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Civil War Letters of the Christie Family

Author: William G. Christie
Date: December 20, 1863
Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Addressee: Alexander S. Christie
Description: William discusses the fee paid to a substitute for a drafted man, in regards to his Uncle Dave; also writes of his possible furlough.

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Vicksburgh Mississippi Dec: 20th/63.

Dear Brother I am sorry to let you know that the style of your Letter of the second ult; is not to my taste or Toms; Tis very true there are many things in connection with this war that looks like fooling away many Precious opportunities, for thoroughly crushing it out. But do not let us despair. Tis not chance nor accident that causes these things to Be so, No sir. I beleive that it is the neccessity of the time, and in accordance with the importance of the Great struggle of the Age, between Right, and Wrong. The spasmodic action, of the Army of the Potomac is one of the evils of the war, and allthough you and I may not Be able to see either the Beauties or the use of its Past and Present mode of action yet we have no reason to doubt there efficency, to the forwarding of the cause of Freedom. As for the $300,000 clause I think myself that it it's a Bad thing for the army and I really hope that Congress will either Repeal it or the Executive draft so offten that it will be impossible for those drafted to Pay the commutation, and there is every reason to think that Congress will annull that Part of the law, so that our armies may be filled up to the maximum, and let the Rebs, and there friends over the water see our determination, and abillity to use up any and all oppossition what ever.

Last Tuesday evening we attended the Lyceum as usual, and had a very interesting time of it. We introduced a new feature intoo our Proceedings by only having the Principl disputants on the regular question speak and then there were several subjects given out and those that got one had to speak on that subject right off, without any Preparration what ever. I had “War” for my theme, and Stephen Rollins had, our Lyceum, for his subject. Wether it was because we done so well at such short notice, or Because we merely Pleased our audience we were chosen as the chief disputants next Tuesday evening. The question, Resolved that we should obey the dictates of conscience Rather than the mandates of Law. S. Rollins affirmative Wm G. Christie Negative T.D. Christie was Chosen to Deliver an Essay or lecture, before the Lyceum. so you see the folks we are amongst are very good natured and are Bound to have us shine, and sir I suppose we will shine with a refulgence equal at Least to a dozen haddocks on a fish hake.

Last Wedensday we had a sample of a rainstorm in Dixie. I cannot describe it any Better, than By telling you to just think of two of the heaviest rainstorms you ever saw, fixed up intoo one and let down with the force of a waterspout, some mules and waggons belonging to an Iowa regment, stood in a small valley in rear of our camp, and where we were camped Previous to our trip to Black river. at night when every one went to Bed the valley was dry and very Pleasant to look upon or intoo. the rain storm came on about four o clock in the morning, and at six o clock there was a river, averaging 7 rods in width and five feet deep the mules were untied from the waggons and swam out. By noon there was no river But before night there was a storm nearly equal to the first, and again the valley was flooded, since that time we have had very cold weather for this latitude, the ground being found frozen in the morning to the enormous depth of one eighth part of an inch, or thereabouts On the 17th of this month we along with a large number of members of our association Passed a very Pleasant evening at the home of the Christian Delegation it was some of the nature of a Soriee, and cost us nothing Mrs. Plumber a very Pleasant intellectual looking woman, she is Matron of the soldiers home in this city, was Present. Mrs Governor Harvey of Wis. saw also there besides a number of other Ladies, in connection with the various instutions in and around Vicksburgh, for the advancement of the human race, it was nigh midnight when we got Back to camp.

Matters in connection with our reenlistment Progress very favorably, and we have every reason to Believe at Present that there will be a movement of at least three fourths of the Battery, north. There are about a dozen men out of the aggregate, that will be transferred to the invalid corps: Tom and I Passed the surgeion in a very Plausable manner, and there are now about fiftie names that will go on the muster roll as Veterans today or tomorrow, and it is very likely By thuesday we will receive our Bounties for the Past two years service, and be mustered in for another three years, our reenlistment dating since the first of Dec. 1863.

I hope Sarah has got the school East, By the district approving, Dempsey's action in the matter, if not it will surely Be a lesson to her. now Brother o mine what do you think, if there are enough of the old Battery to form a new organzation, we will have a long furlough seeing that we will move north in a Body, every one, will have at least thirty days in his own state, or wherever he may desire to go, then By Reporting at the rendezvous we will be likely to have an extension, and T. D. Proposes going East instead of home. if circumstances will Permitt as far as I am concernned I will be home, just as soon as I can get, and I think it would Be the Best thing for T. D., But it may do him good to go to the East, coming home By the way of Boston, and so I do not advise him one way or the other, there is a Probability of our Being at home or at least of my Being among you some time in february. I have not written what might be called a “Buster” But nevertheless I hope you will be content with this scrawl, seeing I am just at Present so that I have to keep my mouth oppen to get Breath I hope you are all well, I am looking anxiously every day for more mail, and untill such times as you do Better in the way of giving us letters don't dare to complain about us not giving you more. Love to all and Believe me as ever your affectionate Brother

William G. Christie

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