The 13th was still camped at Carter’s Mill, when Minutemen Pvt. Nimrod Newton Nash wrote this letter to his wife Mollie:
In Camp Sunday Morning Dec. 1st 1861
After washing, putting on clean clothes and reading some in my Bible, I seat myself in my tent now to write you for I know you love to read a letter from me if you are like myself.
We had inspections of arms this morning as usual on sundays. I have [a] good rock stove in my tent which makes it quite comfortable [in] this cold weather. There are a good many stoves and chimneys in our Reg. They are verry essential to comfort, and are easily builded as rock of all shapes and sizes are near in abundance.
Well Mollie you are wanting to know all about my clothing from what you said in the last letter that I received from you which was dated Nov. 15th and was received by me on monday last. Well everything you sent me arrived safely and I hope were duly appreciated. I am indeed verry proud of everything yo sent me fore they all suit exactly and more than all were made by your own sweet hands. The Comforter will be fine in cold weather when on guard or on the march. You know I always complained of my ears in cold weather and that will keep them as warm as a pudding.
My Coat, Pants, Shirts, Drawers, Socks, Gloves, Blanket, Handkerchief, Rags, and indeed everything you sent me are verry highly prised by me. I hope yo will be able to understand what I have said in relation to the clothing.
My health is not as good as common. Have been afflicted with diarrhea for several days which makes me verry weak, but hope to bee well soon. My bowels have been easily thrown out of order ever since I got over the Measels. This is the most severe attact since I got entirely well of the measils, having to get up often every night.
There is a good many cases of the same sort in the Reg., from the number of men I see and hear every time I go out at night. Charles is down with the mumps [and] has gone to a private house to stay a few days. Will be well soon if he dont expose himself I think. There are a good many complaining with colds, Diarrhea, Jaundice and mumps.
Our election for third lieutenant will come off in a few days. I hope Ed Harmon will be elected, for according to my judgement he will make the best officer we have.
I hope Zelda and Hassie are with you by this time, for I know you are lonesome when by yourself. Charles got a letter from Ema yesterday in which she stated they were all well. She had a great deal to say about the babe. Charles was in low spirits this morning when he left camp on account of a dream he had last night. He dreamed that Emma was dead and it was so plain he awoke and found himself crying like a child. I hope his dream will not come to pass for it is hoped they will both bee sparred to meet again.
You want to know if I read my Bible. In ansure I will say that I do, but not as much as I ought to. I will try and read and study it more in the future.
In Eugenia’s and Zelda’s letters they did not say anything about taking our meat. Zelda said they had to buy their meat, but did not say anything about taking ours. If Josiah did not engage the meat from you I think you had better sell it as soon as possible as it ought to bee killed. You cant take care of more than enough to do us.
It is time to get dinner now and I will finish after that is over… We had baked goose, ham, buiscuit, and sugar for dinner. The goose we bought for seventy-five cents. We dont get any coffee now, as you know that is a verry scarce article in the eating line. They give us plenty meal, flour, beef, sugar, rice, and hams every three days. So you see we are faring better than common. We have corn coffee which is better than nothing. Sometimes we make sasafras tea, but it dont take well unless wee had cream to go with it.
Our tent is the most popular one in our camp for you see I have the best stove of any. The stove is of my own building, and of course you will say it is the best of any.
The big fight has not come off yet, but will soon from the reports of yesterday and today. The report is that the en- are advancing on our forces at Centerville and fortifying as they come. They are preparing for strong resistance. They dont want any more Bull Run fights. I predict that will bee one of the hardest battles ever fought since the war commenced.
We have just received orders to cook one days rations and bee ready to leave here at eight in the morning. There is no telling where we will go when we leave this place, but suppose they are making arrangements to give the enemy a strong reception. Our boys all seem verry willing to go into another fight as it is the prevailing opinion here that the battle at Centerville will end the campaign for the winter, especially if we are successful. Which I hope and pray will bee the case.
Well you have all the news that I can think of at present. The weather is nearer of a sameness here than in our state, but it undoubtedly is much colder than it is there. We look for severe weather as winter is fairly sitting in. I tell you what, I hate to leave my stove and have to make another.
Ed Harmon, Critenden, and all the ress sind their respects to you. Give my love to all the dear friends and relations. Tell Bettie she must stay with you all the time if she can possibly do so. Tell Jim & Milly howdy and to be good darkeys.
Remember me in your prayers. Nothing more. Good Bye my love, and may the good Lord bless and take care of you is the sincere wish of your devoted husband,