I am writing to you
later in the week than usual & I am
sorry, but circumstances almost una-
voidable compels it. But if I wrote
to you one thousandth part of the
time I think of you my letters would
be endless. You often write of the monot-
any of camp life. I do not apprehend
much trouble from that -- indeed how
my time is taken up I don't know,
but some how I have not time for
innui. The small matters of camp
have lately occupied all my time - but
hope it will be better now as I am
about done my house. I have my
eye on several books in camp who
I have been trying for weeks to find
time to read. I think I have never
written since my first letter of the
material of my company. I doubt very
much if the southern Confe^'de'racy had
in its service a company of men who
know better how to behave themsel-
ves as gentlemen. This of course renders
intercouse with them quite agreeable.
But this is nearly all I can say in their
favor except that they are very moral.
They are by no means F.F.V. they are
generally clerks from different stores
in Richmond & thus representative
of the commercial class. Neither
genius or education is among their
prominent characteristics. But you
know the character of clerks in Va.
As to fattening in camp. All the
Howitzers, except about a half a dozen, are
much fatter than when they came
into camp. I was in town yesterday
after commissary provisions. My weight
was 160 pounds. ten more than ever
before. But ^'it has been' several years since I recollect
trying it before. Drinking is not the
cause of our fattening. Indeed whis-
key sells too high for a soldier to
drink it to any extent; unless he has
other means than a soldiers pay.
I have been told that 40 & 50 dol-
lars a gallon had been given
at Manassas & Centreville. Seven
dollars for ^'a' mean, very mean article
is the price hereabouts. Sometimes
soldiers are charged 50 cts. a drink.
Notwithstanding I had heard so
much about the army worm
I was utterly astonished at every
species of extortion being practiced
openly on the needy soldiers. but
I have generally escaped them, ex-
cept when I went to Rd. to get
my clothes, as I don't drink much
whiskey & have not, wanted their
other articles. I have received sev-
you subscribed for me. I am much
obliged to you for so doing.
I reckon you see & hear so much of
the war that you are tired of
it. I will therefore be mum on that
subject. Your were right as to the
surrender of M & S. I was very
much astonished. But hope & believe
it will be a useless sacrifice of
honour on the part of the U.S. For
war between England and the U.S.
seems to me to be very threatening.
The feeling of the English people is
evidently very strong against the
U.S. Their interest is also opposed to
theirs. In the history of nations when
these two causes ^'have' combined, war has
rarely, if ever, been avoidable.
Our brigade here is exclusively of Mis-
sissippians, except cavalry & our artillery.
You wd. be supprised at the hostil feel-
ings existing between them. They
are indeed an incongruous people.
The southerners however I think are
[written upside down in top margin on p. 4]
a very warm hearted & chivalrous
people. But uneducated & unrefined.
the greater the intercourse between them.
[written upside down in top margin on p. 3]
father I commenced writing this last
night & wrote two pages. As it is too muddy
[written upside down in top margin on p. 2]
to go to church. I have finished
it to day. I am sorry there are not
any more pages to it. Tell mother to
boil her wheat as the first step toward making
[written upside down in top margin on p. 1]
secession coffee. How does J.B.W. like the looks
of Douglas' proposition?
I have felt & thought a good deal about
Charles Jones. Give my best love to mother George
& all. How is Nathaniel. Tell him I hope he has
[written on side margin on p. 1]
become more active. Farewell dear father. May heaven
give you more blessing than even a son knows how to pray for
[written on side margin on p. 4]
most affectionately your son, W.H. Perry
M & S: Perry is referring to the Trent Affair in which James Mason and John Slidell, Confederate diplomats travelling to Great Britain on a British ship were seized by U.S. naval captain Charles Wilkes as "contraband of war." Confederates hoped this action would end in the severing of Anglo-American relations and a recognition of the Confederacy. President Lincoln had them released but never gave a formal apology. Mason and Slidell resumed their mission but did not convince Great Britain to recognize the Confederacy.