Charles F. Bancroft to Mary Bancroft

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Sunday P.M.Feb 16th/62Dear Mother.

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This P.M. I believe I will finish this letter by writing some of it to you although there are some things that that I ought to write to father about but you may tell him that I am in no desponding mood at all but have made up my mind to take every thing cool & if my health is good as it is now I had as lief stay here 2 years as to go home only I dont want the war to last that time for it will injure the country too much I am perfectly contented & as my health im proves I feel mor like staying here. I like to go out on picket guard & see the country & I should like to stay here in our present camp a good while for we have got every thing fixed up so nice. to day Charlie when to the Hospital & was able to walk his disease does not weaken him a great deal but is on his throat & lungs. I am in hopes he will be back in a few days I am now alone doing this writing & I find it is much more pleasant than being in a tent with 15 noisy fellows but I had much

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rather have Charlie here than to have him gone at any rate. You say you do not know what we have to cook with & if you did could tell me what to do with many of the articles. I will let you know what material we have here & then you can tell me the best way to manage it. We have salt & fresh beef salt pork flour beans rise sugar & molasses split peas white or southern corn hominy salt & [] how must I manage to make a flour or minute pudding I suppose bring my water to a boil salt & then thicken in flour to the proper consistency at any rate I am going to try it to night & make a sour sauce to eat on it. I can also get milk & eggs, potatoes parsnips & northern cornmeal now sent you tell me how to manufacture various eatables out of this stuff. I have learned to cook many things by experience & when I get home you will have to give up & let me be boss cook how do I make a bread & also an Indian pudding how also a boiled Indian pudding. Apples we can get in any quantity & so long as Charlie & I can make as well as we have done we shall get them for we can have all we want to eat

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& make a handsome profit too. We paid 3.54 for a bushel & a half & sold them for 5.22 & my clear profit on a bushel which I paid for & Charlie paid for a half bushel is 1.12 I went 2 thirds the stock & had 2 thirds of the profits

Sunday Evening
Mother I have just ate my supper & got my things out of the way but supposed you got yours long ago & now are drawing round the fireplace thinking & talk ing about the Corporal in Va. I wish I could just stop in & make one of the number & guess that I shall if we prosper for a lit- tle while as we have at Roanoke Island & at Fort Donelson. The report reached here yesterday that that Fort with Genls Pillow Floyd & Buckner with 15,000 Prisoners had fallen into our possession & to days paper says that the place was invested by a powerful force & must certainly fall into our hands & Genl Brooks says that the Vt Brigade will be discharged in 9 weeks but if as many

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months brings me home I wont complain Such extensive preparations are going on that now if things are managed prop- erly we must be through with this thing by the close of 1862 but after all I have made up my mind to stay out my term for I have got to if my Uncle Samuel says says he wants me but I guess the old gentleman means to turn me off before then. at least I mean to set so if I get among the rebels that he wont need me much longer than fall. Tell father that he need not be afraid that I shall show the white feather for there is too much of old Col Fisher & too much pride about me to do that. I have got the prettiest Rifle in the Co. & it is a good one too & now we fire ten rounds of ball targets cartridges a day & I make some good shots. My gloves are a nice fit but come to think I guess I mentioned that in the fore part of this letter the bag you sent in the letter did me good service last Thursday on picket & I wish you would make me 2 linen ones about one and one half inches wide & 2 inches long to put Pea Coffee & Tea into to make in my teapot then the tea & coffee will be clear That is if you have any peices of linen in the house & send me some more bags in letters they are the handiest things in the world. I wish father would send me a peice of fine sandpaper in letters once in a while How can I make a minute pudding & not get it lumpy mine was all lumps to night I sup- pose I ougth to sift the flour into the kettle I can think of enough to fill out another sheet but must stop so good night & tell father that I feel like a soldier every day

C F Bancroft