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From the Potomac.

Christmas holidays--building huts — fall of know — health of the Regiment, &c.

Camp Near Centreville, January 4th, 1862.
The long-looked for Christmas has come and gone. Everything that was done was done with a view to the enhancement of the pleasures anticipated of the festive occasion. Christmas Eve was welcomed with hearty demonstrations of joy and gladsome delight; indeed, each man looked upon the other with a manifest air of satisfaction. Egg-nogg, with its effect consequent upon excessive indulgence, was not rate. Boxee from our good old homes far away came in in the very nick of time, filled to overflowing with all imaginable niceties, thus reminding, us that, distant though we be from those who love us, yet we are subjects of thought and care. It is a most satisfying reflection, Let these be the anspices under which we fight, and you may rest assured there will be no lack of disposition to do, and if need be to die, in the advancement of our country's interests and in the maintenance of her proud nationality. Each box contained home of the good things we usually get at home at such times — turkey, ham, sausage, spare-rib, chine, butter, eggs, pies, cakes, etc. I am of the unalterable opinion that there is more pleasure in the anticipation of Christmas and its imagined pleasures than in their actual realization. Boxes and such like are, I confidently believe, a decided disadvantage. They disorder the stomach, destroy, while they last, what regniarity we had attained to previous to their coming. We have these good things; we feel inclined to taste, and we keep tasting between meals until we have, so far from a taste, a distaste for dinner. This has been the experience of all of my mess, and it is not confined alone to ourselves.

John R. Barleycorn was quite an intimate companion of some of the men — the former occasionally preparing a wreath, in which the latter fell victims to the superior agillty of the former. An agreeable disappointment was experienced in that the number of its inmates, so the inference may be very naturally drawn, notwithstanding what I have said, that our Christmas passed off pretty quietly.

The time between the holidays and New Year's day was spent on picket ou-post No. 3, which has been assigned us for the winter. Nothing occurred while we were there worthy of note. We were blessed with clear weather, although it was quite cold. We returned to our camp in time to enjoy the New Year's day, which was a pretty one, and which I hope is a forerunner of many such that are, to follow. The day was celebrated by active employment for the speedy completion of huts for the winter. The work is progressing now rapidly, the slight fall of snow and bail lastnight being an incentive to renewed efforts. But for the wind, which future months have in store for us, I believe the canvas would prove sufficient protection against the cold.

The health of the regiment at present is bad, the prevalent disease being cold and its concomitant affections. It is to be hoped that the disease will be checked as soon as the huts are finished and become dry enough for use.

Considerable dissatisfaction is evinced at the coercive feature of a proposed bill relative to there-enlistment of volunteers for the ensuing two years. I belive, if let alone, they will not be wanting in patriotism.

‘"R,"’ 18th Va. Reg't.

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