Camp Griffin, Va.
Quartermaster 2d Vt. Reg.
Co. F. Dec. 1, 1861
Friend Howard, --- It is Sunday and is (as it should be) observed as a day of rest for men as well as officers, and I take a few leisure moments to inform you how we spend the Sabbath, also the way we Vermont boys spent Thanksgiving. Sunday morning as soon as breakfast is over, we clean our tents, sweep the streets, pack everything we have in our knapsacks, black our boots, brush our clothed, clean our gun, replenish our cartridge boxes, and at 8 a.m. form in line, when we are inspected by the Col. And staff. (the band playing), if any part of our equipments are missing or worn out we are supplied with new ones. The tents are also inspected to see if proper cleanliness is observed. This last about an hour, until 2 p.m. we can do what we please. Some wash and mend their clothes, where many read, write and sleep. At 2 the drum beats for Church, and all go that wish too. Generally there is a very respectful congregation unless the weather is stormy when services are postponed. The duties of the day close by an undress parade (that is roll call on company grounds), and a prayer meeting at the Chaplains tent in the evening. All go that wish too.
On Thanksgiving day we only had one drill, early in the morning, and the rest of the day was given to us to enjoy as we saw fit. (per order of Brig. Gen. Brooks). In most companies enough extra rations had been disposed of to buy potatoes, fresh pork, chickens, turkeys, and such other luxuries as could be got, and all had their fill. In the evening. old acquaintances got together, cooked their oysters, drank cider, and smoked a "mild Havana", while talking over their exploits while on picket, and rehearsing the good times they had lost this year at Thanksgiving. At nine p.m. they adjourned to their own quarters, and by listening one could hear the songs, "I am glad I am in this army," We are all going home," Red, White and Blue, &c.
All in all it was a day of joy and thanksgiving.
The weather is quite cold here now, and frequent rains, no snow as yet excepting one little flurry; The 2d Regiment is in exceedingly good health, and the Brigade are in better condition than when I wrote last.
No prospect of an advance with this quarter at present. Much anon.
Lamoille Newsdealer, Dec. 20, 1861
Courtesy of Deanna French.