Brown writes to his sister and mother about the goods he was able to purchase in Chambersburg, and describes the general availability, quality, and price of goods in the area. He also gives a brief account of the local population's reaction to the Confederate troops.
Dear Sister & Mother,
Yesterday I purchased a large lot of dry goods comprising three dresses for H.S.B. & two for Mother, or rather one of the girls' dresses is for Lizzie. There are sundry other articles too numerous & unfamiliar to me, to mention, except that I send a piece of shirting cotton. The whole concern cost me (4 lbs. tea at $3.00 included) $163.00-- It would cost you about $700 if you could get it at all, I suppose I hope to be able to fill another box if we get to Harrisburg or Carlisle, and will try to send the things included in your list & not sent now. There are no silk dresses in this town - all being
off or hidden. I bought for C.S. money & used no threats for compulsion whatever.
Chickens sell for 10 cents here, butter for 12 1/2, but we generally have to pay in Yankee money for them as Genl Ewell does not allow us to force our own currency upon the people - a [unclear: leniency] which I think utterly thrown away upon men who behave as these have done, or at least as their troops have done. The people in the towns seem to stir about as much as usual or more, and behave pretty well except that now & then women turn their backs on us, or bring up a decided pout, which as they are naturally very much uglier & coarser than ours, doesn't improve them in fact is a trial their faces are not equal to.
We have actually got again into the neighborhood where a five cent piece is worth something. The dresses I send cost 50 cents a yard, but would have been about 25 in Fedl money, I think.
I send you a New York Herald of June 22 d containing a pretty accurate map of the siege of Winchester to fair enough Yankee account of it. As to our captures it rather exaggerates than diminishes them.
We are daily getting large supplies. All these little Dutch Yankee towns are full of things we require, and we have clothing, shoes, provisions, letter paper even in great quantities- less clothing & shoes in proportion however, than anything else. Genl Lee's orders prescribe that requisitions be made on the towns [unclear: taken] for any articles needed - if they fail to furnish it, then the town is to be searched & anything needed to be taken. We got a good deal by these two means in Chambersburg.
I hope you'll get the valise I send, packed, as a sort of "amende honorable" for taking your carpet-bag supply, especially as the things are very valuable to you. I will try next time to buy something for winter use. We are all well
I hope the tea will be drinkable- It was the only article in town above the degree ofabominable.