Dec. 1st. Hewed timber for our tent, as we were ordered to prepare winter quarters. Dec. 2nd. In the forenoon drilled in the bayonet exercises which we are obliged to do every day. Dec. 3rd. Nothing going on today. Paid 25 cts. for a loaf of bread. Dec. 9th. My feet have been wet for three days and today are quite sore. My shoes have given out and my toes are on the ground. Don't know but I shall freeze them.The news that Gen. Burnside had completed preparations for making the long contemplated crossing at Fredericksburg was not long in reaching the camp of the regiment. Extra rations were issued, together with extra rounds of ammunition. The arms were given an exceptional inspection and everything indicated that there would be a movement at daybreak. An interesting incident occurred in the camp of the Nineteenth Massachusetts during the evening of Dec. 10. John Thompson of Company F, who was on special duty went to Lieut. Hill and said, questioningly ‘The boys are going into a fight tomorrow?’ ‘It looks like it, John,’ was the reply. ‘Well, Lieutenant, please let me fall in with them.’ He was told that he could not be spared from his post as cook. ‘I know, Lieutenant, but I want to show 'em the stuff I've got in me. Won't you let me go?’ He begged so hard that he was finally permitted to fall in, the most pleased man in the regiment. During the period of waiting, Burnside had sent a summons across the river for the surrender of the city and his demand had been refused. Then, in accordance with the plan of the commanding general, on the morning of December 11, an attempt was made to lay the pontoons from near the Lacy House on the north bank, directly to Fauquier Street, the main street of Fredericksburg which ran to the river. Two more were begun a third of a mile down the stream and two others a mile and a half farther down, near the house of a Mr. Bernard. Sumner and Hooker were to use those opposite the town and Franklin those farther
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