December 24. Christmas eve in the army bears no resemblance to the preparations at home for Christmas festivities. Christmas day. Ate a hearty dinner, minus the home turkey and cranberries and oysters and egg-nog and fruit cake, and then wrote to my mother and sisters. At 9 o'clock Dec. 26, Major Proskauer led the regiment towards Paine's Mills, where we were to relieve the 14th North Carolina, on fatigue duty, sawing plank for the Orange road, We lost the way, and marched 20 miles to reach a mill only 12 miles distant from camp, arriving after dark. Companies F, B and C moved three miles from nearest mill to ‘Squire’ Collins. Supped and breakfasted at the ‘Squire's.’ The 14th North Carolina desired to stay, and our regiment wished to return, so the engineer got an order from Gen. Lee permanently detailing the 14th North Carolina for this work. General Lee issued an order directing that furloughs be furnished hereafter at the rate of four to the 100 men present for duty. I had a ‘drawing’ in company F, and Wm. Minims drew the furlough and application was made for him. I addressed a letter field since July, 1861; and that in consequence of the ravages of disease and the casualties of battle in the hard fought fields of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, in which Rodes' old brigade has participated and acquired glory, the regiment has become reduced below the minimum; that the regiment is one of only two Alabama regiments which, within our knowledge, have not received any conscripts—and it being our desire to preserve intact the organization under which we have fought for now nearly three years—and to which we are attached by many hallowed memories of the past, by many associations of danger, trial, fatigue, hardship and suffering, and desiring that the name ‘Twelfth Ala-Bama’ be not obliterated from the rolls of the army. We, feeling perfectly convinced of our ability to recruit our shattered ranks by such a course, beg most respectfully that the regiment be transferred to Mobile, Ala., or some other point in the State, during the winter months, or until the opening of the spring campaign, then to return with full ranks to take our places once again with our comrades of the “Army of Northern Virginia.”This petition is to be forwarded through the regular channels to General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. A.
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