"hudags" in an 1861 Civil War letter

Gerald Cohen gcohen at UMR.EDU
Tue Mar 4 03:15:49 UTC 2003

    Yesterday a colleague mentioned the word "hudags" in a Civil War
letter (Nov. 26, 1861) and today e-mailed me the letter as he
transcribed it.  I don't find "hudags" in OED or HDAS, and the letter
has many misspellings. Might "hudags" be a misspelling of some
everyday word that I'm somehow overlooking?

     Below my signoff is an excerpt of the letter. "Hudags" appears on
page 3, line 4.

Gerald Cohen

[Civil War letter]:

...Yes I do have a considerable
to do with the secesh for the
other night I was sergt of the
guard over to head Quarters
and there was two sent
in for a trial but as it
was to late for that they had
to be sent to the Regt to
stay all night.  so they sent
to for two men.  but as I
wanted some fun I took my
old Musket and got another

(3rd page now begins)

man and started off
but did not have any
adventure as they are but poor
hudags.  it is fun to
march them off but if I
was in their place it wouldn't
be quite so funny.  I suppose
your are a going to keep
Thanksgiving next thursday.  I
expect too.  what is your opin
ion of the war  my is that
it is a humbug  hat it is
not carried on fast enough
I wish it could be carried
on faster.  but as long as
we are here we will not be
killed by secesh.  but you
know we came to do some-
thing for our country.  therefore
we are all disapointed.  we have
been in hopes to go down
the river but I am affraid
we will not get the chance
I was glad to hear that
you got along so well

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