"...the Captain rather talks as if he was going to have me a Lieutenant yet..."
Philip's letter of January 10th continued for three more pages. After mentioning the deep mud and the cloying nature of "Southern Soil" (it has a layer of red clay in parts of Virginia), he went on to write:
"We are still in our old camp & they keep us drilling pretty hard which we think is all useless
though it as we are all well instructed in all the movements of the company & battalion but it dont hurt us any for it has been cool bracing air & nice healthy weather though the days are too short for us ~ I am kept pretty busy now all the while I get up before daylight & dont get to bed untill 8 oclock & I hardly have time to cook my meals ~"
And some good news for Roby:
"I can write you pretty good news this time[,] I have been promoted one rank higher one Sergeant who ranked above me has been reduced to the ranks & consequently that help me a little but I am still better off[,] I am acting 2nd Sergeant except on drill then I am acting 1st Sergeant ~ The Captain rather talks as if he was going to have me a Lieutenant yet but that is for our Colonel & Gen Seymour to say[.] We have got a bully colonel he is --very strict-- & high promotions goes slow with him -- he is trying us well before giving any us a chance but ~ I do my best to satisfy him but I must not count chickens before they are hatched. There is many a slip between the cup & the lip ~ "
Try to read along with me:
"We have had it very nice & pleasant here before this rain[.] I have had plenty to eat we drawed flour & I had plenty of it & I had good living got some Soda at the sale of 12/- per lb & in pancakes & biscuits & fried Cakes we put in vinegar & that is just as good as sour milk it makes them more tender but I can make good pancakes I tell you they would make your mouth water to see them the Captains Cook baked some of my flour into biscuit & they went good [.] "
See how much you can decipher from this last page and come back tomorrow to see how accurate you were. I left off somewhere near the top of the page...
Hope to see you then!