Justus F. Gale to Sister

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Head Quarters 8th RegtVt. Vols. Co.. ACamp Stephen La.Jany 25th/ 63Kind Sister,

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I take this opportun- ity on this pleasant Saboth day to write you a few lines to let you know that I am in the land of the living - and enjoying comf ortable good health - and hope these lines will find you much improved from what you was when you last wrote to me; I am well except a little cold - and my old sore paw that doesent get well yet; it is just sore enough so that I cant use the musket or do other duty; the sore is about as large as the thick of your thumb; I can use it to good advantage yet at meal time and that time is the most consequence to soldiers. I havent got a letter from Lyman for a good while.I will send you a envelope that I took out of a rebes knapsack that we drove out of the rifle pits.

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We are having verry nice weather here most of the time; It seams in some respects more like summer than like winter. During the summer here there wasent hardly a bird to bee seen or heard that was any like our northern birds; we could hear no sweet twittering notes from the little feathered part of creation; but now when the light of day breakes in upon us we hear the little ground bird the robin and many others which makes it seem more like summer and more like Vermont.

The place whare we are now encamped is near a small vill called Thibo- deaux (Thib-e-dore) we are in tents and when it rains the tents are in the mud - but I expect we havent seen a drop to the bucket what they have on the Potomac. We have been here about as long as we generally stop without moving. Tel David to take good care of Jennie and if he will wait til I get home he may have her to drive on his weding day; he and Miss Smith

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Well about them pies I havent had any of them to eat only a few apple pies and them dident taste more like pies than sawdust does like sugar. Every thing that I have eat here and bought here are cooked like some kind of niger stoge; perhaps if I tel you how some homony was cooked that a nig brought in to our tent last night and wanted to change it for some bread will give you a sample of Southern cooking; nig came in what ye got there; some nice homny well seasoned with greace – and well sweetned ||| lasses on a rag – and hominy cooked in greace; heop-ker a-m-m-p-z any body wants a niger about them let them have all them want for all of me; If I wanted to give the greatest collection of people that ever met in Vt a good mettic I would like to drive a set of nigers through among them just as they come from a plantation. the blacks are not so much to blame for they are just as they are kept by their masters. God have mercy on the slaves.

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Again apples and oranges; I have some apples & some oranges to eat but have to pay for them now for there isent any oranges that grow verry near where we are now; that lot of stuf I bought at the City some I made on and some I made out on; on the whole I guess I made about $12 dollars. the regt. have gone out to hear our Chaplain preach - but I dident feel very well I thought I would write while they are gone - for when they are all in it is so thick I can hardly write at all. It dont hurt my feelings abit to hear of the girls and boys getting married; I had rather bee a Soldier a good [d]eal. please write often as you can - and obl- ige old Tipacanoe.

I will send you a ring made by Walter Barnes our drummer. it is made of a fresh beef bone; tel Almeda not to think because yours is the best that she wont get enough to make it up.
(run, off.) give my love to Father, Mother, Almeda and all the rest.