John Hough letters - March 27, 1864

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Letter #2

Bridgeport March 27-1864
Dear Brother

            There is so many I want to write to that I hardly know who to write to first, but concluded I would answer your last as it contained such good news.  I was very glad to get a letter from Mother – hop she will write often as she has an opportunity.  I would like to be with you & enjoy your good meetings.  I can not, but can rejoice with you for what God is doing, he is the same every wheres, at home or abroad, he careth for all and will guide & protect those who put their trust in him.  I hope you will continue seeking & praying till you have full evidence that you are born again.  I am trying to live a Christian, to set a christian example, but it is an easy thing here to be led astray, & I know I am frequently but I feel to thank God & take courage for the good effects of Christian example & a few kind words now & then, which have come under my own observation.  We (cooks) have to do with about 50 men and of course some pretty hard cases.  One boy when we came here hardly spoke without swearing, & now he seldom swears.  We have reproved many of them & they seem to be ashamed now to use profane language in our presence.

            We cannot keep the sabath here as we would like to, but we do not work more than necessary, had preaching here this forenoon, but could not go because we thought it necessary to do some cooking, although if we had known that there was going to be preaching soon enough we could put off the cooking till afternoon.

            I believe when I wrote lat I expected to move but dont remember wheather I said anything to you about it or not.  Well through the influence of friends I was permited to stay here.  A squad of 44 went out to build stockades on the railroad towards Nashville.  A squad of about the same number went previous so, the number here is rather small.  The boy have good times off there but are not quite as comfortably situated, have to work out doors.  They get fresh meat eggs milk & e but that I dont care for except the milk.  I would like some of that, have had good fresh beaf here lately & have drawn tea a few times which is good for a change.

            Watson is back in the cook shanty again not very strong yet but he & I can get along very well, have plenty of room now, the other mess has gone & It will be much pleasanter in some respects--  Now I wish you could slip in here and see us a few minutes this afternoon, it is a very pleasant spring day & we are here all alone, (except when they come in for a drink of water which I will tell you how we get some other time or place) writing watson at one shelf and I at the other.  You could find us very comfortable in our shanty which is 12 ft square, fire place on one side, the opposite side a door pork barrels water & flour barrels, the other two side a shelf made of a two inch plank above it smaller shelves for dishes, under them boxes of hard tack, beans coffe rice & a mess box with some bread & about a bushel of fried cakes which we made this fore-noon, & they are good ones, to, If I do say it, would not be ashamed to set them before any one at home.  Well B I am having a good time now, & there is no use worrying about what is to come.  We are liable to sudden changes, my health is good for me, feel quite encouraged that the change is going to be benificial but have not been here quite long enough yet to prove it.
            Levi Smith is getting better, think he will get along now.  Write often, all of you.  Remember me to all enquireing friends.

                                                                                                            J K Hough

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