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