13 December 1863: “…we all feel a supreme contempt for those who are secure from danger and hardships and employing their time in censoring the conduct of those who have for nearly three years stood as a wall of defense…”

Item Description: Letter, dated 13 December 1863, from W.J. Crook to Miss Hattie Crook at Columbia Female College in Columbia, South Carolina. He advises her how to fight a cold and expresses displeasure at criticisms of Confederate troops.

[transcription available below images]

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Item citation: From folder 9 in the William Asbury Whitaker Papers #3433, Southern Historical Collection, the Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Head Quts 154th & 13th Tenn Regt

Near Dalton Ga

Dec 13th 1863.

My dear Hattie,

Yours of the 3d & 7th are to hand received yesterday and to day.  I need hardly tell you thier friendly greetings received a generous welcome.  Your letters are eagerly looked for and read with much interest I learned with regret of your indisposition.  Wish I could be there to prescribe for you  I am death to [colds?].  Since I cannot see you will urge the importance of taking good care of yourself.  Keep your feet dry, don’t keep your room too warm.  if so you will realize too sensibly. the shock when out of doors. Rise early in the morning and before making your toilet bathe freely with pure cold water your face neck and chest use considerable friction with your towel.  If the ground is dry walk at least a short way every morning before breakfast.  Follow this regime, and be a sweet good girl as I know you are, and my word for it you will not have cause again to complain of cold.

The army news is unimportant quiet in a measure prevails.  The health of the troops good.  While some dependency prevails in the main all are cheerful.  I am feeling quite well having rather a lisure time have been on no duty of consequence since our arrival here Visit around.  Visit our relatives and pass the time pleasant enough most of them are moving South.  They have nursed my very kindly – their attentions are fully appriciated but not half so much as would the smiles the attentions and sympathy of my dear Hattie had circumstances been such that I could have been with you.  We had fine success in getting clothing from West Tennessee got every thing we needed.  Withal a little sack of pure Ris Coffee which goes very well in camp.  I just know I have the best [parents?] in the world no exception.  Bro Barry is now in West Tenn. Col Estes is still at Tiscum-bia Ala We hear from them occasionally all well and getting on very well.  I got a nice letter from my W. J. lady come assuring me I was still kindly remembered by all my lady friends.

I can’t pass without a remark the feeling you say seems to be entertained by many against the Winston Army.  now let me tell you we all feel a supreme contempt for those who are secure from danger and hardships and employing their time in censoring the conduct of those who have for nearly three years stood as a wall of defense between them and a common enemy confronting nearly all the time three times our own numbers, enduring long and fatiguing marches, keeping the midnight vigil, standing at the post of duty in sunshine and in storm, rallying around our banners in triumph of defeat living after on half and less than half rations, many with bare and bleeding feet tracing in blood the pathway as they go.  We know we have done our duty, had they shared with us the duties and responsibilities they would be slow to complain.  History will do justice to all that we appeal.  I heard from Cousin Walter a few days since he was very well.  Why dont Cousin Annie write to me.  She has been due one a letter a long while.  I love Cousin Annie very much am always glad to hear from her.

Be pleased to remember me in much love to Cousin William and all the family A kind remembrance to Cousin Sallie I think of her often and very often speak of her to my friends  as an ideal of a perfect woman always glad to hear from her.  Assure your mo. of my continued love and remembrance I remember so pleasantly my short stay at Greenville, her zealous attentions for well being.  And last but not least my dear Hattie you may always know you have the highest place in my affections you are the brightest jewel in the Coronet of life’s hopes, and whatever fate betides in joy or in sorrow your name and the hopes and associations with it gives to life all that is bright and lest the dream the end of my highest ambition.

I write in great haste please excuse, Write very very soon and a long letter.  May Heaven bless you.

Yours affectionately,

W. J. Crook


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