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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/254

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246 Southern Historical Society Papers.

On the march once near Culpeper Courthouse, we tried a plan sug - gested by General Longstreet and never repeated it again. We built a large fire and allowed it to burn down. We then raked It off clean, spread some pine straw, on this a blanket, and, wrapped in another blanket, we slept like a top; in fact, too warm. We sweltered, and next day had violent influenza, and suffered acutely.

In the absence of pocket handkerchiefs we had to slip our nose on our rough coat sleeves, which soon produced an inflamed organ, rivaling John Barleycorn in that respect.

Our clothes, mostly cotton, were coarse and heavy, and of every hue and cut not a full uniform of one material except those of the staff. The prevailing color was what is familiarly known as "but- ternut," a dry dye made from copperas. Its commonness gave rise to the nickname of " butternuts " to the Confederate soldiers. Our shelters, when in winter quarters, were varied, distinct and original. We had the "dugout," the thatched arbor-shaped dog kennel, a log pen opened at one end, chimney at the other, and covered with tent flys, or riven boards, and these frequently heaped with earth. The double cabin or hut was the one most preferred, and was large enough to shelter six or eight men. This was built with a brick and mud chimney at each end. When properly chinked and daubed, and well covered, it was very comfortable. As the fireplace was ample we put on huge back logs and defied the worst of weather. Very little bedding sufficed in these huts. Many of the soldiers would, on the summer's march, throw away their blankets and su- perfluous clothing, trusting to luck to provide others ere winter set in. Often failing in this they had to resort to such as they could get bed quilts or pieces of carpet, which, as soon as they became wet through, trebled in size and weight, and were finally thrown away as too cumbersome even for the frail comfort they afforded.

The latter part of the war in Virginia, and, I suppose, everywhere else, was often characterized with wretched battle scenes. I have seen hundreds of dead Federals, and many Confederates, too, stripped of every vestige of clothing. Even the wounded were robbed of their outer clothing sometimes. No matter if the under- wear was soaked with life-blood, reeking with vermin and the filth of a long campaign, it was readily taken and used, because needed, and beat none badly. This robbery of the gallant dead was not done as a desecration, but on the ground of personal suffering and need of the living, and the plea was advanced that the garment was of no further service to the dead. It seems barbarous and terrible