Justus F. Gale to Sister

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In Rear Port Hudson, La.Co. A 8thRegt. Vt. Vols.July 5th, 1863Sister Almeda,

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I will pass away a few moments of this pleasant Saboth day in writing a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope these lines may find you enjoying the same great blessing.

I recd. yours and Mothers kind letters of the 14th the next day after I finished my last letter to her; I was glad to hear from you and the rest; I also had one from Samantha the same time wrote the 12th. I am glad she is getting better and hope she will continue to gain until she is well and smart; She wrote that she had got a good place to board - and some verry nice young people for company that were boarding there at the same place. I should like to take my old black plate and cup and go to their cook and draw my rations for supper and then go and sit down in one corner and get out my jack knife and commence eating my supper.

I think it would be quite a treat for me and I would- ent wonder if it would be quite amusing to the company looking on; but instead of that I expect some pork & beens, crackers and perhaps some coffee so I am all right yet.

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Mother said she should like to know whare I was and what I was doing the 14th when she was writing to me; I think if she had just seen whare I was or what I was doing or even heard the music she wouldent wanted to come whare I was even if she had to go back to Vermont without seeing the boy at all. I guess the 8th Vt. had seen some about as hard fighting as any of the Vt boys except those that were in the Bull Run fight the first time;

Col. Thomas is acting Major General now, he has been acting Brigadier General ever since the 1st. of May and now he has got up another story; he isent appointed neither Brigd. nor Maj. and dont know as will be - only acting; he is first rate good old dad and the boys hate loose him for Col.

I suppose Maj. Grout has got home by this time; I hope he will have a good time and live to enjoy the of money he has got by serving in the army. and another thing - I hope it will be my good luck to get home to old Vt whare I shall have as much pasture to run over as he will or any other officer.

Things here are about the same as they have been; we keep drilling away on them just enough to keep harrising them and now and then upset a big gun for them or something of the kind; I think we can take the place any day we say so - but perhaps that isent the best way. they keep

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deserting and coming out a most every day; they most all say they are getting verry short of provisions; some of our pickets went out half way and met the rebel's pickets yester day and eat dinner with them; our boys carried over some tabccoe and swapped with them for some whisky - and gave them some hard bread for sugar; they said all the rebs had was some sugar and whisky; we can hollar back and to to the rebs from whare we are; our Seargent has chat with one of the rebs a mostly every eavening; Mr reb wanted to know what we had done with the prisoners we took the day we come through the woods; he said the Col. we took prisoner was his Col. (belonged to the 10th Arkansas) he wanted to know how Gen Grant was getting along up to Vicksburg? Sergt. told him he was doing the clean thing up there; Sergt. told reb we was going to have some beens for breakfast the other morning - asked him if he wouldent like some and recd. a hearty response of yes by a half dozen voices.

We had a nice shower here yesterday - but it is pleasant and warm today. our rubber blankets make a very good shelter for us when it rains; we can keep almost as dry as in a house if the rain dont drive to hard; it will be three mon ths the 9th since we have staid in a tent or house of any kind and what is worse than that the darned black legs have got all our tents, knapsacks, clothes and all we left at Brashear City; blast their lousy heads.

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Stephen & Charley are well; Wesley I havent heard from for a week or more. Charlie sais give them all his respects and sais he is all straight and rightl; A Norman Smith of Wolcott is well and has been; his Father told Mr Albee that he hadent heard from since January. I like to forget all about the 4th; we celebrated the 4th yesterday by firing a few guns at the rebs; but they dident answer them by any thing only small arms. I dont think of any thing more to write - and the most of this I have wrote so many times that I am ashamed to send it - but you must make the best of it you can and let it go at that. I hope that some day we shall see each other face to face in this world! but if God should see fit to have it other ways I trust we shall meet in that bright world above whare sorrow and trouble are not known; let us still trust in him who has kept and sustained us thus far and is able to keep us still. Give my love to Mother and all the rest and except the same yourself; my best wishes to all enquiring friends.

This from your BrotherJustus F. Gale