Lord willing, for the next two weeks, I’ll be focusing on Christmas and the Civil War. Each entry will be inspired by portions of letters and journals written by Union and Confederate soldiers. Here’s my first seasonal effort.
On December 27, 1864 a soldier, Private Levi McCormick, wrote his wife. The following is his letter as it was written in 1864.
Dec 27th 1864 Camp 4th Del Vol 3 Brg 2 Dev 3 Corps
Dear wife I will send you a few lines stating how we are I have bin down with the diarier for about a weak it has bin the most sevear that I hav ever ha but I feel better to day & I hav washed all of my cloaths & I borrowed some cloathes while mine are drying I cant write you mutch this time but if I keep wel I will try and write you a interesting leter some of those days we hav got houses built up wonce more but Christmas was a very dul day hear we have not had it yet but the war news is good we have had a despatch from G Shairman he has done more than we could of asked of him I hope this will find you all wel Samey is not very wel he had a cold we hav bin very mutch exposed but I dont want to write about You can sea the reason why I hav not wrote I send my love to all from you ever true and loving Husband
Levi McCormick good by send on your box
Here’s a poem inspired by McCormick’s letter.
Private Levi McCormick Writes His Wife: Christmas 1864
I bin down with squirts.
My backend’s raw as a sun bernt scalp
and cold air snaps at me
when I drop my trousers.
I borrow’d some clothes.
Had to wash mine, bein’ so smelly.
Ther hangin’ on a tree limb near the fire –
stil they be frozen, stiff as a ten day corpse.
Seen me plenty of them.
Anyway, send on a box. I need a scent of home.
Tell the boys mery christmas.
I’ll be lookin’ for that christ star whilse I wate.
Note: I’ve been having diffuculties properly formating my poems. They no longer cut and paste the way I want them to. If you can help, let me know.
- The Peach Orchard and Christmas (thelintinmypocket.wordpress.com)