Washington, D.C., Jan 5-64
Miss Rachel Peck
Camp near Culpeper, Va.
I have looked all the week for a letter from you. But have not received any so I sit me down this pleasant Sabbath morning to write you a few lines. I suppose you would not be much surprised if you should see me this morning, at least not as much as you will be now that I tell you I am not a veteran volunteer, nor shan’t be. So you may look as pleasant as you please, for I dare say you looked rather sober when you heard that I had enlisted.
Now I will explain a little. When I wrote you, we had an order that if 3/4 of the Regt. would re-enlist it would go home for furlows & recruiting. They had but little trouble to get that number & notice was sent to Meade of the same. Supposing we were going home, I wrote to you. But when the order came back it said that the 3A of the whole Regt. must be of the old men. The recruits could not re-enlist because they had not served two years. So, of course, the whole thing was knocked in the head.
So they had to commence all over again, but soon found they could not get enough old men to carry the Reg., but probably will carry six or seven Co.s. Only one man goes from Co. E so, of course, I don’t go. Money would not hire me to go without Co. E. went.
You may send those socks & mittens to Mr. Daniels as soon as you can conveniently. I shall write to Wm. today to send it as soon as ready. I want my boots as soon as I can get them. I don’t want any dried fruits.
What did you do or where did you go Christmas or Newyears? Christmas I was on picket & Newyears I was on duty more than half the day. We were mustered for pay in the forenoon & then Capt. Coffin was detailed as Brigade Officer of the day & I had to go with him to station a new line of pickets. Got back at four o’clock. Then Merrill & I had an oyster supper. I think we enjoyed it much better than a good many of the men did their whiskey punch.
It rained hard all day the day before Newyears & Newyears it froze up all day & now the mud is froze up hard & we are having very nice winter weather though pretty cold. There is a little snow on the mountains. Have not had any here yet. I am well & tough as ever & enjoy myself first rate. The boys all tell me I am very fleshy & I guess they are not far from right. I am thickening up a good deal this winter. Duty is not very hard now. I wish you could just peek in this morning & see how cozy we are. We have a good bed & a good fireplace to sit before these winter evenings. Though we do not have too much reading matter. So stories & jokes have to answer in its place.
I guess all my friends think I am coming home for I have not received a letter in two weeks. Write soon
Your affectionate brother