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Civil War Letters of the Christie Family

Author: William G. Christie
Date: September 19, 1863
Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Addressee: James C. Christie
Description: William writes about the morality of war. He also mentions the relocation of camp and asks whether Thomas, on furlough in Clyman, is on his way back to camp yet.

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Vicksburgh Miss: Sept. 19th 1863.

Dear Father I am much surprised that I have not Received a single scrap of writing from home, since Tom has had time to have Been among you. Even he seems to have forgotten the Battery, and everything else in Dixie. I do not Blame him nor any of your very much, for I suppose you are having an exceedingly great time over the little Corporal, and I hope he has recuperated enough to be able to kick up his heals with the Best of you, for if he has not got his furlough renewed, he is certainly on his way to us by this time. Since my last letter to any of you up there, we have changed camp from the North East of town to the south and has had a very Busy time of it. on account of so many Being off on furlough, and a number ailing we have our hands full all the time. and so we are likely to be for some time to come.

Our Division is still under Gen. MacArthur, But is now Designatted as the first, instead of the sixth; and I suppose that the whole army corps will Be reorganised in pretty much the same way. two days ago we had a very cold day and at night we had a cold North wind accompanied with rain. I was on guard and had a very disagreeable night. The weather has continued cold since, and I have on my under clothing just as if it were winter, Beleiveing a Prevention of sickness is Better than a cure. Last night we had quite a frost and I felt about as cold in Bed as if I had Been up north in midwinter nearly every man in the Battery had the same confession to make this morning.

We have papers in camp up to the 11th Ult. and the News from the vicinity of Charleston is very cheering, accounts from Burnside, and Rosey: are also very much to our liking, and it does look now as though Lee of Virginia, could soon Be taken on Both sides so that the thing might Be finished this Winter and us at home Before another year Passed away. But there is not any use in speculating on the end or when it may arrive. our only plan is to do our duty, and trust to God, for the Proper finishing of the work. for we may Be assured he will not leave the work half finished and allthough every thing looks inspiritting and cheering for a speedy ending, yet it may be that other Powers of the Devil may interfere so that there may Be a wiping out of more evil than we are dreamming of at present.

There is a rumor in camp that the French occuppy the one side of the Rio Gand. I suppose it must Be a Copperhead Bugaboo: seeing they have nothing else to get up an excitement about: Jeff Davis, the Darlint has fread the damned Nagur or goin to do it. oh how consistently some of the sons of Erin talk about these things: Poor Misshapen Devils morrally dwarfed, and Preist ridden they are in as much need of freedom and Pitty and education as the Negro: Well in God's time the day will give signs of dawning of Poor Paddy, and Blood will wash out that slavery as well as this slavery, over which we are contending and crushing, out of exsistence. Will the time ever Be when such Political changes as well as moral, will Be thoroughly Inititated and established without Blood. Blood has flowed in every Nation at either its rise for good, or its fall, it looks at though there cannot Be Progression, without suffering: let these things Be so or not, we move as a Nation, and it really looks as though the World at large moves to a higher grade of Political and moral, Life Daily. So Be it. Longfellow says something about it Being grand to live in such a time. Father I Believe it must Be equally grand or glorious to die in such a strugle, only especially if on the side of God, and there is not much use in us judging what may be or is the fate, of those who are unfortunately on the side of error. Perhaps it is a necessitty of there lives, and for there especial welfare that they should have there eyes oppenned By a cannon or a minnie Ball. God Purifies Nations and Individuals, and Pulls down and builds up Worlds and it must Be that the old, and obselete must Be used up: even if People should get hurt.

I so far have Been kept as if in the hollow of his hand. Why, I do not know, for it does seem to me that men more Powerful for good, and Better in every Capacity have Been taken out of this life in the various forms incident to a soldier's life, while I am still spared. But there is no telling how when or where I may have to change from good to Better, and so I live trusting and hoping, from day to day, That I will yet see you all, in the Present form and mode of exsistence.

Sabbath morning Sept. 20th We have just returned to camp from Review, and we are all in very good humor, and feel the invigorating effects of the cold North wind. The river has risen about a foot in the last day or two, and I veryily Believe the sick season, is over. There are Rumors of us going to stay in camp as garrison all winter at this Point. But I hardly think it will be so, although Gen MacArthur, at Present, I have heard that he has Been Promised his Division Being filled up to the maximum No; and Be Pushed out in the fall campaign. Now I Believe that is what the majority of the Division would like, to do. I know it is what the Battery would like.

This day really looks and feels like a Minn; day. The sky is so clear and Blue, after dinner of Buttered toast and coffee, our cook is now on his rounds getting sugar to make fried cakes. don't you wish you had some of them he makes good ones. There is no mail yet from any of you . Tom should Be here in two days, let me know all about the threshing unless Tom has all the news of that kind, in his Buget and much more Besides: give my Love to Mother and grandmother Bertie don't forget me to grandmother Reid and all the rest of the folks. Good By write soon and Believe me your affectionate son

William G. Christie

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