Friday, May 2, 2008

Little Newt Writes Or "I am tired of cooking and washing on myself."


Dear Reader, Here is another instalment of the Little Newt Chronicles, this one is the best though, one of his own letters that somehow made it into Col. Davis' collection. Woe be to Isaac or Mose.

Camp Near Shelbyville, Tenn.
Jan. 13th, 1863.

Dear Father and Mother;

I seat myself this evening to write you a few lines to let you that I am well. I am not so very well at the present, but I hope I will be well in a day or two. I was in the Battle of Murfreesboro, the grape and cannister shot and Bombs and musket balls fell around us thicker than hail I thought, but as my maker would have it. I never got touched any where with a ball. We was in line of battle 6 or 7 days in the rain and guns was continually firing and shells bursting over us. There was 8 of our company wounded, 1 killed, 1 missing, and our Regt was cut up rite badly. I was not over all of the battle field but the part I was on I think I saw about 5 dead yankees to 1 Southerner. Well Mother and Papa I have such a bad place to write and I am not so well I can't write much. I lost my knapsack again. I put on my grays pants you sent me and another gray coat and dress and 2 pair of draws and 2 shirts and I put the first pants you sent me and the last two shirts all in the wagon, put their knapsacks in the wagon and mine was last and a good many of the boys lost theirs. Bird Hoodenpyle has gone home on furlough and mother send me a coat and 1 shirt and papa sent me a negro by Hoodenpyle. Send Isaac or Mose I want one of them. I am tired of cooking and washing on myself.
Send me a little box of butter and a pound cake or two and unions. Hoodenpyle will not have much to bring and he will bring that for me, I will write again soon. You must write soon. I do want to hear from home so bad and have not received a letter from home since we came through Chattanooga, Tenn. Write soon. So Good-Bye.

N.N. Halbert.

2 comments:

Patrick Lewis said...

[Facetious voice, on]
But... but... I though all Confederate soldiers bore hardship honorably, took pride in themselves despite their ratty appearance, and hated slavery. Besides, all the wicked ones who wanted to preserve slavery used their power and influence to stay out of the war, and left the fighting to those who wanted to protect their homes and abstract notions of state rights. Right...?
[Facetious voice, off]

Not only does Lil' Newt provide some great comic relief, he also shows us that there were a whole range of Confederate soldiers, and not all of them were as virtuous, forbearing, or grown up as Confederate Veteran made them out to be 40 years down the line.

McClelland Family said...

"I think I need a hug." Donkey in Shrek