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|History of Cambria County, V.2|
|162||HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY.|
out. This is not by any means a pleasant state of affairs to me, but there is no remedy but to worry it out. * * *
(About four miles south of Winchester.)* * * A mail goes to the rear today and I take advantage of the opportunity to write to you, though my facilities for so doing are none of the best, as I have been turned out of doors again and instead of a ten feet square enclosure of canvas, I have a ten-acre plowed field. A plowed field otherwise than that plowed up by the cannon shot in this country is a curiosity, but it is actually the case; I got into one last night with my regiment, to bivouac, and this morning found myself quartered under a persimmon tree with the sky for a covering. The owner of this ground must have been deluded into the belief that the war was over, for I notice that he has planted wheat and put up some fence, and left his plow stand close to where I am seated. Poor man; his farm will have a sorrowful appearance before night.
[Thursday], November 10th, 1864.
Yesterday we turned our backs upon the somber hills of Cedar Creek and marched towards Winchester, as our corps did not get here until dark, I have not as yet been able to discover exactly where we are, but reckon it to be about four miles south of Winchester, and close to the little village of Kearnstown, where we had a stubborn argument with Early on the 24th of July, ending in our retreat and loss of Col. James A. Mulligan (23d Illinois) and Lieut. Col. John P. Linton wounded. In fact there are but few fence corners in this valley between Newmarket and Winchester that do not recall either pleasant or unpleasant recollections, and to attempt to describe the present appearance of this country is only to say that it is a common plain and nearly all landmarks obliterated with the exception of blackened and ruined homesteads.
At Cedar Creek it looked about as much like a graveyard as a camp, for there was about one grave to every tent, but the late battle of the 19th (Sheridan's battle at Winchester) was fought right in our camps, which was the cause. We had commenced to build quite comfortable winter quarters until ordered to move, and the many and quaint styles of architecture, in the shape of mud houses and flour barrel chimneys will astonish all future beholders.
Cedar Creek, Va., Nov. 1 [Tuesday], 1864.* * * Since I wrote you last I am happy to say that some wholesome alterations and improvements have taken place with me. First, I now have a tent to cover my once homeless head, and the next and most important, I have a change of clothing, being the first since I left home. All this occurred no longer ago than last Sunday, the day our baggage first reached us; that was a long time for one to live like a digger Indian, but we will now make up for it by wearing our good clothes out at