Confederate camp

The ‘Boys in Blue’ generally preferred to camp in the open fields. The Confed’s took to the woods, and so the Confederate camp was not as orderly or as systematically arranged, but the most picturesque of the two. The blazing fire lit up the forms and faces and trees around it with a ruddy glow, but only deepened the gloom of the surrounding woods, so that the soldier pitied the poor fellows away off on guard in the darkness, and hugged himself and felt how good it was to be with the fellows around the fire. How companionable was the blaze and the glow of the coals! They seemed to warm the heart as well as the foot. The imagination seemed to feed on the glowing coals and surrounding gloom, and when the soldier gazed on the fire, peace, liberty, home, strolls in the woods and streets with friends, the church, the school, playmates and sweethearts all passed before him, and even the dead came to mind. Sadly, yet pleasantly, he thought of the loved and lost, and the future loomed up, and the possibility of death and prison and the grief at home would stir his heart, and the tears would fall trickling to the ground. Then was the time to fondle the little gifts from home. Simple things — the little pincushion, the needle case with thread and buttons, the embroidered tobacco bag, and the knitted gloves. Then the time to gaze on photographs, and to read and re- read the letter telling of the struggles at home and the coming box of good things — butter and bread, and toasted and ground coffee, and sugar cakes and pies, and other comfortable things saved by self denial for the soldier, brother and son. Then the time to call on God to spare, protect and bless the dear, defenceless, helpless ones at home. Then the time for high resolves; to read to himself his duty; to ‘re enlist for the war.’ Then his heart grew to his comrades, his general and his country; and as the trees, swept by the wintry winds, moaned around him, the soldier slept and dreamed, and dreamed of home, sweet home.
Southern Historical Society Papers.
Vol. I. Richmond, Virginia., February, 1876. No. 2
Camp Fires Of The Boys In Gray.

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