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[36] He is now, with a hearty professional faith, looking round for somebody to put into it. I am afraid the regiment will accommodate him; for, although he declares that these men do not sham sickness, as he expected, their catarrh is an unpleasant reality. They feel the dampness very much, and make such a coughing at dress-parade, that I have urged him to administer a dose of cough mixture, all round, just before that pageant. Are the colored race tough? is my present anxiety; and it is odd that physical insufficiency, the only discouragement not thrown in our way by the newspapers, is the only discouragement which finds any place in our minds. They are used to sleeping indoors in winter, herded before fires, and so they feel the change. Still, the regiment is as healthy as the average, and experience will teach us something.1


December 30, 1862.
On the first of January we are to have a slight collation, ten oxen or so, barbecued,--or not properly barbecued, but roasted whole. Touching the length of time required to “do” an ox, no two housekeepers appear to agree. Accounts vary from two hours to twenty-four. We shall happily have enough to try all gradations of roasting, and suit all tastes, from Miss A.'s to mine. But fancy me proffering a spare-rib, well done, to some fair lady! What ever are we to do for spoons and forks and plates? Each soldier has his own, and is sternly held responsible for it by “Army regulations.” But how provide for the multitude? Is it customary, I ask you,

1 A second winter's experience removed all this solicitude, for they learned to take care of themselves. During the first February the sick-list averaged about ninety, during the second about thirty,--this being the worst month in the year for blacks.

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