Roswell Farnham to Laura
Your letter begun Jan'y 16th was duly rec'd. It found us all well. Since writing you last we have moved from our old camp & are now in a nice place that we have cleared in the woods. Our men have stockaded their tents - all of them - that is they have built up the sides of their houses with timber & put the tents on as roofs. There, I have drawn you a rough outline of a stockaded tent so that you can get some idea of what they are. The men are more comfortable than they have been at all before. Many of them are better off than the officers. By raising the tents up in this manner they get very much more room & are much warmer. They are warmed either by fireplaces or stoves.
My own quarters are getting to be comfortable, tho'
it was some time before I got in this shape. I will make a drawing of my house also.
There you have it. It contains two rooms, one door, no
windows. It is built entirely of logs except the door & floor of one room,
& covered with my tent for a roof. The first room is floored with round
poles fitted as close as possible. It keeps us off the mud & dirt. The
second floor is partly floored with boards that I bought a mile from here. Under
the bed it is floored with "puncheons" that is boards split out & hewed
smooth. Our bedstead is made of poles with the bark on. We have no fireplace
yet, but keep warm with a sheet iron stove about two feet long & 15 inches
square. The pipe runs through between the logs & rises up behind as you see
in the engraving? Since we have been here we have had only army blankets for bed
clothes & Mary thinks they are rather rough. Our bed
tick is only wide enough for one & we have to piece out. Mary's tick is in
her trunk & that has not yet got here. The roads have been so bad that we
have not been able to get it along. We expect it
today. Mary came from Mr. Whiley's last Monday, & the first night she stayed at a Mr. Davis', who lives about a mile from here. The family is strong "secesh" & Mary says that the woman barely spoke to her. Since Monday night she has stayed with me. She eats in "our Mess". Mr. Peach of Newbury cooks for us. Our mess includes the Col. & wife, Lt. Col. & wife, Major, Chaplain & Adj't. The cooking is done in a tent by itself & we go there to eat. When we get settled down in one place we live well enough. To day we are to have chicken & pudding for dinner. We of course live as we choose when we are where we can buy. The officers have to provide for themselves. When on picket or when moving we come to salt pork & hard tack.
It is now very muddy & almost impossible to get about. We have had about six inches or snow but it is fast disappearing.
I am sorry you had any trouble with Mrs. Baldwin. It was all unnecessary & showed to her how much she had really troubled you. Such talks are very unladylike & I am sorry to have you enter into any with Mrs. B.
I have sent you an order for three dollars. With that you can pay Miss Hemenway
Underwood & have her send him the 2d & 3d Nos. I gave him the two first Nos. at the time he paid me. If Mr. Blodgett says that he has paid me or Mary anything send that amount to Miss H., tho' I think there must be some mistake about the matter. If Mrs. Frary does not receive her books she should write to Miss H. unless you are willing to do it. Neither you nor Mary are under any obligation to do it. It seems to me that you allow the matter to trouble you more than you should. If you dont want to keep it, give it up. Still I think you might do it without allowing it to trouble you so much. Enclosed I send you ten dollars to pay you for the money that Mary borrowed of you. If you want any money to get along with, write me at any time & I will see that you get it. Upon consideration I will not send you the ten dollars, but I wish you would collect a portion of the rent of Mr. Chamberlin.
You must try & get along with Mac a little longer You must expect some trouble in this life. I find a few even here. - We have got Mary's trunk tonight & shall treat ourselves to the luxury of a sheet tonight. Love to all who enquire.