1861 Nov[ember] 29 Camp Hill

Dear Lute:
Edloe has written and doubt-
less mentioned all news worthy
of communicating to you.
Indeed my letters I am sure must
be found very dull and uninter-
esting and I only continue them
to keep you advised as to the
health and general condition of
the Jones- family, and to alleviate
as far as I can the afflictions
of separation from the dear
ones at home – We continue
at our old camp ground and
in tents but I am sure we
will be in Winters quarters before
very long; tents are very unpleas-
ant dwellings now although the
patent fireplaces add greatly
to the comfort; Pa has doubtless
given you some account of
these as likely of most every
thing else about camp life.
John and I have been in a
splendid wall – tent for a few

[page 2]
days and are very comfortably
fixed; have a splendid
place and an excellent raised
bed made of small saplin[g]s.
Edloe wouldn’t consent to leave
“No. 7” the tent he has occupied
since the tents were recd. The
inmates of that tent have dwin-
dled from nine to three, – four
with Mr. Kennon, whose place
is still reserved. Here’s for
a hasty description of “our
mess”: (1) Sergeant Chiles – a talka-
tive, mischievous, large-hearted
man with wife and children;
tries hard to stand service but
his health is too delicate; a mode-
rate eater but fond of “bread &
beef”; face chubby with large pair
of light whiskers & moustache; thick-
ly set and inclined to be fleshy
but the Southern Confederacy has
deprived him of some of the last;
great hand to nurse the sick &
shd. have been a doctor or professional
instead of clod-hopper XXXXXXX.
(2) Parson Jones – most prominent

[page 3]
part about him, a large pair of
fiery red whiskers and moustache,
which latter trouble him greatly
in eating soup and did when
we got buttermilk; shd. never call
him as cook nor judge of poultry!!
He has many traits wh. indicate
absent-mindedness. (3) Corporal Fendol
W. Chiles – a tall, good-looking piece of
flesh – very talkative in camp; a
very hearty eater – (a feature most
objectionable in messes where provis-
ions are scarce). Corpl. C. however, has
companions who seem to reverse the
old Latin maxim and “live to
eat”. (4) Private Walthall – a fleshy bald-
headed, blue-eyed youth – fond of the
ladies and also of good – eating; is chief
of the culinary department; strangers
wd. sometimes infer that our’s was a
“swell-head” mess with a white cook
such is “Catherine’s” devotion to his
favorite occupation; she could get
good wages at any large Hotel!!
(5) Private Jones (P. E.) – a beardless youth
with bright black eyes – character –
is his: contentedness; tolerable good
cook and hearty eaterxxxxx.

(page 4)
Private Jos. W. Baker – a silent,
good-natured, easy, hearty, con-
tented youth – good cook & hearty
eater. (7) Priv. Jones’ – Caterer for
the mess – somewhat of ^‘a’ cook and
very large eater as contd. fatness
doth truly indicate. (8) Chief
Andrew Broadus Poindexter, of
the colored race and cooking
department – very bright and
frequently taken for a member of
the White family. This, dear,
Sister, is a rough, inaccurate,
impromptu sketch of the exter-
nals of “our mess”; I wish there
was an artist here to take
our shapes &c as we crack jokes
and talk of the dear home – folks
around our table while we
enjoy our coarse fare.
I have been enjoying myself greatly
of late with a few books & pamph-
phlets that John brought over
with him and expect to pass
away time pleasantly & profita-
bly with books during the winter
season. I hope you are read-
ing a great deal notwith-
standing circumstances;
you will doubtless find some-
thing interesting & instructive
among my books that were left

[page 5]
in a small trunk at home.
Take great care of them as I hope
still to have much use for them;
get all you can from them and
impart to yr. young brothers and
to Mattie who I suppose has
already learned to read; your
life and conduct will greatly in-
fluence her’s wh. you know with-
out my telling you; and you shd.
be cautious and careful[l] [page torn] for yr.
own sake and her’s, wh. also is
very apparent to you.
The drums and bands have some
time since sounded the soldiers
bed-time and I must close for
the night with prayers that heaven’s
smiles may not be withdrawn while
you slumber and that happiness
may ever be the lot of my dear
young sister.

[continues on November 30]
Saturday morning: It rained all
night and is a disagreeable, wet &
windy day. We are all well this
morning. Henry Chiles is better but
still much complaining.
I wish Pa would pay Mr. Kennon
$1.13 – the amount due him from

[page 6]
our mess fund. Ask him also please
to send us a wash-basin if he can
get us one as they can not be had
from the Sutlers here. I suppose
Jas. Baker will be back the first
of next week as his furlough will
be out. I suppose Edloe men-
tioned Aunt Ellen’s visit; I was
very sorry she cd. not stay longer;
She brought us two large baskets
of nice things & a turkey, bread, pies,
cakes, catsup, and a jar of very
nice pickle; said she had sent us
[paper torn] boxes from Warren-
ton, which, however, we have
never recd. The Rev. Mr. Ewing
of Gordonsville is in camp; con-
ducted worship last night and
will probably preach to –day shd.
it clear off. But I must
conclude this miserable scrawl.
Jno. recd. Ma’s letter last night about
bed time and we were glad to
hear from you all. Write to
us when you find it conven-
ient wh. I hope will be quite
often. Much love to all at
home, Aunt Cynthia’s, Mr. Thompson’s,
Mr. Hunter’s, and all the other
kin & neighbors & friends.
Very affly
Your Bro.
Miss Lute M. Jones

MSS 13407

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