It had been snowing on and off for three days and there were the usual nervous warnings from brigade to have rations cooked and be ready to march and fight if the Yankees advanced.
Several inches of fresh snow had accumulated when quartermaster clerk Hill recorded in his diary, Jan. 6, 1862:
“Cloudy and cold, snowing at intervals. Snow from last night is near four inches deep. Boy Phillip ran away from us last night.”
Phillip was the servant/slave who cooked, served and cleaned for Hill’s mess, which included the senior officers of the regimental quartermaster and commissary.
Perhaps Phillip figured it would be harder to go after him in the snow, though it might make tracking him easier when the snow stopped falling. I don’t know whether his run was successful. I’ve found no record of what happened to him.
Phillip was not the only servant/slave in the 13th, so options were available. The next day Hill’s mess had a solution: “We employed Dr. [A.G.] Anderson’s boy, John, to cook for us at $.24 per day.” Anderson was the regiment’s assistant surgeon.