Letter written by [unknown]

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Letter written during the American Civil War: a machine readable transcription

[5?] of the C. We commenced at 7 o clock
I opened the meeting & the Sec ("Jere")
read the Records of our last meeting.
Then "Jere" John (John "Jere") & I sang "marching
alone" the Ladies helping us, I then
introduced the Speaker to the audience
& he spoke about 40 minutes
(had it written but did not have to
read much of it) & we were all
very much pleased & happily disappointed
too for it was a not only very good
but a smart lecture, after he got
thro. we sang "America" all hands
joining. then I gave an invitation
for remarks & one or two members
of the Society spoke a few words
& one an Irishman. John Fortune (Fortune, John)
(guess I wrote about his signing the
Pledge) got up & said "by the blessing
of God" this is the first Christmas
dinner that I have taken for 10 years
& the first one that I havent been
drunk" & said he "I want all my Officers
& brother soldiers to know that I have
signed the Pledge & "by the blessing of God"
"I mean to keep it" & I tell you it affected

PAGE IMAGE all of us Officers & all. The society
then passed a vote of Thanks to
the speaker after which we adjourned,
& "now was not that a good, &
fitting wind up to our Christmas
dinner" I think it was & I know
you will agree with me & wish
us "God speed" But with all our
work & excitement my thought
were far away with my darling
wife & children & tho. we had
such a good time & everything passed
off so pleasantly how much
more pleasant to me would have
been the Society of my dearly
loved wife & "little ones" even with
no dinner at all but as I could
not be with them could only
pray God to bless & keep them
& that is my prayer now & ever
it is time to set the tables for
dinner & I have been stealing the
time to write whatI have but must
adjourn now. so for the present "good
bye" H. 2 o clock P.M. well we have
PAGE IMAGE got thro. dinner fried pork & gravy
& cold water & bread! of course quite
a contrast from dinner yesterday,
but they stood it pretty well
"Did I tell you about our having a
pudding" well " Della (Della) " staid (stayed) to din
her & John (John) to (too) made a steamed
pudding & it was splendid it was
made of one loaf of bread 6 eggs
3 qts of milk & one lb of raisins then
we had some remnants of turkey
pickles tomatoes & coffee. This was
for our private mess. Mr Mead (Mead (Mr.)) the
Q.M. Serg.t Serg.t Lane (Lane (Sergeant)) who helped
buy the stuff & 4 of us cooks.
But I guess that will do for
the description part " Della (Della) " has
just left for home & John (John) has
gone "part way" with him " Jere (John "Jere") "
is mending his suspenders & John Frenchman (Frechman, John)
& I are writing. It
is a lonesome rainy day & so foggy
that we cant see a dozen rods, it
rained all night like soup but
your " Uncle Dudley (Dudley (uncle)) " had a good
PAGE IMAGE bed & under cover & that considerable
in this God forsaken country
but "Thank the Lord" the signs
& prospects now are that we shall
get out of this whole business
before a great while we have
just had glorious news from
Sherman (Sherman) come while we were
at dinner. Tho they fired
2 or 300 big guns at the city
in the morning & we mistrusted
what it was, but the news is
that savannah (Savannah, Georgia) has surendered (surrendered)
with 20,00 prisoners & 300 pieces
of Arty hope its all true tho.
it most to (too) good to believe.
We have not got it Officialy (officially)
yet & it may be modified [some?]
But what pleases me as much
is to hear such men as Foote (Foote)
of Tenn. (Tennessee) (Tennnessee) & other of their leading
men in the Reb Congress (Rebel Congress) howl
& own up, & Foote (Foote) even telling them
that he hsall go to some Foreign
country where he can enjoy peace of mind [not?]

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