Our cavalry Brought in about 500 head of cattle this morning & attempted to swim them across the Bayou & lost 100 of them
The News Reached us today that General Banks has been successful in Texas
[Likely referring to the Battle of Brownsville; Source: Wikipedia]
The cavalry captured about 30 more Rebs Near Camp Pratt: one Coln [Colonel], one Major, one Lieut[enant].
Peter Wilkes Reported to the Company today which surprised us, as it has been 6 months since we heard from him.
[Peter Wilkes enlisted 18 Aug 1862 at Watkins, NY, in Company B, NY 161st Infantry Regiment when he was 21 years old; mustered in on 9 Sep 1862 as a Private; he was absent sick at Elmira NY no date listed; on muster roll in December 1862; at New York City Hospital from June 1863 through October 1863; on Company muster roll 31 Dec 1863;mustered out with the Company on 20 Sep 1865 at Fort Jefferson, FL with the rank of Private. Source: http://ancestry.com]
Co. B & H [were] Relieved at the Wharf at New Iberia & Reported to New Iberia.
This is a very pleasant Sabbath. Everything is quiet in camp. We have but very little to do.
There is not[thing] unusual going on in camp. Our mail arrived today & Brought me 3 letters from wife, Father and Ann [perhaps this was Charles' sister Adelia Ann]
Today I have written one letter to wife & mailed it
161st Regt went out with forage train. P. Wilkes , G N. Wright & myself confiscated one Duck, one chicken & one sheep and a canteen full of molasses.
[G. N.Wright enlisted 11 Aug 1862 in Elmira NY, age 24; mustered in 9 Sep 1862 as a Private; mustered out with the Company at Fort Jefferson FL on 20 Sep 1865. Source: http://ancestry.com]
Today we are on picket. We had our poultry for Dinner. In the afternoon some cattle made a Descent on our post.
We [were] Duly Relieved this morning & came in Camp & [drew] one Days Rations of flour & made flapjacks for Dinner. It has Never Rained harder than it Does Now 4 p.m.
Our mail came this evening while I was Busy Baking some flapjacks for supper. I received Adelia's pictures [Charles' younger sister Adelia Ann may have married Isaac B. Haines around this time].
161st Regt went after forage again today. 3 of us got one Scoby [Muscovy] Duck, 2 chickens & a quarter of fresh pork.
G. N. Wright went on picket today. Peter & me cooked our Duck & took Wright's Dinner out to him. We had a very lively meal.
Peter is on Camp guard today. This is a very pleasant Day.
Half of Co. B is Detailed for guard Duty. Our Duty is very hard at present.
Today I am on camp guard. Peter Wilkes was sent out with the forage train.
We [were] Duly Relieved this morning & had our Ration of Whiskey & quinine.
[Quinine was used as a preventive treatment against Malaria and mixed with whiskey to disguise the bitterness.]
We had general inspection today & tonight the officers of the 161st Regt [are] Nearly all of them as Drunk as a pack of fools
I am on picket today can hear the officers & men in camp a frolicking & Raising old Ned [an old folk name for the Devil] Instead of tending to their Duty.
We [were] Relieved from picket at 9am.
Last night we had a outrageous Rain Storm. We [were] Nearly flooded in our tents.
161st Regt was sent in front this morning to garrison the the fortifications for the next 24 hours.
We [were] Relieved at ten am & Returned to our miserable old camp Near New Iberia. The Roads [are] very muddy
The weather became extremely cold last night from which we almost suffered alike.
It continued cold yet the ground has frozen very hard, something that has not been seen in this state before since 1830.