From the Archives: Civil War Letter
Friday morning at cook camp
August 12th / 64
My Dear Lizy,
This morning I am suffering worse than I was when I wrote you yesterday evening. I am suffering a great deal with my back still. If I can get a horse this morning I intend to go over to see our Doctors or rather our quacks. I think I shall go before the board of quacks also with a petition for a discharge. I have been discharged four times; I am willing to risk it again; I am certain as long as I remain as I am I will be of no service here at all; so far as soldiering is concerned. I have never flinched from duty of any kind since I have been out no matter how dangerous it has been. When the bullets have fallen the thickest I have been found upon the spot with my gun in hand and ready to meet them. Situated as I am now so far as health is concerned I feel no disposition to do anything but keep quiet. I have had position after position offered me but I do not want any of them. I had rather be a private than to hold the highest position and remain on the field of battle. I have been here long enough to learn that there is no easy position in the bullet department. Stephen Pettus has a discharge. I will send you a note that I wrote to him but did not succeed in getting it to him. You will please send it to him and make the arrangements that I requested in the note about the fixing up of my kettles. I have written you so many letters and received none that I have nearly run out of soap. I do not know what to write. I have heard no news this morning; picket fighting was going on all night on the left of us; the yesterday’s report is not true as the yanks have been throwing shells into town to day which goes to prove that they are not 5 miles from here. In the evening paper it is stated that we had recaptured Marietta and were tearing up the track with a vengeance but it deserves no credit at all. I hope you are all at home enjoying yourselves much better than I am. If you are not I pity you; just about the time that I thought I could not get sick I was made to feel quite different by experience; three months will soon have passed away since I left my home; my sweet home my comfortable home on this earth; it has been a long three months indeed. Next Monday makes the 12 weeks we left on the 23rd of May. Yesterday evening I bought a water melon of common size and paid 10 dollars for it. I got one piece of it to eat. It tasted well; peaches are worth $ 3.50 per dozen green apples 2 dollars per dozen; flour $ 1.50 per lb or at least we pay that for them> I have written several letters about my affairs at home so many I have forgotten what I did write. If you get them carry out what instruction I gave you in them. Tell all howdy; I believe I have nothing more to write now.
A. T. Holliday