Texas Confederate talks about camp life, cooking

Camp Clark (Texas)

July 17, 1862

Regimental Headquarters

Mrs Preston, my dear friend,

We were delightfully sorprised this morning by our mail carrier bringing us your good letter. I had preposed writing you today and was very glad to have a letter to answer. I am sorry you have been afflicted with sore eyes and dear little Charley, how I pity him. I know he wants his county to take his part. I wish I could be with you all and my husband too and the only way that I see to bring it about is for you to come to Camp Clark. Mr S. is the busiest man in the regiment and I don’t see how he could possibly be absent for several days at a time. I am much more pleasantly situated than before and entertain a great deal of company camp fashion. We have a very good negro man for a servant. He is a passible cook. The great difficulty lies in getting something to cook. The country around can not supply us with either milk, butter or vegetables. The Regiment is in excellent health. Not a single new case of measles since they came here. You have nothing to fear on Charley’s account. If you will come we will all go up to Dr. Thompson’s and stay all night. We have promised them to do so. Their home is only two miles from here. I meet a great many acquaintences. I think there are at least fifty families camped above the regiment on the river.

I will be greatly obliged if you will send us those culinary utensils. We need a large coffee pot that will hold three or four quarts, six pint cups, one tin bucket with a —, two tin pans not particular as to size. Also the stew kettle & frying pan that Mrs. Medlin sent up. I do not think of anything else but if you see among those articles anything you think we will stand in need of please send it except earthen ware which we have no use for. I will pay for those articles that Mr. Preston will please buy for us when I see him again. Mr. S. says he holds that fifty subject to Mr. Preston’s order as he has no use for it at present. He will also take charge of the other watch. Thinks there will be no difficulty in selling it when the soldiers receive their pay which they expect in a few days. As yet they have only received fifty dollars bounty. Mr. Sherwood would write in this letter but he is busy as a bee. Is now out mounting guard. Our buggy is broken down again. We loaned it to a big fat man to take Miss Gennie Medlin who was staying a few days with us in camp to preaching over the river and it came back used up. Perhaps you have heard of the marked attention I have received from some of my particular friends by way of painting my buggy horse. Also Mr. Sherwood’s Gray so that it was impossible to recognize them. Mr. Sherwood says there are but two or three men in the regiment that would do it and symptoms are very decided as to them. It will probably break out soon.

The orderly is waiting for this letter and I must close.

Do come to camp.

With much love & kisses, I remain,

A. Sherwood

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