"The Camp Kettle" was a four-page newspaper published with on-and-off regularity by members of the 100th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment, known as "The Roundheads" because of their Calvinist background and their alleged descent from Oliver Cromwell's own troops.
When they established the little paper, they had set out their purpose:
We have little room to spare, and none to waste in the "Camp Kettle," and shall briefly state that it is our intention to publish it as a daily, or weekly, or occasional paper, just as the exigencies of the service will permit. It is our intention to cook in it a "mess" of short paragraphs replete with useful information on a great many subjects, about which new recruits are supposed to be ignorant. We shall endeavor to make it a welcome visitor beside the campfire and in the quarters, a sort of familiar little friend that whispers kind words and friendly advice to inexperienced men concerning the new position they have assumed, and the new duties that follow. Everything relating to a soldier's duty, and camp life, from mounting guard, to cleaning a musket, will be fit ingredient for the "Kettle." Rules for preserving health and cooking rations will be in place, and all sorts of questions relating to a soldier's duty, and his wants, when respectfully asked in writing, over a responsible name, will find an answer in the next mess that is poured out of the "Kettle."
One hundred fifty years ago,the regiment was camped on the outskirts of Beaufort, SC, and they were finding that they had relatively little to do. The conversation was of confrontation to come, not current skirmishes. Things were so peaceful, in fact, that family members were able to travel to Beaufort to visit their enlisted relatives. The Camp Kettle for one week in January carried this announcement:
Mr. James Moffat and Thos. J. McKee, of Lawrence couny, Pa., are here on a visit to their sons, who are members of company F, Capt. Cline, of the 100th (Roundhead) regiment. Our friends seem well pleased with their visit, and are out with the "boys" on picket duty. They "rough it" right well, and if an opportunity should "happen round any where loose," we don't doubt that they would "slip up" within "eye white" distance of the "secesh."
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