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[300] but the Rappahannock. Their pickets line one bank while ours occupy the other. During the day the men walk about in plain sight of each other, but by tacit consent there is no firing. I heard that Burnside is over the river in person seeking a place to throw across a pontoon bridge. This looks more like an attack than anything heretofore.

November 28.—I do not think the present state of things can last ten days longer. Burnside must attempt an advance unless his army is demoralized. Jackson is in supporting distance of us and I feel certain we can whip them.

November 29.—Both armies are in statu quo. I find that Lieutenant-Colonel Ruff, of the 18th Georgia Regiment, married a Miss Varner, who is related to you. I was much surprised at the reputation which tradition in Fredericksburg gives to the mother of Washington. It represents her as much inclined to the Tory side and as saying ‘George had better come home and attend to his business or the British will catch him and hang him.’ The poetry which has invested her memory with the American people is not felt by the descendants of her neighbors here. I confess this was painful to me. The halo around the memory of Washington's mother was a sacred thing to me and I grieved to have it dispelled.

November 30.—I heard directly from Joe Gerdine and George Atkisson yesterday. They were so much improved that they intended leaving for home soon. The General and Mr. A. are still with them. I incline to think, from certain movements of the artillery, that the Yankees have sought in vain for a crossing above, and intend to try forcing a crossing at the city. If they attempt it poor old Fredericksburg is doomed.

December 2.—I have been hard at work to-day preparing my lines for any attack by the enemy. General Pendleton visited my works, and was very much pleased. Though we have no tents, and the men are poorly clothed, we have very little sickness among them. Did you read the New York Post's article about exterminating the negroes? Was there ever such shameless meanness?

December 6.—I returned from picket last night in a beating snow storm, and reached my camp half frozen. My men, God bless the brave fellows, came in with a cheer, and not a murmur was heard from them. The snow this morning was four inches deep, and tonight it is bitter cold. Yet, we are all cheerful, and the health of the troops is good. For this we thank God.

December 8.—We have had two nights of intense cold. The

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