Scottsboro, Ala., January 9, 1864.
We have settled down into fully as monotonous a monotony, as I ever experienced. The powers pretend that the army is tired down and needs rest, so duty is very light, no drills ordered; no scouting and no nothing, but a first-class preparation to have a tremendous sick list in a very short time. You know how we have been moving for the last three months, and that we have hardly suffered a half dozen cases of sickness. Now see, if we lie here four weeks longer, if I don’t report you 60 on the sick list. Do you think that I am something of a grumbler? Either having too much travel, or too much lie still. Too much to eat (I guess not) or not enough, etc. I suppose that news here is about as scarce as ice cream on the African desert, and of nearly the same quality. We are camped in the edge of dense woods, about three quarters of a mile from the town, which consists of 20 or 40 rather neat houses, and presents, I think a better appearance than any other town of the size I have seen in the Confederacy. It hasn’t been squashmolished like most of its sisters. General Logan’s headquarters are here. Our corps is camped along the road from here to Decatur, our whole division being here. Our division commander, is, I expect, the most unpopular officer with his corps that there is in the West. I never knew his match for meanness. See if I can think of all I have been ordered by: Prentiss, Grant, Logan, McClernand, Wallace (W. H. L.), Oglesby, Paine, Pope, Granger, Palmer (_______) formerly colonel 11th Missouri., Rosecrans, Morgan, Buford, Sheridan, Hurlbut, Lanman, Hamilton 1st, Hamilton 2d; Sullivan, Lawler, Sooy Smith, Ewing, Corse, Halleck, Sherman, Davis, and at least two more whose names I can’t now recall. One of them commanded this division last March, and the other the 4th Division 16th Army Corps, last December, for a few days. I have lots of work on hand writing up my accounts, but this lying still begins to bore me awfully. I though a few weeks ago that ‘twould be very nice to have a tent again, and things somewhat comfortable, but the beauties of the thing don’t last long. I’m ready to move now. We have had several pretty cold days, but to-day I have been in my shirt sleeves, without vest, all day, and felt very comfortable, though it didn’t thaw very much, and I believe there was ice in our water bucket all day. Expect you are having a gay time this winter at home sleighing, dancing, etc., but I would rather take mine out in the army. If I didn’t have any happy Christmas myself, I had the pleasure of smashing the happiness out of a good many secesh Christmases. That’s not so. It was not pleasure, but I had to.