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[257] of inquiry to Gen. R. H. Chilton, Chief of Staff, as to whether in the event an enlisted man obtained a recruit for his company, and actually enlisted him in service, the commanding General would grant the man so doing a furlough of 30 days?

Dec. 31, 1863. The last day of a most eventful year. It goes out in gloom; wet, muddy and still raining.

Jan. 1, 1864. New Year's Day. A very beautiful day. May the future of the South be as bright and glorious!

It is extremely cold, below zero. Major Whiting, Division Inspector, examined the arms and clothing of the men, and found them sadly in need of shoes, many of them being barefooted, and the others having no soles to their shoes, the uppers only remaining.

Sunday, Jan. 3rd. Summoned to brigade headquarters with Capt. R. M. Greene, of Opelika, from the 6th Alabama, and Lieut. Dunlap, of Mobile, from the 3rd Alabama, to investigate the stealing of two cows from the Misses Lee. We could obtain no light on the subject. Rations of all kinds are very scarce now, only half a pound of bacon per day to each man, and this irregularly. From three-quarters of a pound to a pound of flour and no vegetables, nor syrup, nor coffee, nor indeed ought else, per man. The hearty fellows get hungry.

Colonel Chilton, chief of General Lee's staff, on the 4th, answered my letter of inquiry of the 29th ult., and sent me a copy of ‘General Orders No. 1, Current Series, A. N. Va.,’ which granted furloughs to all enlisted men who actually mustered in a recruit in the Army of Northern Virginia. Wesley Moore telegraphed his brother, Micajah, who had just reached 18 years, to come on. I think the order will do great good, and I am gratified at having had such notice and approval taken of my suggestion. I wonder if my letter induced this famous ‘general order?’

A great snow fell during the night of January 8th. The water particles congealed into white crystals in the air, and sprinkled the ground about four inches deep. The regiment was ordered out to witness the execution of two deserters.

Battle's brigade left early for picket duty on the Rapidan river. I was left in camp as its commander, and have more men in camp, left on account of bare feet and bad shoes, than Colonel Goodgame carried off with him.

I issued strict orders for the sentinels to walk their posts constantly, and to pass no man with a gun, and to arrest all who attempted

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