CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., Feb. 16.
On the 2d we received two month's pay, and there was a good deal of murmuring, as five months were due. There is a rumour
around camp that our corps is going to remain here while the rest of the Army goes to the South and Southwest. But Dame Rumor
is a fickle jade, so we don't place any reliance in anything she utters. Thursday, last we started for picket on the river,
in a heavy snow-storm. It wasn't bad enough to be out in the storm, but, as we passed the Reserve Post, we had such epithets
as 'Cracker Hunters', 'Coal Heavers' etc., thrown at us. But it was through a mistake, they thought we were the One Hundred
and Thirty-ninth (Persimmons) Regiment. We were on the reserve, at an old mill a little distance from the river. Very few
of us slept that night, as the rain came down in a continual stream. I lay down under my rubber blanket to sleep, but I didn't
sleep long, as the water began to get a little deep for me. I don't mind a couple of inches, but hang me if I can lie in it
six inches deep! Friday night, a scared corporal being on guard at the river, and thinking he heard the 'Rebs' crossing, aroused
the whole guard. Out they tumbled, with their rifles in one hand, their shoes in the other, and put themselves in a listening
attitude. The moon now appeared, it having been obscured by a cloud, and revealed to their anxious gaze ten or twelve large
muskrats sporting on the ice. There was a general laugh at the Corporal, and the boys turned in to snatch a few hours more
Source: Styple., W.B. (Ed) (2000) Writing and Fighting the Civil War : Soldier Correspondence to the New York Sunday Mercury.
Belle Grove Publishing Co., Kearny N.J., p.168.