When I returned yesterday, I was Delighted to find that my Barrel had arrived, & that I had a letter from home. Of course the first thing was to open it. To my Sorrow I found that the Ham had spoiled, the Fried Cakes Mowldy, the Bread Mowldy, about half of the Apples rotten, the Pris spoiled. It was to [sic] bad, so much had to be thrown away. I was very glad to find the Tea pot, & Tea, it will be quite a change, from Coffee. the Paper & Envelopes, are all right glad to get them. So are the Paper Collars, the Gloves, Emery Cloth. the Havelock is tip top, much obliged to Mother. The Dried Fruit will come good.
You had ought to have been in our House (we do not call it a Tent now) last night, & have seen us at Supper, We had Tea, Bread & Butter, Dried Beef, Pickles, Preserves, Doughnuts & Cheese. Al, Barney & Aleck got a Box, yesterday, charges $3,75, so you see we have everything in the eating line.
The reports last night, was by the Officers of the Day, that the Rebs, have thrown out their Pickets, to the Battle field, if so they will be near ours. Of course this cut us a little talk, among us, we had just finished our house, got out Things, & now could take some comfort.
There is a Rumor in Camp, that Mack has his choice, of one of three things, take us to Washington & do Provost Duty, take us to Chicago & do Guard Duty, or tonight in Front, it is said that he has 9 days to make up his Mind. If this is so, we are Elected for the Front, because McDougal, will not take us to the Rear. He wishes to get some Honor, & wants to try us in battle. well we have nothing to say about it either way. Still another Report, that 5000 Rebs, have again crossed the Rhappahanock & that we were to be Reinforced.
I would say nothing more about Color guard to the Capt. I would ask no favor of him I am sure I would not.
Things are moving along about the same as usual, a little excitement about the Rebs being so near.
I reveived the Postage Stamps & currency you sent, & shall be glad to get the $5,00, My Boot Taps are all worn out, & I must get them Tapped. I got the Tin Spoon you sent in a Paper, but some one was kind enough to open the Paper, & so it got [J....ned] up.
Tell Charlie, that I will pay the charges on the Revolver, if he sends it. and another thing, I order him to send it, nor will he mind. I feel about half sick this morning, a cold & bad headache, but must get ready for Inspection as usual. I would give a Farm to be at Home today.
Love to all