We drill for about another 2 hours until the First Sergeant is hoarse from yelling commands and cussing the recruits for their clumsiness. Leaving the area we drilled in and moving back to our camp, we get with the recruits and tell them they are coming along just fine and not to worry about what the First Sergeant said.

Back at camp we find the quartermaster had somehow gotten a mess of onions and he issues two onions to each mess. We immediately get the hardened skins off; put the peeled onions in our skillet and the skillet over our fire. The onions get real soft and with the small amount of grease left in the skillet are very tasty after we divide them up amongst us.

The sun has gone down and the wind begins to pick up. The temperature starts to drop and as many of us that can, get close to the fire and start to smoke our pipes. My wife, Nancy, had sent me some tobacco ropes during the late summer so I am still well supplied.

I think of her each day: how she pulled her long raven hair up on her neck in a bundle; her dark brown eyes; and her beautiful smile. She is such a wonderful wife. We hadn’t been married long when I had to leave for the war. Her daddy had sent her oldest brother along with me when we left for Virginia, but he was kilt at Sharpsburg.

I can still remember what happened and how he died.