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Augusta County: Thomas M. Smiley to His Sister, January 4, 1863

Discusses Stuart's movement around the enemy, Christmas fare in camp, cost of food in camp, and the brigade's losses in 1862.


Jan 4th 1863

Camp Winder

Dear Sister

I received your letter yesterday dated the thirty first & now hasten to answer it. I am well with the exception of a cold which is nothing new. There is no news of importance except that there was a slight stir in camp yesterday in consequence of a rumored advance of the enemy but it appears to have subsided now General Stuart has made another dash around the enemy & returned without the loss of a man. He captured five hundred

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prisoners, two hundred wagons, and destroyed five days rations for the Yankees. Christmas & New Years day passed off quietly with us. We had a great variety on the table for our christmas dinner[deleted: s] the breakfast consisted of beeff steak & bread, dinner was bread & Roast Beef, & supper out of what was left [deleted: for] at breakfast. To give you an idea of what we have to pay for little extras I will mention the price of a few articles. Apples are selling at from $1.50 to two dollars a dozen, Ginger Bread 3 cakes for a dollar, Butter two dollars a pound, sausage 1.50 per pound, dried apple pies that are baked in camp bring 75 cts and a dollar & every thing else is in proportion. There was but few of the men that could afford to get drunk this

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Christmas as Whiskey is selling at fifteen dollars a quart. During the last year we lost out of our brigade 1220 men in killed & wounded no mention being made of those that died from disease the loss in our regiment was 400 almost one third of the whole amount We marched over 1500 miles encountering the snows & ice of Winter in the mountains of Morgan and hampshire. The miasma of summer in the swamps of Henrico & Hanover Our bridgade numbers but 1200 muskets at the beginning of the present year. If I can obtain a copy of the order I will send it to you which contains a history of the past years campaign in few words. We are now fixed upp prety well having a little tent fixed upp & a chimney in it in which we do our cooking

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But I will now draw my letter to a close by asking you to excuse all mistakes & write soon to your brother


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