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18440Re: Dining facilities

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  • Jack Hultquist
    Jun 8, 2003
      1862 letters,
      Third Indiana Battery
      Otterville, Missouri, January 23, 1862
      We also have to haul our wood about a mile and do our own cooking etc.   I will tell you what we draw from the commissary daily, beef or bacon, hominy, beans, rice, soap, and 1 candle to a squad, vinegar, [and] salt.  We have the priviliege of drawing flour or crackers [hardtack] which [ever] we please.  We draw enough of this to make plenty for us to eat and as long as we get plenty of this I’ll not grumble.  I for got, we get plenty of sugar and coffee. Our squad has divided off into 3 messes, me George and 3 others is in our mess.  Our cooking utensils, dishes, etc. consists of 2 camp kettles, 1 frying pan, 1 tin bucket, 2 big sheet iron dishes, a tin plate a peice, and some sort of a smashed up tin cup a peice.  Some have spoons, and some having no k[n]ives or forks.  I have a fork, knife, and spoon altogether which I paid 1.50 for. 
      Jefferson City, Mo.   May 2 ond  /  62
      You needent to bother about sending us any eatibles of any kind for it might cause us to founder ourselves [disabled by excessive eating] as we are not use to any such nick nacks.  And since we have been here at Jeff City we have had plenty of bakers bread.  We draw the flour and get the baker to bake it on the shears. 
      Jefferson  City, Cole County, Mo.  May 4th / 62
      You may ask the question why I dident go to church or to see George [in the hospital].  The reason I dident is this, I have undertook to cook for the squad (about 20 men) and cooking and doing my duty keeps me busy nearly all the time.  I dont get but little time to write in the day time I have to write of knights. 

      Jefferson  City  Cole  County  Mo, May  the  24th  1862

      I am going to express about twenty dollars home.  You may look for it at the express office at Shelbyville about the last of next week (the first of June).  The reason I dont send more is this, the boys hasent all paid me for cooking.  [.....].  The reason I have delayed writing so long is this, since I have been cooking I have been kept so busy that I wrote just as few letters as I could handily make do, just answering all that I received.


      Was cooking part of Harrison's official duties and or something he did for additional cash?
      The way he wrote on May 4 and May 24, 1862 it sounds as if cooking was something in addition to his normal battery duties:
      May 4 - "cooking and doing my duty keeps me busy nearly all the time".
      May 24 - "the boys hasent all paid me for cooking"
      This June 26 letter reads as if the cook was also responsible for putting up the shade over the tables.
      Jefferson City, Mo  June the 26th /62

      And the wind blew nearly all our tents down, and all the shades that was over our tables and horses except the one that I put up, it stood the storm. 


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