Justus F. Gale to Sister

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Marine Hospital New OrlMarch 17th/63Dear Sister;

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I take my pen again this eavening to write a few lines to let you know that I am well - and among the living yet. I was enhopes to get another letter from home before I finished this - but as there hasent any come to day I will finish this and have it a traveling so as to have it get up over them big drifts before they get impassable. Only think here it is spring time here; the forests are again loaded with their green foliage and every thing here bespea- ks of the return of spring and com ing summer; and not a flake of snow have I seen for over one year; quite diferent from common with me.

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Corp Wheeler and myself are geting along nicely with our sick patients - they are doing well – none of them are so sick but what they are up around some of the time. it makes a good many steps to take care of 50 men and bring the grub up stairs for 34 of them; the Dr. keeps 34 of them on half diet and wont allow them to go down to the table to eat.

I some expect we shall be payed of here to morrow- and if they do I expect to go to the regt. soon. I seames a good while since I have done any duty or have seen the boys in my company; we have got a good lot of boys in our Co. and I dont know as I have had an enemy in the Co. since I have been with them. I hope I may not have any as long as I am with them - for it is hard enough to have the rebs for enemys if no more. give little pet Jenny a patting for me occasionly.

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There has been some fighting done up to Port Hudson; I dont know how much has been accomplished yet - todays paper says that part of Admiral Farraguts fleet had got above the rebels bateries; our men had lost one gunboat (Miss) she run a ground trying to go past the batteries and they could not get her of so they set her a fire and left to blow up- so the rebs havent got her to number with their fleet.

There wasnt but a few of our men rep- orted killed the last we heard from Port Hudson.

I havent been down into the City since a week ago last Saturday; I think of going a little while tomorrow if I can get a pass.

Oh! wouldent I like to get into this letter and go home and stay through sugaring: wouldent I eat a right smart heap of new sugar and puding - or what we call down here -mush!

Wesley Stephen Charles and all the rest of the boys are well I expect I hope I shall see them before this week is out.

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Good by maple sugar for this spring - and I will live on nigger toe cane sugar another season! [Sam] begs me if I live to get around wont some things have to take up? I expect our brigade will be starting on a move before long and how fur or whare God only knows I dont; perhaps may not move at all. I suppose you are having new milk by this time - I would like a good drink of it if we buy any milk here - there is more chalk in it than there is milk - and more watter than chalk & milk both, and 5 cts a pint at that.

I must now close and go to bed; please write often and all the news. tell Harlow to do the best on the place he can for him and me too. Give him & all others my best respects and wishes, give my love to Mother & Samantha and Lymans folks.

How does Ira Grout and Saphrona get along - is there any others doing wickedly in Elmore.

This from your BrotherJustus