Vicksburg Miss. Nov. 14th 1863
My Dear Sister,
No mail yet for me since I came down, although you have had plenty to write about up there. I expected to have seen a description of your visit to Trenton, before this, and how our old schoolmates live and look. I think you made a very good bargain about the school, and I hope that Father is satisfied. But I do not like the notion of your running in debt as it appears you have. Why could you not have told Father what you wanted, and I know if you had really needed the articles, he would have obtained them for you. It will be difficult for us to send you the money at the next payment, but I suppose we must manage it somehow. My transportation has to come out of my next pay, and it will leave me pretty short, but it can be borrowed. I hope you will take a lesson from this, and never be so foolish again. It will not do to be always ahead of your income. Have you got any letters from Helen yet? I want you in your next letter to her to tell her to write to me, and you must give me her address. I want a share of the Boston good things, as well as the rest of you.
Tell Grandmother Reid that I have written to cousin Tom, telling him what she wanted, and all the news from Clyman, but she must not expect a letter from him for a month almost as his Division is in the interior of Texas somewhere. William and I are well and busy, he in taking care of a team for McGuinness, who is sick, and I in attending to the business of the Squad, for Rogers is sick, and Gordon is gone on recruiting Service: this throws the whole duty on my shoulders, of making details for everything there is to do, dividing out the hay rations to the drivers, drawing rations from the Quartermaster, and everything relating to the command of 20 men. I made out yesterday a voucher to draw my commutation of rations while on furlough on, which will be about four dollars and a half, 30 days at 15 cts. per day, the cost of the ration. Small has not come back yet, and we hear of him as spreeing around Winona in great style. O'Hara came back about 10 days ago, having been detained and compelled to do duty at Schofield Barracks, St. Louis.
Southwick's wounds are completely healed up in consequence of his pulling out of them a large piece of cloth which had been driven in by the bullet, five months before. It was about an inch long and since its extraction the wound has healed rapidly.
We went out on inspection day before yesterday, and expect soon to go out on picket about 2 miles south of Camp. Gen. Logan reviewed his Division yesterday and made his men a farewell speech, as he is going, we hear, to command the 15thArmy Corps, Sherman, who is its old commander, having been assigned to the command of the Department and Army of the Tennessee. From the tone of Sherman's General Order No 2 read to us a few days ago I am led to think that we will not engage in active operations untill [sic] Spring. But I was speaking of Gen Logan. He made an excellent speech to the men, calling them his "Boys". "It is to you," he said, "my brave boys, that ten Generals owe their promotions, and I hope to God that the Third Division will make as many more, for it has the material in abundance." "On every battlefield of the West you have made your mark, and your standards have never been borne in retreat. Thirteen battlefields have reechoed your tread, and are marked by the graves of your comrades of the Third Division." Thus he went on, recounting their past glorious deeds, and exhorting them to maintain their present high reputation by soldierly bearing and intrepidity in the face of danger. Logan is an eloquent speaker, and the occasion was such as to draw out his best powers.
Southwick picked a rose yesterday, and I send it with his compliments. Bill Deverough is home on furlough, have you seen him, and if so, how does he talk.
Love to all, Your affectionate Brother
Thos. D. Christie
P.S. Tell Sandy to write and tell me all about the horses, the ploughing, the weather and the price of wheat. Weather changeable here. T.D.C
I have copied some of the buglecalls and will send them to Uncle Tom soon.