Sunday Dec the 20th, 1863
Thinks she’s not getting his letters but he has gotten hers and everything she has sent. They have gotten back across the Rappidan. He has built a tent with a stove to try to keep warm. “We have suffered so much of late from exposure that most any kind of habitation seems good to us & we are drawing Soft Bread now every day But I cant get enough to eat. Sometimes I draw my loaf at night & I am so hungry that I eat it all up at one meal & then go without Untill [sic] the next night our loafs are very small.” He thinks that if they stay for a while they will get enough and everyone is sending home for boxes.
“Last night Phil Smith and Tom Wheeler came back to the Regt Phil told me he had seen the whole family but he had his head so full of nonsence I could not get any thing out of him”. The sutler and paymaster stay away but he hopes to be paid next week. He worries she’ll suffer in the cold house. “This week they Isued [sic] an order to grant furlough for ten days apiece & to be given to the men that had been in every Battle and had been present at the Regt all the time first & then the Paroled Prisoners & Hospital Boarders as they call them. Come next it may be possible for me to get one and it may not I will do the Best I Can.”
A corporal got a letter from Tom in Washington in the Invalid Corp “such a letter I never Read in all my life Most every other word was acompanied [sic] with an Oath he never Spoke about me at all & Before he went away he never Bid me good by or said any thing at all onley that he was going I think he Served Me a rather mean trick considering how much I have Done for him I have done more for him that I would of done for any other man But you see I got my pay for it.” He was hoping they were done moving for the year but there is talk they will be moving closer to Washington. He hopes they can stay where they are for he has built a warm shanty. Lengthy sentimental closing wishing he had been able to come home. P.S. in margin that he went to the railroad and bought two small but expensive loaves but it was better than going hungry.