In addition to each man’s private luggage, each mess, generally composed of from five to ten men who were drawn together by similar tastes and associations, had its outfit, consisting of a large camp chest containing skillet, frying pan, coffee boiler, bucket for lard, coffee box, salt box, sugar box, meal box, flour box, knives, forks, spoons, plates, cups, &c., &c. These chests were so large that 8 or 10 of them filled up an army wagon, and were so heavy that two strong men had all they could do to get one of them into the wagon. In addition to the chest each mess owned an axe, water bucket, and bread tray. Then the tents of each company, and little sheet iron stoves, and stove pipe, and the trunks and valises of the company officers, made an immense pile of stuff, so that each company had a small wagon train of its own.
All thought money was absolutely necessary, and for awhile rations were disdained, and the mess supplied with the best that could be bought with the mess fund. Gloves were thought to be good things to have in winter time, and the favorite style was buck gauntlets with long cuffs.
Southern Historical Society Papers.
Vol. II. Richmond, Virginia, September, 1876. No. 3.
Detailed Minutiae Of Soldier Life In The Army Of Northern Virginia.