December 29, 1863

Picket Reserve.  It cleared up this forenoon, and was very pleasant.  Went up the line this forenoon.  Found the posts very far apart, and the line crooked enough to be military.  Purchased 8 eggs at the Alms House for 25 cts.  Four fried made me a good meal on my return to the reserve.  Just as[i.e., at] dark, returned to the Alms House and got supper.  Cabbage, roast pork, corn cake, hard tack, parsnips, butter and coffee.  Found the family “secesh.”  The old man, the keeper, is naturally despondent, and seems somewhat melancholy.  He is a sincere man, a Christian, but deluded.  We asked the blessing before we eat supper, the only blessing I have heard (I believe) asked since I left my own dear home.  We agreed in this, that differ as we might in regard to other things we must be united in regard to our belief in God.  The “Hard Shells” predominate in this section.  Other societies are found, viz. Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, &c.  Culpepper Co. numbered from 6 to 9 thousand inhabitants, previous to the war.  At his house, he formerly had about 30 paupers, but now he has only 14.  His daughter is secesh all over.  Thinks every man will fight till he is dead.  She is willing to suffer.  Found it dark to pick my way back to my quarters.  Secesh cavalry reported in front today.  Our Cavalry moved out the turnpikes yesterday.  A very beautiful and spring-like day this.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir] 

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