18 January 1863


Windmill Point, Va.
January 18th 1863

My dear Father & Mother,

As I have a few leisure moments, I will write you a few lines. Your letters of the 11th and 12th were received last night and this morning the letter of the 6th and the papers. They were all gratefully received. I will try and profit by my past experience and do better in future. You will see no more profanity in my letters although the trials that we have to endure are enough to make a minister swear in his pulpit.

Yesterday I went to Aquia Creek and saw Mr. Holbrook. He was glad to see me. He says that they have not yet started a depot of supplies but have been idle and that is the reason why I have not heard from him before. He had made up his mind to take Corporal Boynton and me whenever they started a depot but he could not tell when that would be and therefore could not give me a great deal of encouragement.

When we were at dinner he asked me what my business was when I was at home. I told him I was a cook and where I had worked. Well, says he, how would you like to cook for our mess. Our cook is about to leave and I think you are just the man we want. You will get 25 cents a day extra pay and the clerks will give you something besides if you suit. I told him I should like it. He said he was not particular which I should do but he could secure me the cooks place immediately but could not tell exactly when he could the clerk’s [job].

I think I shall like the job, A good stove and everything handy to cook with will just suit me. I want mother to give me a recipe for making bread, biscuit, shortcakes, and dough nuts. Also a recipe for making tapioca and baked Indiana pudding. I shall want to give them a few extras once in awhile. I am going to the creek again tonight and so I must close. I am in most excellent health just now and feel as smart as a cricket.

I hope you are all well as I. My love to Eddie and Wallie and a good share to yourselves. Hoping this war will soon terminate, I remain yours affectionately, — Charlie

Next Letter: 25 January 1863