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    Hilton Head Decr. 19th 61

    Dear Chas

    I got yours of the
    9th Decr last night and was mighty
    glad to see something from home. I
    rec'd an English book from New York
    a couple of weeks ago, which I
    had ordered of Van Nostrand, with
    your direction upon the cover, but
    no French One. The one I recd was
    Jackson on the Constitution, Disci
    pline etc. of Armies. -- Have not
    heard yet from Ned. His Cols. name
    is Inness , is it not. -- (36th N.Y.)
    Your speaking of my sending home
    captured swords, muskets, etc,.
    reminded me for the first time
    that I could send home my
    bulky relics, that I've been
    keeping in my trunk ever since we
    landed, in the vague impression I
    should have to cart them round

    with me until I could return to the
    North myself. I send them to you
    by Adams' Express, by same boat
    which carries this letter. The broken
    gunstock I picked up inside of
    fort Walker immediately after
    the battle (next morning). There
    were entire muskets enough that
    I suppose I could have got, but
    I thought the damaged one would
    be more interesting as a relic than
    if it were whole, -- as one musket
    looks pretty much like another.
    The two pieces of shell I
    found inside a stockade in one of
    the trenches. Hold onto them all
    & if I've a chance I'll send you something
    more when I can. -- I wrote
    you a few days ago that we were
    not to go from here on another
    trail immediately, as we had expected
    The fact is, we had orders, three
    or four days after landing, to holdthe brigade in readiness to reembark --
    And when we had gotten about
    tired of waiting for the order of em-
    barkation actually to come, Genl
    Sherman at last gave us notice
    that we should be ordered off last
    Monday, -- last Monday came and went
    however, & brought only a further
    postponement with unpleasant sus-
    picions of an entire alteration of
    our plan of operations. You under-
    stand, we (Viele's Brigade) want to
    be doing something on our own hook
    as the first intention was that
    we should, (after helping to take
    and secure Hilton Head.) -- so that
    we could be a little army by
    ourselves, and make our own plans
    and find out how much we could do. --
    At present we have assurances,
    which we almost rely upon, that
    this will be done after all, and
    that we are only waiting for the to sinkthe Stone fleet and to finish up
    the business of Fort Pulaski, before
    branching off on our own private
    campaign. -- The entire 2nd Brigade
    is gone to Beaufort (perhaps I
    told you that before.), -- and one of our
    Regiments and one of the 3rd Brigade
    have also been detached and are
    stationed on Tybee Island, convanient
    to Pulaski; -- The Signal Officers
    communicate constantly, by two
    intermediate stations, between
    here and Beaufort. One of the
    greatest amusements we have
    now is with the contrabands, that
    come to the staff camp, in
    charge of the picket just opposite
    to where we are located; -- particularly
    as the Genl. has a great taste
    for drawing out the fun in
    any body's Character and turning
    it round to look at it all over
    -- The last, this morning, who had run away from a plantation on the
    main was a rather loaferish
    looking boy about 16 or 17, with
    a younger companion. Both
    looked pretty sleek, and as if they
    knew how to find the good things to
    eat if there were any round. Says
    the Genl. "What would you do if
    we were to go away from here
    and your white folks come back?"
    The nig first looked puzzled, then
    suddenly very sober in addition. --
    "Wha'? you go way from he'?" -- "Yes" --
    "And dey come back?" -- "Yes" --
    "Wha', Come back,"An' you go 'way.
    Do' no wha' to 'tink 'bout dat -- Wha'.
    come back? --     Christ! "

    It's not a bad idea, that of
    Govr. Andrew's, for you to take a
    US Qr Master's appointment, &
    be stationed in Boston this winter,
    Though you'd like better on Some
    accounts to be on the field, of course,

    Yet it would be a great deal more
    comfortable for Miss McGregor, and
    there's no doubt you could do service
    enough, acting both for Federal &
    State Gov'ts, to make it well worth
    while. Weather here now is very
    fine. Warm & Sunny in day, no
    overcoats needed till Sunset or
    thereabout, and nights cold but
    comfortable with hay stuffed bedding
    & plenty of blankets. -- If you have
    not yet sent off the things I asked
    you for in my last by Express,
    please put in package a ream
    of small letter paper, same size
    as this. -- Remember me to Miss
    McG. & Miss Sally with best
    regards. Let me know how you
    are living now. Is 59 Hancock
    in operation again, or are you
    too much on the wing to keep house?

    Your truly
    Jno CD. Jr