Bivouac in Mud Creek Cove, near Belle Fonte, Ala.,
December 11, 1863.
Without any earthly cause I am troubled with a small fit of the blues this evening. I can’t imagine what brought it on. I am cross, restless and tired. Don’t want any company—wouldn’t go to see a girl if there were a thousand within a hundred rods. Interesting state for an interesting youth, isn’t it. Guess the trouble must be in the fact that I have no trouble. Everything moves too smoothly. No pushing in my family to knock down a looking-glass balanced on a knitting needle. Nothing in my precious life to keep me awake one minute of my sleeping time, and nothing in the future that I now care a scrap for. All of that is certainly enough to make one miserable. I’m convinced that my constitution requires some real misery, or a prospect for the same, in order to keep me properly balanced. If you can furnish me any hints on the subject, that will induce distress, trouble, or care, in a reasonable quantity to settle on my brain, I will be obliged. I have written you so much about soldiering, sister, that I’m thinking the subject must be pretty well exhausted. You must have received as many as 150 letters from me since I entered the army. I have had a host of interesting experiences since I enlisted, but when I am alone, and naturally turn to my little past for company, I always skip the army part and go back to the old home memories. One finds a plenty of opportunities for such self-communing in the service, and if I haven’t profited by mine, it is my own fault. Did I ever tell you how I love picket duty? I have always preferred it over all other of our routine duties, yet it would take a sheet of foolscap to tell you why; and then nobody could understand me the way I’d write it. So we’ll pass. It seems a long time since I was at home. What do you think of my eating Christmas dinner with you? Don’t let’s think of that at all. I start for Chattanooga in the morning to get my team and things. It is six weeks since I have had a change of clothes from my valise. Borrowed a shirt from a woman once and got mine washed.