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[37] to help to tenderloin with one's fingers? Fortunately, the Major is to see to that department. Great are the advantages of military discipline: for anything perplexing, detail a subordinate.

New Year's Eve, 1862.
My housekeeping at home is not, perhaps, on any very extravagant scale. Buying beefsteak, I usually go to the extent of two or three pounds. Yet when, this morning at daybreak, the quartermaster called to inquire how many cattle I would have killed for roasting, I turned over in bed, and answered composedly, “Ten,--and keep three to be fatted.”

Fatted, quotha! Not one of the beasts at present appears to possess an ounce of superfluous flesh. Never were seen such lean kine. As they swing on vast spits, composed of young trees, the firelight glimmers through their ribs, as if they were great lanterns. But no matter, they are cooking,--nay, they are cooked.

One at least is taken off to cool, and will be replaced to-morrow to warm up. It was roasted three hours, and well done, for I tasted it. It is so long since I tasted fresh beef that forgetfulness is possible; but I fancied this to be successful. I tried to imagine that I liked the Homeric repast, and certainly the whole thing has been far more agreeable than was to be expected. The doubt now is, whether I have made a sufficient provision for my household. I should have roughly guessed that ten beeves would feed as many million people, it has such a stupendous sound ; but General Saxton predicts a small social party of five thousand, and we fear that meat will run short, unless they prefer bone. One of the cattle is so small, we are hoping it may turn out veal.

For drink we aim at the simple luxury of molassesand-water,

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Rufus Saxton (1)
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December 31st, 1862 AD (1)
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