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[35] I could hear them praying and “shouting” and clattering with hands and heels. It seemed to make them very happy, and appeared to be at least an innocent Christmas dissipation, as compared with some of the convivialities of the “superior race” hereabouts.

December 26, 1862.
The day passed with no greater excitement for the men than target-shooting, which they enjoyed. I had the; private delight of the arrival of our much-desired surgeon and his nephew, the captain, with letters and news from home. They also bring the good tidings that General Saxton is not to be removed, as had been reported.

Two different stands of colors have arrived for us, and will be presented at New Year's,--one from friends in New York, and the other from a lady in Connecticut. I. see that “Frank Leslie's illustrated Weekly” of December 20th has a highly imaginative picture of the muster — in of our first company, and also of a skirmish on the late expedition.

I must not forget the prayer overheard last night by one of the captains: “O Lord! when I tink ob dis Kismas and las' year de Kismas. Las' Kismas he in de Secesh, and notin‘ to eat. but grits, and no salt in 'em. Dis year in de camp, and too much victual!” This “too much” is a favorite phrase out of their grateful hearts, and did not in this case denote an excess of dinner,--as might be supposed,--but of thanksgiving.

December 29, 1862.
Our new surgeon has begun his work most efficiently: he and the chaplain have converted an old gin-house into a comfortable hospital, with ten nice beds and straw pallets.

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