7th Alabama Cavalry

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 13485

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