Sunday. Dec 15, 1861.
Having plenty of spare time I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know how we are getting along. We are all well. John came in from picket yesterday. King is a camp guard and I go out on picket tomorrow. The boys that have been out say there is none of the enemy in sight. They say there is quite a force down on the river at the shipping point and I heard to-day that they had a skirmish out toward Fairfax. I heard cannon and musketry out that way but I don't know if it is so or not.
We have commenced to build log houses and have the logs all out. We have to get boards and things to fix them up with where ever we can find them. We went out, seven of us, and got windows, a door and a stove from a school house. The school is stripped of every thing but the siding, The stove is a big cast iron one. The school house is of no use to anyone for there isn't folks enough to support a school. Besides there is no one, as I can see, to go to school except some black children. There is plenty of them.
After inspection Darwin Davis, Fred Dikeman and I went out to see what we could find. We went to a farmers house, I didn't find out his name. He owns a large plantation and quite a number of slaves.
They have plenty Of milk and I drank, I don't hardly dare to tell how much, but I guess you won't think it strange for we don't get milk very often. Though we had to pay five cents a pint, I drank two and a half quarts and could have drank more if I had room for it.
From there we went to another house. They were just going to eat dinner but they had company so we didn't stay very long. I saw the best looking girl there that I have seen in Virginia.
We have just drawn some more coats. They are very nice dress coats I am going to have my picture taken in it the first chance I get.
I suppose you are having great times there in the west. I am there pretty often in my dreams at night but in the morning I awake to find I am still in the army. Laura and I have been
together for the last few nights.
I am going to write a letter to Phoebe while I am out on picket
Give my love to all the folks. How do you like your new son?
Write all the news and I hope you will write soon for you don't know how much good it does me to hear from home. Tell Laura I received the paper and the stick of gum. I want some more stamps and next payday I will try and send some money.
Write as soon as you receive this letter and obliged.
Your affectionate son