18 March 1864: “He is…I recon enjoying himself as well as could be expected with his arm off.”

Item Description: Letter, 18 March 1864, from Calvin Leach to his sister Louisa, updating her on his infantry’s movements and the conditions at his camp. Leach was born in 1843 and served as a church clerk in Montgomery County, N.C., before he joined the first North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America, in September 1861. He died near Mechanicsville, Va., in June 1864.

[Item transcription available below images]

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Item Citation: From folder 4 of the Calvin Leach Diary and Letters #1875-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp 1st N.C. Infantry
Friday March 18th 64

Louisa afectionate sister,

I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines for I know if you could write you would be sure to write me a letter. I am well at this time wishing these few lines may reach you and find you all well.

I recon you was all very glad to see uncle Alexander come to see you. I hope he is staying with you yet. I would liked very much to have been at home myself, while he was there and talked with him. I was very glad to get his letter. When I got it I was down on picket and when … come I thought I would like to have been at the schoolhouse and heard Mr. McNeill preach.

I have nothing of any importance to write but I will write something maybe it should be interesting to you. Last Sunday a cold windy day and our brig was on picket and the soldiers as they would pass by they would have the wind blow off their hats and they had nothing else to do but pick up their hats. Their would be a few haw haws over it and all would be all right. Finally on Monday the 4th Brig (Louisianans) came to relieve us and about 2 oclock we started back to camp and the closer to camp we got the faster the men walked. And when I got almost to camp I stumped my toe and fell down but I had nothing else to do but get up and go on.

We got to camp and since then I have been enjoying the good of my cabin ever since. It has been tolerably cool weather lately and it seemed right pleasant to be in a cabin. The next day after I got to camp I washed my close  I washed them with the soap you sent me from home, that ought to last me all summer. I skinned my fingers some washing my close

I recon you would be glad to know how I am fairing in the eating line. I am doing very well. I have some of my ham & … yet my dried fruit and all my honey but one mess I took while I was on picket. We draw flour corn meal bacon rice sugar and coffe (the pure stuff) Molasses we can buy soda and can have very good bread we have a sack of rice on hand now and none of us will eat it if we had milk and butter to go with it and had it fired up in the right way we would eat it I wish you had it at home. It is probably we are fareing in some respects better than you are at home. 

The store coffee and sugar that we draw does me a great deal of good but I do not know how long we will draw it. I have me a boiler I carry with me on the march to make coffee in. I also cary me a little friar made of a half a canteen which I carry to fry my meat in. I have my knife spoon cup yet and expect to cary them through the summer if I should live. If you have a chance you might send me a piece of ham.

Rufus Jones got off home. He took my blanket but did not take my vest. I do not know where he will leave it he will probably leave it at Statesville. Martin Blaylock & Cranon have got back, furloughs are now stopped for a few days. Jo Price saw Purve Gilbreath and John Evans the other day. John went with the rest to shoot off his gun an he acknowledged that it scared him badly to shoot off his gun, they wear all laughing at him. Col Brown drilled us in double quick the other day, in Bat drill Mr Gaultney has gone to halifax county to see some of his friends

You recollect my writing about John Estes. I rec’d a letter from him written with his left hand. He is now going to school at home and I recon enjoying himself as well as could be expected with his arm off. I believe I have writen all I think of at present. I am as ever your brother


Tell uncle to keep me posted while he stays there hopeing he will recover his health soon again. my best wishes accompany him through the meager ways of coming life.

yours as ever,

C. Leach


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