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[255] fired and scarcely a report from a musket. Meade was plainly making some movement but we could not discover what. The intensely cold weather continues. I was told by some Yankee prisoners that some of their pickets were actually frozen to death while on post, and that others were carried off wholly insensible from cold. I can believe the story, as I never suffered more in my life.

December 2. We learned that Meade had crossed most of his force at Jacob's and Germanna Fords, and that the chance for a battle was now slight. We took the Germanna Ford road and hurriedly pursued, overtaking and capturing over 150 prisoners. Early and Johnson captured many on their respective roads. At night we went in direction of Morton's Ford, and slept in the woods.

The Confederate Congress is in session, and the papers publish President Davis' message, which I read with great interest and approval. His views about substitutes are excellent. My daily newspaper bills are heavy, as I take the Richmond Dispatch and the Examiner, and sometimes buy the Whig as well as the Illustrated News, price 50 cents each.

Sutler Brewer brought in some oysters and sold them at $20 a gallon. Messes club together and buy. I could not be a sutler. Their prices seem cruel and extortionate.

December 15. Sent private Tom Kimbrough to Orange Courthouse after boxes and trunk. Lieutenant George Wright came today. The trunk was mine and contained a large ham, pickles, a bushel or more of crackers, biscuit and cakes, a pair of boots and pair of pants. These came from home from the best of mothers, and anticipated Xmas. Lieutenant W. brought a negro cook.

Our officers sent a memorial to the Secretary of War to transfer the Twelfth Alabama to Alabama for recruiting purposes, as we are opposed to consolidating with another regiment on account of our diminished ranks, until we have had a fair opportunity to recruit. The following is a copy of the petition:

We, the undersigned officers of the Twelfth Alabama regiment, in behalf of ourselves and the men under our command, having the interest and good of the service at heart, in view of the recommendation of the Secretary of War, in his recent report to Congress, to consolidate the regiments which have fallen below the minimum required by law to retain their present organization, beg leave most respectfully to represent:

That the Twelfth Alabama regiment has been in service in the

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