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[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]

the appearance of things in Prince William--Preparing for winter quarters — how the time is occupied in Camp, &c.

Camp at Davis's Ford, Prince William Co., Va., Dec. 28.
This is a lovely place, despite the desolate and dreary surroundings of cold winter and bloody war. The country is mostly wood land — long, slim pines, medium-sized oaks, tall poplars, spotted sycamores, smooth barked black hickories, glossy twigged gums, scrubby dogwoods, and nearly every kind of wild growth, all densely crowded upon the slopes of the rolling hills, and in the narrow gorges on each side of the gentle Occoquan, present a landscape that, to an admirer of nature's beauties, cannot be otherwise than lovely.

This forest, for the last four, weeks, has been musical with the sounds of axes, saws, and rumbling wagons, the result of the energetic exertions of the men under. General Rhodes's command to get their winter quarters completed before severe weather sets in. Quite a change, has been produced. Where there was nothing but woods, the hills are now thickly studded with pine-pole cabins, the cracks stopped with mud, and the chimneys built of the same material, with the assistance of sticks to hold it together. The encampment of each regiment presents the appearance of a smart little village of the backwoods.

'Twould make you feel as if our young men of the South were not forgetting the exercise and culture of their intellect if you could pass by their huts after supper every night, take a peep in there, and see how intently many of them are engaged in the perusal of some useful book. This not uncommon to see them sporing over the pages of Shakespeare. Byron, Mrs. Hemans, Longfellow, and other literary works. I saw a soldier to-day very attentively reading Pope's Iliad, and another with a life of Napoleon, bearing it away to his quarters. I have been thinking that the friends of the volunteers could not furnish a more valuable contribution to them, just at this time, than a good assortment of books, and candles to read them by. These nights are entirely too long to sleep all the time.

The Christmas is going off quietly. Some few instances of John Barleycorn's jolly influence are seen. More soon.


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