Fort Whipple, Va., Dec. 24, 1863.
Yours of Sunday last was perused with great care and contents noted. You wanted to know my mind about matters! I should make a very poor judge, as I do not know how things look now. But I should say stick to it, if there is any chance at all, because we have put already work enough into it to make three farms. I know nothing out this way for you to do. About being discharged; when the regiment is to be has not been decided yet; some of the recruits have written Gov. Andrew and he says that they “will be discharged with the rest,” so I take it for granted we shall be. As to the matter of a choice of regiments when re-enlisting? If I understand it right, a man can choose, provided the reg’t he is in is not kept up, and the reg’t he chooses is not full; but it must be a reg’t from the state he belongs to. He must also keep in the old reg’t until its three years are up and then they have the choice. Write me what your intentions are of doing, as soon as warm weather comes.
Do you have rheumatism to trouble you again? Last night I slept terribly cold. The barracks are not as good as a barn, boards only one inch thick and layed on like clapboards; besides the barracks are on piles about four feet long, so as to give a clean sweep underneath.
They are very strict about the barracks, will allow no shelves or anything of that kind. The bunks are all moveable. In fact everything has a place here. Shall begin on muster rolls tomorrow. Yours &c.