Charles F. Bancroft to Clarissa Bancroft

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Camp GriffinJany 15th 1862Dear Sister,

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Last Sunday night I receid a letter from Father & he wanted an immediate answer but I knew he could not have got a letter which I sent off Saturday morning & I thought that I would wait until tomorrow night as I then hope to get an answer to one of my oth- er letters. I wrote half a sheet of my last letter to you but I have not written a regular letter to you for sometime & now I’ll go in for a regular epistle to you. I can write no war news of any amount for right in this vicinity we do noth- ing but drill five blank cartridges attend to roll call eat our rations & go on picket which last is the most laborious duty we have to do I believe I had rather go right into a pitched battle at Manassas if we by so doing could settle this war up at once than to fool & fuss around here apparently doing nothing but we have got to wait patiently & see what turns up but I hope that the Naval expeditions that are on foot now will fix matters so that

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the fighting will all be done by June for I want to get home in season to get some pump kin pieces & other good things in the fall. I went in to see Mark Hall to day he was writing but is unwell so that he does no duty Merrill is getting better. I then went in to see Henry & Morrillo McLoud & they had just got a box from home & the gave me 2 doughnuts & a quarter of a mince pie & some raisins & another fellow gave me a slice of nice sweet cake & so I had a nice dinner. We have now rather bad weather. Monday was a rather cold & a cloudy day & in the night it commenced snowing and on Tuesday morning there was 3 inches of snow. it snowed some through the day & today it has rained but the snow is not all gone yet I dread the time we shall have when it gets fairly thawed for then the mud will be 6 inches deep unless it would freeze I wish it would hold cold & frozen until winter is past and gone, for it would be healthier but it is not half so bad as at the old camp as the most of the mud is any is in the valley below us but there’s that plaguey drum beating the evening roll call again & so I must stop & attend to it

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Thursday AfternoonJany 16th

Well Clara here I am at this letter again & calculate to finish it so if I get a letter from home to night that it will be ready to send off in the morning. We are having a sort of at Vermont day here now. It grew colder & froze quite hard in the night & this morning it was cold & chilly & we could slide anywhere. the sun rose clear & it has been a fine pleasant day & this afternoon it is so warm that it is thawing Our Streets are not very muddy because the water drains off we being on a side hill but in the hollows there is plenty of mud. I suppose up at home now a days you are having cold weather & plenty of snow & you get a sleigh ride once in a while after Bill & go jingling along at a merry rate how I wish I could be with you, do you suppose I ever shall be? things move so slow that I am all out of pa- tience. do you miss me about going to meeting any? does it ever seem lonesome at home without me there? you and mother must not worry if I am away from your care & think that I am sick because you do not hear from me every week but now I cal- culate to send this off tomorrow morning & you will

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get this for my weekly letter next week then I want you to write so that I shall get the answer to this about the 30th of this month & then I will answer it so that you will get it a week from the time that I receive yours & then we will keep up our weekly correspondence for I felt disappointed last night in not getting a letter from you. & I like first rate to hear from home often I should think it would be lonesome there when you are gone & I too if I had known that things would have moved so slow I should have staid at home but then I should not have earned so much money in the time I have been out here. I wish you would come here & sew some buttons on my coat & over coat & do some other sewing for me. & I want you & mother in your next should give me a lot of receipts for cooking. let me know how to poach eggs & how you make a soup flap jack [toast] gravy also how to make griddle cakes without milk also tell me how I must manage to wash my woolens must they be boiled I believe not for I think mother used to say that it would shrink them Clara do folks in our neighborhood manifest much interest in my being out here? do they seem to care a great deal about it? & do they inquire about me? Father seemed to talk in his last letter that he should send my cooking tools brand &c in a separate box now if he does I do not want it to be a costly one but would like to have the spaces in it not taken up by the kettle spider &c to be filled by things out of the house I wish you would bake me a good big loaf of brown bread in the brick oven & send me a good supply of Indian meal & some potatoes beets & parsnips if there is room. & I want a bottle of good vinegar for the stuff we get here is very poisonous & a little of it makes our mouths very sore a man in our Co got a box this week with potatoes in it & they were not frozen at all & my box would be just as apt to come through quick as any other I wouldnt care if I had a few doughnuts too If you are at work at Mrs Stockwells when you get this send it up to father soon as you can give Wm Bancroft my respects & tell him I will write to him soon

From your Affectionate Brother C. F. Bancroft