Headquarters 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 9th Army Corps
Camp near Lenoire Station, Tennessee
November 13, 1863
My dear Mother,
As there is no better way of occupying my spare moments that by writing to you, I think I will give you a few more lines though there is no news at all. We are living on very short allowances and have been ever since we came into Tennessee. A little raw flour made from sick wheat or a little corn and cob meal, a little molasses, three spoonsful of sugar and coffee with an unlimited supply of fresh meat (not enough though) constitutes five days rations. In fact we have a little less than quarter rations of everything except the flour or meal and have no possible way of cooking that excepting by making a pudding or mush in an old iron kettle. Two kettles are all the company have—one to make coffee in; the other to boil meat, make puddings, or soup. Now this is a rather scaly way of living, isn’t it? I fare rather better than the men in the ranks but still do not have enough to satisfy my hunger. Can stand hard marches and hard labor but when they undertake to starve me, though it is a necessity, my patriotism fails me and I think the sooner I can get out of it the better I shall be.
But as I write, I remember that I came near spoiling your last Thanksgiving dinner by my folly and therefore will say no more. Think not of me when at the Thanksgiving table, but eat, drink, and be merry—not forgetting to remember a kind Providence who bestows such blessings. Be thankful that you havre the opportunity afforded you of doing justice to a good fat turkey and a plum pudding.
People talk of ending the war in six months but I fear they are to be disappointed. It will take six times six months yet to end the war. The rebellion has yet a great deal of strength left and the leaders of the rebellion will hold out as long as there is the least hope. I am in hopes ere many months to get a furlough but there is a poor sight for one now.
Give my love to Eddie, Wallie, and all inquiring friends, and accept a good share yourself. Enclosed please find a ring for Edie. I made it when we were expecting an attack before the fight at Blue Springs. I will make one for Walter when I get a chance. Will write to Eddie when I find time. Hoping this will find you well. I remain yours affectionately, — Charley