Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Send me 2 pound of plug tobacco"

Today in Culpeper Court House: September 21, 1863

George Camp recounts in a letter to an unknown recipient back home of his experiences in the past week. Spelling has not been corrected.

A portion of a letter from Private George Camp, Co. E. 10th Vermont Infantry

''Camp at Culpepper Court House, Virginia,...We crost the rappahannock the 14th at freeman’s ford in the morning and marcht all day till about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, then we crost hazel river and marched till 10 o’clock at nite. It was wet and rainy. Then we poor devils had to lay down al wet and tiered out, nothing but hardtack and muddy water for supper. Dident i think of home and the old cuberd about them times! The next day, we marcht to Culpepper Court House and are here now, and i ges we shal stay here some time. The Rebs pickets are on Seeder Mountain. We can see their signal lits every nite. The damned cusses run so we can’t git a chance to fight them...i ges we shall git home this winter. The Rebs will cry ‘Union’ before long. i can’t think of much more this time. The next time you write, send me...2 pounds of plug tobacco, 1 pound of smoking tobacco, 4 pounds of cheese, 4 or 5 pounds of maple sugar, 2 pounds of dried apples...a jackknife...Git a quart pail and send that full of butter, and after the butter is used out, it will do to make coffee in. Tell Aunt Orra i have waited so long for that shirt i think she ought to send me a sweet cake...''

Camp's march from the Rappahannock to Culpeper Court-House is typical of the march pursuing Lee's Army of Northern Virginia in September 1863.

But, I find it interesting when I read letters from soldiers, that they are constantly asking for food to be sent from home. It is interesting to me because, nothing has changed.

Today, we send our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines serving overseas 'care packages' filled with culinary reminders of home. I have done it, sending packages to friends and co-workers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every year, during the holidays or a special event such as the Super Bowl, some pizza company, or restaurant, sends 2000 pizzas to Afghanistan. Having served 20 years in the Air Force, I am very happy that nothing has changed in the way we, as citizens of this great country, provide for our service members.

No comments:

Post a Comment