December 25 — Bright Merry Christmas is here again, and so am I, right in the breezy woods to enjoy it, unhampered by the restraints of custom, the fetters of fashion, and thraldom of etiquette, ready and willing to hide away a first-class Christmas dinner if I had it. I am glad I am alive and whole, for during this year many a poor soldier whose sun of life glowed in the very zenith of manhood and glory was cut down and immolated on the altar of his country, like the full blown rose that sacrifices and casts its beauteous and fragrant petals on the altar of the passing storm. At sunrise this morning we fired two rounds from our guns in commemoration of the birth of Him who said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth.”
The menu of our Christmas dinner was composed wholly of beef with gravy and corn bread. Our mess was afraid to try anything new, as it might throw us headlong on the sick list in the busy season of house building. I was hard at work all day, getting raw material for the business end of our culinary department.