4 April 1964: “I believe the pickle was appreciated the most.”

Item description: Letter, dated 4 April 1864, from Peter M. Grattan to Mary E, Grattan.  Peter writes from Orange Court House, Va. about picket duty and camp life in general.  He also thanks her for a box of provisions and asks about family news.

[transcription available below images]

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Item citation: From Mary E. Grattan Papers #2975-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

United States Military Telegraph

By Telegraph from Orange C. H.

Dated April 4th 1864

To Dear Mary,

I would have written to you sooner but for being on picket four days last week had a very bad time only one clear day all the time rain & snow the balance of the time with very short rations returned yesterday & to my great joy found a box to pitch into. The puffs went up first because on top of the box these we eat while i read your & Lou’s letters the other boys seem-ed too bashful to get deeper in the box. after reading your letter I found the bottom of the box pretty soon. every thing was thought the belt &  although we eat at least an hour it has not been decided yet which of all the things were the best. I believe the pickle was appreciated the most. I have reserved my thanks to you all until now that they may be the more appreciated after the attack we made.  Tell Johnny that I saved his apples until this morning as a kind of afterclap to my breakfast. they were very nice.  Tell him I am very glad he thought of me as well as obliged for the apples. Tell him he must make haste & write to me and tell me how many [lambs?] he has & how they are doing. How is the plowing getting along? Have they made ready the oats land? it has been such bad weather that I expect they are getting along very poorly. I wrote to Charles this morning inviting him to dine with me to day or tomorrow.  Sent it down by John Gibbons (your devoted took it down for me). It has commenced raining again.  I am glad we are off picket this time all the boys are making rails for the fence they burnt.  [6 ? ferrys?] did not burn any so we do not have to make them Speaking of rails reminds me of Miss Lucy Stout, do you know any thing of her engagement one of company ‘I’ told me she was to be mar-ried to one of the Geor-gians. We have a visator named Hines a very old gen-tleman who keeps up such a chat that I can scarcely write. Tell Miss Molly I am very much obliged to her for the packing of the box I have not seen Jack since I got your letter. If he knew I was writing he would send his love for he always quarrels with me for not doing so when I take me letters up.  Jack has just come & sends his love to all the family, I could hardly make head or tail out of your part of the letter. Tell Lou her turn comes next. I will write to George tomorrow.  Give my love to Ma, Miss Mollie, Nellie, Lou, Johnny, and yourself

Yours etc. P. M. Grattan

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