Letter from Twining, Henry H.

Soldier: Twining, Henry H.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 11th Infantry
Home State: Wisconsin
Date Written: Wednesday, December 25th, 1861
Location: Big River Ridge, MO
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Camp Life, Daily Life, Family, Secesh, Western Theater
Dear Friend Hattie
A happy, Merry Christmas

It is with great pleasure that I take my pen hand to inform you that I am well and getting along first rate and hope that this will find you well. I wish you a Merry Christmas. Hat, I got yours and your Mother’s letter last Saturday and was glad to get them for I wanted to hear from you. I was on Picket Gard one mile from and I told the rest of the boys that I thought I had got some letters on the train so I went to Camp and had four for myself and got four more for the rest of the boys that were on gard. I tell you, Hat, I wish I was up there today to have a Sleigh ride if there is no snow and if there is not any snow so we could have a ride we could have a Visit to your house so the Old Rocking Chair should not be alone but here I am down to the foot of the Hill living on Hard Creckers and Coffee, by gosh. Hat, I believe I shall have to go and confiscate some Honey from the Secesh tonight. there is a ritch farmer about six miles from Camp and he has got a lot of Honey. A lot of the boys went out one night and got five bee hives, four Ox sheep, six geese, six chickens, and two axes. Sometimes we get a fat Ox or a Sheep or Hog. You see we dont starve when there is p1enty in Missouri. Some of the boys were out to a mans house by the name of Inkerbottom and they found he had some apples and they told him that if he would bring some to camp they would buy them of him. So he brought a lode and wanted $20 for them and they gave him $20 in bad money and he gave them $10 in silver so they got his apples and $10 for nothing. They have the best apples here I ever saw. They are large and only ₵.25 per bushel. I went out one night and got about six miles from Camp and stayed there until nine oclock then I went a mile more and came to a big brick house and stopped in and got some supper and a pretty good time. They did not went anything to pay for it but I paid them and started to Camp. Got there at Midnight and the first thing I knew someone said “Halt”, so I stopped. He said “who comes there”. I said a friend. He said, ”Friend advance and give the Countersign”, so I came up close to him and told him I did not know the Countersign but I was a soldier and belonged to Company C and had been out to get some Honey and he said, “I know you, go on.” I was on Picket Gard last Saturday night. We was on the twenty four hours one mile from Camp and had the hardest time I ever had on gard, It snowed then it hailed then I rained and froze on foot as it rained and I had to stand in it all the time and I got pretty cold before morning. We had some fun in the night. There were some Cattle in the woods and one came up to one of the Sentinells and he said “Halt,Halt” but it did not stop so he blared away and Shot Miss Cow so we had some beef.

It was just one year ago today that I remember well when we sat side by side and heard the musick from the Sleigh bell but that day has passed and gone and you no more I see but will write a line to thee. Give my best respects to all who may enquire and reserve for yourself my best wishes of your health and prosperity.
Yours truly,
Christmas think. write often. Make no delay but write.