105                                HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.

where they were put under arrest, when they were finally released and told they should learn a lesson by this. I mention no names.

           As a general thing, the boys have stood the march first-rate, with the exception of a few sore feet, and eating a little too much fresh meat. We are all in good spirits, anxiously awaiting orders to proceed; but I don't think we will leave until the cars get to running down here. They are running as far as Holly Springs now, and as the bridge across the Tallahatchie was only partially destroyed, I think it will not be long until they get down this far.

           I will try and keep you posted in regard to our movements as best I can.

Yours, truly,


WATER VALLEY, MISS., Dec. 22, 1862.

           MR. EDITOR: — Our changes are so sudden and frequent that when we commence a letter we know not where we may finish it. When we awake in the morning the question naturally presents itself, where will we sleep the next night? When we lie down, where may morning find us?

           We left the Yocknapatafa river on the 18th, about 2 P. M.; advanced three and a-half miles and encamped that night. And next day the boys worked hard to make their camp pleasant, clearing off the ground and putting their tents in the most comfortable manner the circumstances would permit. About sundown all were expressing their delight that everything was in good order, and comfortably fixed for a cozy, happy night's rest. Here and there lay a quarter of beef, a hog or sheep, which they boys had confiscated, and expected to enjoy an extraordinary supper and breakfast. But before supper was cooked, an order came to move camp immediately. Twenty minutes were given to strike tents and pack up, which was done, and we were off on our march without supper.

           We encamped that night at Water Valley, or rather that morning. Our Brigade, as usual, is selected for these sudden moves, and for outpost duty. This is imposed upon us in consequence of being under Illinois power. This Brigade is now six or eight miles in advance of the other Brigades of our Division; which subjects us to much heavy duty, such as repairing the roads, heavy picket duty, and great vigilance to guard against surprise. We are to be up every morning, and in line of battle at 5 A. M., and stand thus till after sunrise. But we soon get to enjoy this rather than shun it; and are glad that it is in the sunny South, where we do not freeze.

           The Seventy-Eighth are encamped on a lot owned by a school teacher, who has his little school room a few rods from his humble dwelling. His room we have converted into a hospital; and are treating the owner and family kindly on account of his impoverished condition. His little children are crying for bread, and eat our crackers with the utmost gratification and palatable relish. They have, by great exertion, procured one meal per day.

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