The following is an extract from a private letter from an officer in the confederate army:
my Dearly beloved parents: I wrote you a letter some three weeks ago, but do not know whether you have received it. Do try and write to me; find out in London
the name of some merchant in Nassau
all the steamers lay for a while before they run the blockade into some confederate port,) and write to me in care of that firm, and put on the envelope: “From yourself in England
to a son in the confederate army in America
Oh! I do so long to hear from you all. I am in tolerably good health, and hope it will continue, and that my dear mother and sisters, Charlie, and all my relations, are alive and well, and that my dear father is also alive and well and knows no trouble; but I am afraid he has known too much since this war began.
Provisions and clothing must be very high in England
; in fact, I expect every thing, or nearly so, is. I wish with all my heart this war was over, and then you may be sure it would not be very long before I see the old cliffs of dear England
how I love thee; never so much as when separated from thee.
I love my country, but I had to join in this war, as we are in the right, and the North
wants to crush us out entirely from off the face of the earth.
We have now about four hundred thousand troops in the field, and the Yankees
have twice as many, if not more, and yet they cannot whip us, and never will; for much as I love my dear old soil, England
, never will I give up fighting for liberty and independence.
We would all like this war to cease; but only on one condition — separation.
No union any more for us. Why, the meanest beggar man lives better than we do. One pint of Indian corn-meal
and three quarters pound fresh beef, or eight ounces of salt pork, constitute our daily meal, with a drink of water; no coffee or sugar.
Coffee only costs (when there is any) twenty shillings a pound, and sugar five shillings; salt, four shillings a pound; shoes, six pound ten shillings; coat, twenty-eight pounds; trowsers, eight pound five shillings; boots, fifteen pounds; flour, seventeen pounds a barrel of two hundred pounds; eggs, four shillings a dozen; chickens, five shillings each; butter, five shillings and sixpence a pound; ink, eighteen shillings a pint; pens, sixpence each; common tallow candles
, three shillings each; shirts, two pounds five shillings; and every thing else in proportion.
The ladies cut up their carpets to make blankets for the soldiers.
When you have something good to eat, just think of me in America
, twenty-six years old this year, going on seven years since I left home.
Oh! I do so long for the time to come for me to go home; and I hope God will spare my life until that end is attained.