[Transcriber's note:  This article appeared in the 9 January, 1862 edition of the Fayetteville (Tennessee) Observer.  The letter was written by JYG, or probably John Y. Gill, who is listed in Tennesseans in the Civil War as a Brevet 2nd Lieutenant in the 44th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry.  At the time this letter was written, he was a member of Captain W.H. Moore's "Ladies' Guards" , a unit which was eventually merged with Captain Burnette's Company and became Company H, 55th (McKoin's) Tennessee Infantry Regiment.  The letter is to the editor of the Fayetteville Observer, a Mr. N. O. Wallace.   Thanks to Mr. Eugene Ham of Fayetteville, Tennessee for locating the article.    M.L. Campbell]


Written for the Fayetteville Observer,


Dec. 30th, 1861

Mr. N. O. Wallace:

DEAR SIR:----I have been thinking for some days that I would write to you, but my mind has been so very busy attending to other things that I have never had an opportunity until the present, and do not know that I can interest the numerous readers of the Observer, but having many relatives who are subscribers to the Observer, I hope it may be the instrument of them hearing from their friends now in Camps.

We are all in fine spirits so far; all are learning to cook very well without soda or any thing to make a biscuit hump itself, and to sleep every way except standing, and you would really think there was a very good chance of learning how to sleep in that position could you be in camps a few days only.  We drew our Tents Monday, the 23d, a few lbs. of old buck, or rather his daddy, but we manage very well after cooking a piece of him about half a day to chew small pieces at a time, enough at least to stay our stomach, &c.   We have not organized a Regiment yet, nor do I know when we will do so, as there are but 4 or 5 Companies at Camp Weakley, except Cavalry.

The Ladies of good old Lincoln (not Abe,) would think there was but little chance for the Ladies' Guards to guard them if they could see what time we have cooking and eating, with our fingers in grease up to the knuckles, and mouth and nose taking an active part in the same game.---Beside old buck, we have a very extra dish, a favorite with all the boys in Camps, invented by Bill, our cook in tent No.3, block 32, Gay St., and which he calls Hop and Johnny, or drap dumplings, very much liked by our patriotic Captain, W.H. Moores.

We have met with some as patriotic friends in and around Nashville as you will find anywhere.  Reverse it and we have met with some who are probably Lincolnites in sentiment.  As an evidence of this fact we borrowed a key to unlock a trunk, the key of which had accidentally fell in inside, and the good old man did not charge but 20 cents for the use of it.  Very patriotic indeed, and a hundred other little things of the same nature, that we do not deem prudent to mention.

It is rumored that our Company will take up winter quarters at Camp Weakley----very agreeably with most of the Company.  I had as soon winter here as anywhere, as it is a high, dry, beautiful place, and very healthy, said to be.  My friend J.P. Pinkerton told me the other day that he had sent for your paper; if so send it to Nashville, Tenn., as we have no post office at Weakley yet.   If he has not sent to you for it, please send it any how to me in care of Capt. W.H. Moores, Nashville, Tenn.  I will write to you again soon.

You will please say to the Ladies of Lincoln Co., through your paper, that the Ladies' Guards are up and doing; all well except one or two cases of measles, and that they are ready to spill the last drop of blood for their protection.  Send the Observer regular, for it will be a welcome messenger to the Ladies' Guards.

Therefore, wishing you much success, and a happy life,

I am your obedient servant,


Lieut. in Capt Moores' Com.

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