Camp at Bealton Station
Christmas Morning Dec the 25 /63
Got her letter and glad to hear all are well. Nothing going on in Camp, they got paid and the Boys are trying to spend Christmas buying things from the Sutler. “I am going to send you a Christmas present in the Shape of 50 dollars I don’t know of anything Else that I could send you that would be as acceptable as money for I know you must want it. The paymaster surprised them because they weren’t expecting him until the middle of the following month. But in 6 more days they will be mustered for another 2 months. “You spoke about my Bed I have got it about 3 feet from the Ground & it is made of Poles Covered with Cedar Boughs. It is Equal to a feather bed Compared with what we have had for the past 2 months. I will send you a picture some day how my house looks Inside & Out side.” He’s sorry she didn’t get his first letter because there was a lot of news in it. He got everything she sent including the paints and paper.
“I expect James [Wandwright? Handwright?] of our Co will be Coming Home in a few days on furlough. I wish I had something to send by him to you or the Children you must take a couple of Dollars of this money & Buy Something for the Children & tell them I sent it to them for Christmas Steve Lent I believe is Coming Home on furlough Oh how I wish I [missing “could”?] Be there on New Years with you & the Children But I cant So I will have to make the Best of it But I hope you will all enjoy yourselfs and not let the absence of me interfere with your happiness. I wish you all a happy Christmass & New year & if Onley [sic] the Openeing of another New year Should Bring with it Peace & a Reconciliation Between us two Hostile People what a gladness would fill the Hearts of Many of Our noble men that are now away far away to day from their Homes & firesides. God grant that the Coming new year may Bring Peace & Joy to our Unhappy Land which Traitors Sought to destroy & overthrow.” But he feels the time is not yet coming. He bought some cakes and cheese and apples from the sutler for indulgences. He hopes they aren’t so expensive that she can’t buy them. Lengthy closing, concerned about mail and money getting through. “A kiss & a happy Christmass”