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[38] a barrel per company, ten in all. Liberal housekeepers may like to know that for a barrel of water we allow three gallons of molasses, half a pound of ginger, and a quart of vinegar,--this last being a new ingredient for my untutored palate, though all the rest are amazed at my ignorance. Hard bread, with more molasses, and a dessert of tobacco, complete the festive repast, destined to cheer, but not inebriate.

On this last point, of inebriation, this is certainly a wonderful camp. For us it is absolutely omitted from the list of vices. I have never heard of a glass of liquor in the camp, nor of any effort either to bring it in or to keep it out. A total absence of the circulating medium might explain the abstinence,--not that it seems to have that effect with white soldiers,--but it would not explain the silence. The craving for tobacco is constant, and not to be allayed, like that of a mother for her children; but I have never heard whiskey even wished for, save on Christmas-Day, and then only by one man, and he spoke with a hopeless ideal sighing, as one alludes to the Golden Age. I am amazed at this total omission of the most inconvenient of all camp appetites. It certainly is' not the result of exhortation, for there has been no occasion for any, and even the pledge would scarcely seem efficacious where hardly anybody can write.

I do not think there is a great visible eagerness for tomorrow's festival: it is not their way to be very jubilant over anything this side of the New Jerusalem. They know also that those in this Department are nominally free already, and that the practical freedom has to be maintained, in any event, by military success. But they will enjoy it greatly, and we shall have a multitude of people.


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