14 January 1862

Camp Warren
Washington D. C.
January 14, 1862

Dear Brother Willie,

I have just come off from drill and thought I would write you a few lines to let you know how I get along and what we are doing. Yesterday our regiment went down town with four or five other regiments and paraded in the principal streets ad saw a great many people of all sizes and sorts. All were out even to the rear lines and there was a Darkie funeral there and there was a large concourse of mourners and all rode in nice carriages in fine style — as big as white folks. Nothing occurred more than common until we were most home. There was one or two companies out practicing with blanks and the train of mule teams — 6 mules in each team — come along and not liking the noise, they pricked up their ears and took French leave as though they were sent for and the way they went was not slow. One mule capsized and went under the wagon and all stopped and we thought we were going to have some fresh mule for supper but we were doomed to be disappointed for when the wagon was raised off from him, he was as good as new and the last I saw of him he was going along in his mule way rejoicing. But we all hoped him dead. We have eat so much mule beef that our ears are about 3 inches long and thrifty indeed. I am almost ashamed to look a mule in the face, and some of the boys are braying quite lustily, and all are tough and so am I.

I guess we are going to have some sleighing for a change. The snow is about 3 inches deep and it looks like snowing now but it is not very cold and we do not have to drill much and all we have to do is the chores and look after the inner man. We have fixed our tent so that we are quite comfortable. We went out in the country and jayhawked all of the boards we could lie hands on and brought them into camp and have made us a bedstead to hold 14 of us, and it takes up two-thirds of our tent but it makes sleeping very comfortable. Our tent is round and cone shaped and is about as large around the bottom as one of the large tubs at the still and so you will see that we have to be neighborly in order to keep from quarreling.  But we are all brothers and make things go along very well so far.

Tonight we made out a very good supper for us. We traded off our extra coffee for butter and so we — or I — feel quite like writing tonight. But this is a poor place to write, taking all things into consideration. Most of the boys are talking and if I don’t get some of their talk into this, it will be strange to me. But I must begin to close for it is almost roll call and if I am not out to answer to my name, I shall be put on extra duty. You may be glad that you do not have to pile out after you have got ready for bed.

Tell Father if you get this in time for him to make me that pair of boots and send them here with Byron. Boots are worth $10 here and if he can, I will pay hm for them when I get my pay. I will send my love to all of the folks and you must write soon and remember your soldier brother, — Albert