Charles Miller
6th U.S. Cavalry
July 12, 1863
The Shenandoah Valley

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We drew no rations between Winchester and Mt. Jackson, a distance of about forty miles, but on the way I traded my overcoat (it being wet and heavy, and had become burdensome) with a colored man for $15.00 in Confederate money and a peck of raw peanuts. These I did not relish and gave most of them away.

At Mt. Jackson we were given an opportunity to wash and arrange our own toilet for the first time on the march. Rations were issued, but their commissary was exhausted before they got half way around, so I of course was minus mine. But I was not always doomed to bad luck. My comrade, the one who shared with me in the ring bargain, prevailed upon one of the guards to accompany him to a house near by in search of something to eat. The lady of the house being of German descent, and my comrade having inherited the language from his mother, soon by his sympathetic pleading softened her heart, and she acknowledged that she had a little flour, but in her pecuniary circumstances could not afford to give it away. Andy, for I shall so call him, it being more familiar and Andrew being his name, not having any money got her price, which was three dollars in greenbacks, and hurried back to inform me of his good luck. I did not hesitate to give him the required sum which he took, and soon returned with a bushel of flour and a big iron kettle to bake it in.

We could not carry so much flour, so we filled our haversacks and readily sold the balance at 50 a quart. We just had time to cook a hasty meal, and were ordered on the march. Andy returned the flour bag and bake kettle, thanked the lady, and stole the cover to the kettle which he carried all the way to Staunton to bake our flour on, a distance of sixty miles. Here we were to take the cars for Richmond.

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