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October 23, 2014

Letter from James Madison Bowler to his wife, Elizabeth, about food and living quarters – October 23, 1864

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 3:01 pm

Letter from James Madison Bowler, stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas,  to his wife, Elizabeth, providing an interesting and detailed look at purchases of food supplies as well as his current living quarters.

A partial transcription of the letter:

Little Rock, Ark.
October 23rd, 1864

My Dear Lizzie:
[…] My camp is just on the opposite bank of the river from Little Rock. Have just got some new quarters built. They are 16 by 18 feet built of split logs, chinked with wood and clay, and covered with shakes and have a good cheerful fireplace. Furniture consists of three narrow beds three chairs, a table, and a desk. The walls are hung thick with clothing, swords, sashes, and belts. Altogether it is quite pleasant and comfortable. We have a colored woman to do our cooking and washing. By “we” I mean Lt. Gustafson,  [Adjut…] Jenks, and myself. Yesterday we replenished our larder with 1 bbl flour ($11.55) 200 lbs onions ($15.00) 20 lbs sugar ($6.00) 1 ba. meal ($2.00) 4 gales pickles ($2.00) 2 gales molases ($2.00) 20 lbs white fish ($2.00) 10 lbs Coffee ($4.50) 50 lbs pork $6.00 – besides sundry other things too numerous to mention. […]
Ever your husband,
Madison



See entire letter here: 1864-10-23_Bowler_combined

Citation: October 23, 1864, Letter from James Madison Bowler to Lizzie, Correspondence, undated, 1829-1865. Bowler, James Madison and Family, Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1330]

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