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Augusta County: Thomas M. Smiley to His Aunt, November 16, 1861

Discusses weather conditions and prices in Camp, day of fasting, camp preacher, and possiblity of winter camp at Winchester.


Nov 16th 1861

Camp near Winchester

Dear Aunt

I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and enjoying myself very well at this time and I hope when these few lines reach you they may find you all enjoying the same blessing I have not received any answer to the last letter I wrote you some four weeks ago which makes me think that it has not arrived at its proper place; there was so many different ones carried letters to the post office that there was a great many of them never got to the office. I heard of Uncle John's death through letters from home and it surprised me greatly as I had not heard of his being dangerously ill: but we have good reason to believe that out loss is his eternal gain. We are now camped near Winchester in a flat piece of woods mud about shoe mouth deep; that is wherever it is tramped any: this week has been very rainy, and now it is [unclear: spitting] snow and very cold our tents are a great protection from the cold, and wind, but still not as much as could be desired; during the storm of last friday two weeks there was not more than a dozen tents left standing in the whole regiment the wind was so strong it carried them off

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as fast as they could be put upp. you ought to be here to see us cooking; making bread, and pies & we get bakers bread sometimes which comes in very good; we get plenty of sugar, and coffee, and beef of the very best sort. butter is selling at from 25 to 50,cts a pound in Winchester, that is of a good quality; eggs is 25cts a dozen, cabbage is selling at from 10 to 15,cts a head according to quality, apples 25,cts a dozen, and every thing else in proportion yesterday was fast day and I suppose was as well kept in the camp as it was at home. an order was issued that there should be no drilling and no other duty except that which could not be dispenced with and we certainly did not eat much because they have it in their power to withdraw out rations and keep it from us there was preaching here by some strange preacher but I did not hear him as I had just come off guard, and was wet, and cold; but I believe he preached a very good sermon. We are expecting to move away from this camp but I do not know whether it is to town or not we expect to take winter quarters in Winchester but I do not know how soon we Will get them. I must now draw my miserable scroll to a close; as it is getting late.

Give my love to Uncle James's family Aunt Ann, and receive a due share yourself.

Thomas M. Smiley

Direct your letter to Winchester Frederic Co Va

T. M. Smiley

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