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[Xviii.]

near Petersburg, December 31, 1864.
Tell the kind donors, with thanks, that the box reached us in very good time, as the soldiers have been living on short rations for the past few days; for three days they had no meat issued to them at all. My brigade has kind friends at home, and Christmas boxes have been pouring in. Sometimes they have to lay a day or two at [420] the depot for want of transportation. I alway let my headquarter wagon go to help haul them out. The State is also trying to get vegetables to her soldiers. Governor Vance now has a large quantity of sorghum lying at Greensboroa awaiting transportation. He says he is willing to send his ‘tar-heels’ a great many things to help along, if they will only furnish him with the requisite transportation. I really believe the North Carolina soldiers fare better than any other in this army, as much as some ignorant people are disposed to laugh at the ‘Old North State.’ The commissary sometimes issues us cooked beef, prepared and canned in London. The soldiers call it ‘The London Times,’ and are very fond of it. It makes an excellent hash and is superior to any other meat-ration that is issued.

* * The mantle-piece adds very much to the appearance of our sitting-room. Some of the saw-dust walks have been finished and our stables were completed to-day just in time for the snow. ‘Old Jim’ and the rest of the animals are, no doubt, very thankful, as they, like the soldiers, have been on very short rations for several days past. When not sitting before a nice fire I enjoy myself now in royal slumbers on our French bedstead, which is filled with clean, fine straw, covered with an ample supply of blankets.

An officer in the Thirty-third played an amusing joke on a fellow officer of the Thirty-seventh not long since. Norwood, upon whom the joke was played, is the same gallant young officer that escaped wounded from the Gettysburg hospital, disguised as an overgrown Dutch boy, and when taken to army headquarters, General Lee invited him to breakfast in his ridiculous suit. * * *


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