31 January 1864: “some of the rebs says that they had to kill ther mules to keep from starving to death”

Item Description: 31 January 1864, letter from J. W. Clark, a Federal soldier at Camp Smith, Nashville, Tenn., to his brother giving news of friends and describing life around camp at Nashville.

[Transcription available below image]


18640131001 18640131002 18640131003


Item Citation: Folder 2, John R. Peacock Papers #01895-z, The Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

(Saturation altered on fourth letter to make faint writing easier to see through the scan)

Item Transcription:

Camp Smith

Nashville Tennessee

January the 31 1864

Dear Brother i thought i would write you a few lines to let you know that i was well it is pleasant weather her now i was down town last weak and staid four days wiz the eighteenth boys Jose Vanely is well and sends his respects to you the army agrees with me I weigh one 188 pounds there is a bout four thousand in Camp here some of them started for there rigaments last weak and got back to day they was fiteing so that they could not get threw the Deserts is coming in to our linnes every day there is about fifty thousand soaldiers about Nashville and about half of them is ofisers with a sigar in ther mouths or so drunk that they can scarsley walk every thing is very bad here the sitisons some of them cannot get anough to eat there was nothing raised here last year some of the rebs says that they had to kill ther mules to keep from starving to death my stand that I am writing on is a big rock this would be a nice Cuntry to live in time of piece the birds is a singing to day as much as they would thare in june wee had thunder shower yesterday wee have saw wee git all wee want to eat such as it is some of the boys gruble ta their grub but when they cant eat it I can eat it for them they say that I eat more than any two men in the Compeny I am agoing to town to morrow to stay all night and go to the theitor i have bin sevl times I am a going to send you a picture in this that I had taken the other day Joe is a writeing all the time Gorge Hodge is here in camp now waiting for horses he says that he has not got aletter from home in six months he is well at present the nigars is as thick as hell here I and Rob had a notishun to go to driveing mules but i guess wee shant.

billy has ritten ot Deland to see if he can be transfured to the sharp shooters. it is ageting late and I must close give my respects to all yours truly

J. W. Clark

Well old boy how do you do to day when this reaches you Old Reefer wanted me to Direct this for him he forgot to tell you to do the erand for him so he wanted i should put it in for him he wants you to tell Miss Jennie Cateret that if he had only been maried instead of enlisting he would have been a good deal better of than he is now he says he would a good deal rather be sleeping with her in his house in a good warm bed than to be here where he is so he says if she will Consent to the termes he will try and Accomodate her wal i shall have to stop this is fun

Now Clif you do this erand to her.

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