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[185] when we started. I think we may as well consider ourselves settled for life, if we are to have a war with England!

My Christmas-eve has been very much like many other eves during the last six months. On the whole, I have passed quite a pleasant night, though what our men call the “ fore-part” of it was principally occupied in taking care of two drunken men (one of them with a broken pate), and in tying a sober one to a tree. After this was over, I did a good deal of reading, and, towards one o'clock, A. M., had some toast and hot coffee,—having previously invited my sergeant to take a nap, so that I might not be troubled by hungry eyes, and made to feel mean, for there was n't enough to give any away. The drummer (who with the sergeant of the guard, for some reason which I never discovered, sits and sleeps in the officers' tent) kept groaning in his sleep; and I could n't help imagining that his groan always came in just as I took a bite of toast, or a large gulp of coffee. This diminished my enjoyment; and when he suddenly said, “Martha, there is n't any breakfast!” I was certain that my proceedings were influencing his dreams.

It began to snow about midnight, and I suppose no one ever had a better chance of seeing Santa Claus; but as I had my stockings on, he probably thought it not worth his while to come down to the guard-tent. I did n't see any of the guards' stockings pinned up outside their tent; and indeed it is contrary to army regulations for them to divest themselves of any part of their clothing during the twenty-four hours . . . . . Merry Christmas and love to all.

At the battle of Cedar Mountain he was serving as aid on General Gordon's staff.

near Culpeper Court-House, Virginia, August 12, 1862.

dearest mother,—. . . . I was in different parts of the field with General Gordon, who finally sent me back to get some artillery through the woods. It was impossible to do it, because the brush was so thick, and besides, I had n't been gone five minutes before the enemy got us under a cross-fire, and our brigade had to retreat. They advanced so close to the Second before the latter gave way, that it was easy to distinguish all their features. I think our regiment lost most at this time; they also inflicted a heavy loss on the regiments opposed to them. So from what I can gather, I was saved from the hottest fire by being ordered to look for the artillery. There were four hundred and seventy-four enlisted men taken into action in the Second. Of these one hundred and twenty

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George H. Gordon (2)
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