Letter from Twining, Henry H.

Soldier: Twining, Henry H.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 11th Infantry
Home State: Wisconsin
Date Written: Tuesday, December 3rd, 1861
Location: Sulphur Springs
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Camp Life, Comrades, Family, Secesh, Slavery, Western Theater
Dear Hattie

We had quite a snowstorm here yesterday and last night. It was so cold that we would have froze to death or pretty near it if we had not have kept fire in the stove all night our Stove I call it. I will tell you how it is made. We got Stones and mud and laid up two sides an one end two ft. high and then made it round like and even on top and carried up the back end two ft. higher for a Chimnay. This we made in the tent which makes the tent pretty warm when there is a good fire in it. There is 5 tents with 20 soldiers in a tent which makes 100 in the Company. They are a11 well and enjoy themselves first rate except a few and they have a good reason for not enjoying themselves. I went in the woods last Sunday and got a lot of Hickerynutts and Peacans which were the best nuts I ever ate. We can get a lot of Butternutts, Black walnuts, .Apples 40 cents a bushel, Sweet Potatoe 75$[cent], Potatoes, 25$,Dried Peaches, $2.50, Corn, 20$. They raise the largest Corn here that I ever saw — White Dent, 75 busheld to the acre, White Winter Wheat, 16 bu. per acre worth $1.00 per bu. Peach, Black Berry, and Apple Pies are 15$ each. Niggers till you cant rest. The best Slave will not bring more than $200 here so the owners take them South to Sell. The people are the blackest, nastiest looking things that I ever sew. It is the roughest country here that I ever saw. Hills are no names for them, They are all Mountains. We are in Camp Curtis on the Mississippi River 25 miles south of St. Louis. There is a place between the Mountains big enough for a Camp of about 8 regiments. The Secesh couldn’t get to us any more than you could get your thumb through the eye of a Needle. There is not any Secesh within 200 miles of us that is a Camp of them.

I think the Post Master here is Secesh for the second Lt. [lieutenant] was at the Office yesterday and found all the letters that we had written or some that had been written one week was in the office yet. There was 250 of them. The boys talked pretty hard of him, if he does the like again he will have to give some reason for it or he will get his necktie tightened for him. We get pretty good living: hard Crackers, Coffee, Bacon, Beans, Potatoes, a Onions. Syrup is $1.25 pr gallon. Tobacco 20 to 60 cents per pound. I shall have to go on gard tomorrow and it is so Cold that it will be pretty rough but I will make the best I can of it.

You must write often and tell me all the news. I wrote a letter to you last weekend have not got my answer as yet. We cannot get any letter Stamps here or I would write more than I do. I wrote for Lige to send m. some but I dont know as he will. I wrote to our folks and have not heard from them since. I wish they would write to me. I have wrote to Nathan end Elizabeth, I sent a paper to Sarah Jane yesterday for a birthday present. Write often. Your Friend.
H.H. Twining

P.S. Harriet you must write soon as you can tell your Mother that I should be very glad to hear from her. Tell Celinda to write. The 8th Regt. is here. One of the men shot at a Picket Gard and the Gard struck him twice with his Bayonett and almost killed him and thei say he is to be shot if he gets well. One of the Corporals in Company E shot his fingers of his right hand, the 1 and 2 fingers. I have had a pretty sore thumb on my right hand and I cannot write very good. If you can read it you will do well.