A letter from one soldier to another

                 Respect those that served

 

Rebuilding a civil war hut over the original “hut hole”: One Veteran tips his hat to another

To my Yankee friend that lived on my property many years ago,

I read lots of your letters, so, I wanted to write to you. I want to let you know I found your hut hole. I did my best to reconstruct your hut to look the way it did when you slept in it.

I was lucky; I found your hut hole close to the entry to our home. Now, every time I pass your hut I get to feel your presence and I tip my hat to you and the others that sacrificed so much. I want you to know your service is honored and memorialized.

 

The soldiers wrote that they used red Virginia clay (mud) and straw to fill the space between logs. So, that is what I did and that is what you see. I added a little Portland cement to make the mud more permanent-but-that did not change the color.

 First, I had to dig out top soil and old trash that farmers are famous for putting in hut holes. I noticed the first generation of pop-top beer cans as I dug toward the original bottom. As I exposed the bottom, I noticed the remains of rusty steel beer cans and other old trash. The almost black top soil mixed with trash made it easy to see the contrasting yellowish sandy loam corners, sides and bottom of the original hut hole. I found some old rusty 1862 type nails and small pieces of wood. As I reached the bottom, I thought I smelled smoke from the fire that used to heat your hut. (I don’t know if it was my imagination or the old burnt pieces of wood I found.) I found the original hard dirt corners and bottom and exposed the original hut hole.

I told D.P. Newton, at The White Oak Museum, after I exposed the original hole, the sandy loam dirt was almost as hard as rock.

I had to add some large rocks where I think the original fire place was. I scraped back and shaped a new fire place. Then, I used a post-hole digger to make an eight inch hole to start the flue. I poured a steel reinforced concrete slab over my new fireplace. Then I installed a zero clearance all stainless steel “Metal Bestos” flue pipe. After I added extra support and the metal flue I covered everything with clay, straw, old locus and cedar.

I was careful to enclose the stainless steel flue and other improvements. I couldn’t resist making the hut almost perfectly level and square. D.P thinks my hut looks authentic and it will last a hundred years even if I don’t replace the canvas periodically.

I want to thank you for the hut hole and your service to our country.

You will never be forgotten.

Sincerely and respectfully, I salute you, Spec. 4 Michael Quick