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Augusta County: James B. McCutchan to Rachel Ann McCutchan, February 20, 1862

McCutchan describes the relatively pleasant life in camp, considers whether or not to reenlist, and talks of life back home.

Miss Rate A. McCutchan, Timberridge, Rockbridge Co, Va

February 20th 1862

Camp Zollicoffer

Dear Cousin,

Please excuse my paper, it is the best I have. I commenced writing to you yesterday on half a sheet. I got this yesterday, and I concluded that I would throw it away and commence anew.

I got a letter today the first for I dont know how long, don't think I have got any since yours arived, got one from Cousin A Buchanan, she has had Diptheria, but I believe she is not a friend of your so I nead not write about her. Well I will tell you what I have been doing this evening, have been helping to make an eggnog. George Baylor and myself went out this morning and got some milk and eggs, we are going to have some company tonight and have a sing, we have invited some of the Marien Riflemen, from Winchester. They are the best singers I ever heard. We expect to have some

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instrumental music too, but you must not think that we expect to get tipsy we don't do such things in our mess. We had a big eggnog the evening after we moved into our cabin and had a heap of fun.

You said in your letter that you were disappointed that you did not get to Fairfield, who is it that you go to see there, It must be Charley [unclear: ] we are living finely here now, get plenty to eat and of a good quality. can fix it up a great deal better in our cabin than when we were in our tents we have yeast and bake raised bread, have warm rolls for breakfast every morning, we have our mess laid off in twos and have regular cooking days, there is 14 of us so cook day does not come but once a week, get plenty of coffee and shugar, can get some molasses, have to buy them, they are furnished for the officers at 20 cents per [unclear: goll], we are having a grand time here, if never had no harder times than we have here we would get along very well, but this is not always

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the case, I expect we will have some hard fighting to do the next term, and I expect we will all be into it. I have not reenlisted yet and don't know when I will. 9 of our company have reenlisted. we have to the 10th of March to deside. I rather expect most of us will reenlist by that time some will stand the draft. I sometimes think that I will just float along let come what will. I would not hesitate a moment to reenlist if I thought my going would not stop some malitiamen from coming. What are they all thinking about it I guess some of them would like if we would reenlist, if I were in there plases I would too. Cousin K. I am much obliged to you for the invitation to dinner am very sorry that I could not be there. well it is getting too dark to so will stop for the present, step in and have some eggnog with us. 21st I did not have time to finish my letter in time for the mail today but will endever to start it in, in the morning. We had a nice time last night

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some came that were not invited consequently were two much crowded, some one I did not say who got one of the performers out and gave him a little two much to drink which spoiled it some. You spoke of thinking about the Sunday that we went to Middlebrook, I expect you often think of that day and of [unclear: So Dall] too. I would like very much to know what you could tell me about that day, but I recon it is a secret. You asked me if I was fond of [unclear: prels]. I am not particularly fond of them when I am at home but they are very good here. You said that you expected I would not wear a [unclear: viser] that you knit, you are very much mistaken. I will shurely prise it very much indeed. As for the button I have none that is fit. but will get one the next time I go to Winchester. Write soon and tell me about your trip the Ridge. You wished that I was there to go with you some time, you don't wish it more than I do.

Give my love to all the folks

yours truly

Ja's B. McCutchan

P.S. JR is well and all the rest of the boys

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