In Camp Dec 25, 1862
Dear Father and Mother:
It is through the grace of God that I am permitted to answer your very kind letter. I was extremely glad to hear from you but sorry to hear of your affliction. I can sympathize with you in your sickness but my arm is too short to help you any. But my prayer to the good Lord is that this may find you restored to good health again. I wish I could be there to wait on you in your old age, but I am deprived of this privilege by this unholy war. It does seem we will eat up creation. This Division consumes from 60 to 70 beeves daily and about 1000 bushels of corn, to say nothing of other expenses, and we have only about 8000 effective men. We have a good many cases of Mumps among our soldiers and the Smallpox is among the citizens of this County. I heard from Uncle John not long ago. He was well. John Stell is dead. He died at Tyler, Texas. Cozen Tom Cook is still living in Alabama. He has served a tour in the army as a Lieutenant-Colonel, but returned home as a doctor, so I was informed by Mr. Hern, a son-in-law of Uncle John. I must close for this time. You must excuse my letter. Please write me whenever you can and I will do the same. Nothing more, only I remain as before your true son through life. Give my love to all my enquiring friends and accept the same yourself. Farewell my father for awhile. signed To Wesley Cook from J. W. F. Cook.
Pulaska co., Ark., December 25, 1862
Headquarters McCullouch's Army, Young's Brigade,
In camp 3 miles north of Little Rock.
Letter # 20.
I am favored by another opportunity of writing to you in answer to your kind letter dated Dec. 11, which I received the other day. I was very glad to hear from you and to hear that you were all well. This leaves me in good health except the bowel complaint I have been troubled with a few days. I had the pleasure of seeing Smith Bass and Bob How last Sunday. They were all well.
The reason I wanted to know how much money you had was that I was afraid that you would get without before I could send you any more. So I have sent you 20 dollars in my 19th letter to you, this day was a week ago. So I want you to write me whether you received it or not and I wish you to use it in any way you see proper. I am owing Burrell (or Barrett) 2 dollars. I want you to pay this for me. I wish I could send you a pair of cards. They have been selling here at 20 dollars, but I have not got a chance of a negro of getting out of camp. You stated in your letter why I wanted you to keep your old letters. I will say to you that the reason is this--that you have a better chance to keep them than I have and if you just but knew how much pleasure they have been to me, you would say keep them too. I am glad to hear that you are trying to raise our children right and my daily prayer to God is that you may be successful. We have moved our camp 2 miles since I wrote before. We are still in suspension; don't know where we will go but expecting to move constantly. I heard this morning that we are taken from McCullock's command and put under General Walker. As I wish to write to Father and Mother on the other side of this, I must close this to you for this time by saying to you to write to me at Little Rock. No more, only my love to you and children forever more.
signed To Mary E. Cook from J. W. F. Cook