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Camp of the 53 Reg.

8 miles North East of Orange CH Va

January 3rd 1864

Mr. Wm and Mary Proffit

Dear Father and Mother I with grate pleasure drop you a short note wich will in form you that I am in tolerable helth owing to hardships and privations of camp life. I do grately hope when these lines comes to hand you and family may be in Joying good helth.

I have no news for to communicate wish would inter rest you. I have no war news at present times & all is still in this vicinity at present & we have just go up some of our huts. I got mine done the first of this instant all to the done shelter. I had not laid in a house nor under a tent for eight months. We have just taken the wether as it came and you can give a gess how we have fard and the wether is powerful cold here at this time and we are scarce of blankets but if we can get to stay here in our huts I think we can do very well.

We have a grate many that is sick in our brigade and some ar dieing. John Wodey died at Orange the 15 of December. Harrison Brown was sent off to the horse pittal yester Day. Barnet Owens was sent this morning. Boath was very sick men. I have no thout that Owens will live. We have bin so exposed I feer that we shal have a grate Deal of sickness. Orders came round last nite to furlow one man for evry twenty men in camp that some of them will be coming home constantly.

We have a close time here at this time. Tha have cut our rashions down to a qarter of a pound of bacon and one pound of flower and evry thirde day we don’t get that. We drew to day one spoonful of shooger and not so much coffee and no bacon. We have close living.

I have bin looking for a letter from you for some time. I wrote you a letter just as soon as I herd W.H. was ded but has failed to receive please respond to me. So I will close by acknowledging my self as ever,

Jesse Miller

Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 2. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Original in Proffit Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill. 

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