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[Xvi.]

near Petersburg, December 18, 1864.
* * * Major Wooton succeeded in ‘catching’ eleven Yankees last night between two and three o'clock, and sustained no loss whatever. He advanced to within a hundred yards of their skirmish pits, under cover of the darkness, fired several volleys and then charged with a yell. No shelling occurred on either side, and the Yankees fired but few minnies before they ‘skedaddled’ from their pits. The darkness prevented the capture of a large number, although the Major caught more than he was requested to do. When he started back the Yankees at the main line commenced yelling ‘Oh, you Rebs’! which could be distinctly heard at our headquarters. Major Wooton announced the result of the charge in the following modest little note:

‘According to instructions, I forward you eleven Yankees.’ He is certainly one of the most successful, most gallant, most unassuming [419] and most modest officers that I have ever seen. He is worth a million of the stay-at-home somebodies.

The Yankee salute seems to have been in honor of Hood's defeat by Thomas, instead of the fall of Savannah, although we of the army are daily expecting to hear of the latter disaster also. We were not prepared for Hood's defeat.

Lieutenant Meade and myself are living in two nicely-pitched tents, which are joined together and open into each other, The back tent is used as a sleeping apartment, and the front one, which has a nice brick chimney to it, is our sitting room. When we get the floors and doors completed we will be very comfortably fixed. Our chamber is furnished with a plank floor, a bedstead and blankets, two trunks and a clothes pole (suspended from the ridge pole), which serves as an excellent ventillating wardrobe. In the front tent may be seen an old camp-table, a few chairs, an old bent tin candle-stick, an inkstand and pens, tobacco and pipes, and sometimes a great deal of smoke. We intend having sawdust walks connecting the various tents and the kitchen, and I have some idea of surrounding our quarters with a wattled cedar fence to keep off the winds. Our stables were commenced to-day. * * * *


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