Civil War Letters of the Christie Family

Author: Thomas D. Christie
Date: October 26, 1863
Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Addressee: James C. Christie
Description: General camp news; Thomas injures his fingers during writing of the letter.

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Vicksburg Oct. 26th 1863

My Dear Father:

William came in with the rest of the boys on the same day that I posted my letter to Sarah, and you may be sure we were glad to see them all, as they were to see us. William is looking as well as ever, only a little more so, and of course was eager to hear from home. He was, and is yet, very much incensed at "you all" for not writing while I was up there, and you must try by diligence and promptitude to regain his good graces.

My health continues good notwithstanding the long voyage, and hard work since I came. But we have got our tents all fixed up now and will not have anything more than the ordinary duties to do after this. It is said by those who ought to know that we are to stay here all winter, and if so we shall make ourselves comfortable.

Capt. Clayton came down yesterday looking much better—he says he had a hard time of it at Winona with Typhoid fever. He was married before coming down and his wife accompanied him to Chicago. Southwick and I have been very busy the past few days in arranging our tent and putting up a fireplace and chimney. He is our tent now with Kelly and me, and we have got things comfortable as could be. We had a cold rain a few days ago and frost after it – ice 3/4 inch thick – this cold spell continued 2 days, and it set everybody to chimney building.

Oct. 29th

This lay over on account of work I had to do, wood to get out of the swamp, horses to bring from town, &c. I cannot finish it now, as I got three of the fingers of my right hand bruised yesterday by an ammunition chest falling on them, as we were lifting it off to clean and paint. A chest containing 40 rounds of 12 pdr shell coming down on a fellow's knuckles is not what it is cracked up to be if said cracking up indicated that the operation is pleasant. The accident did not happen by my carelessness. I had hold of the handle of the chest, holding it on at one end while the other was being lifted to the ground, in doing this, the man holding the pole of the limber let it swing round and down came my end of the chest in consequence crushing my fingers between the handle and the end of the cheek of the limber body. I thought that bones were broken but there is nothing damaged except the flesh.

You must not expect me to write any more till my hand is well, as it hurts me much to scribble with my forefinger and thumb as I do now.

Your loving Son,
T.D. Christie

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