Jan. 7th. My health is improving, though I have not had strength to drill the company till yesterday. At nine o’clock this morning our Co. went out on picket about three fourths of a mile from camp, being “picket no. 4”. We occupied six posts beside the reserve, which was quartered in a vacant house. Everything was quiet on the lines day & night. In the afternoon I went with some of the men of the reserve to visit a plantation about a mile off, owned by Dr. H. Perkins. The house was a splendid one, richly furnished but the furniture is in ruins scattered all over the house. Chairs, tables, picture frames, &c. were broken in pieces, & the floors, covered with remnants of mirrors & table ware that had been wantonly smashed to pieces. The house had been lighted with gas made on the premises. The sugar house is an immense building containing a fine steam engine & sugar mill. Large lots of molasses was standing in the vats, which I allowed the boys to help themselves to & carry back to camp. Soldiers from other Regts. were constantly coming & helping themselves to anything that struck their fancy. Three of the negro women that we carried in when we were on picket before were from this estate. Not one of the slaves is now left in the place.
The corn grown this year appeared to have been all ground up, & the product left in the vats[?]. We returned to our quarters before sunset & relieved the pickets about dark. I slept till 10 o’clock, then took charge of those who were to be kept awake. Went the round of the pickets once before daylight, & found the sentinels awake & on the alert. After four, daylight relieved the guards again. About sunrise saw some soldiers on picket to the South of us shoot a calf that was running with its dam. Lt. A. went out to them & brought back a nice piece of steak that the men gave him—said the calf appeared to be nearly a year old. Our men found nothing of the same kind to bring in, nor should I have allowed them to fir had anything appeared. We were relieved by Co. E. about ten o’clock Thursday morning. Came into camp & made a written report of our picket duty to Col. Wilson, Commanding the Brigade. After dinner lay down & slept an hour or two. Read a New Orleans paper, containing for[!] news from Galveston, Texas. The gun boat Hamit[!] Lane blown up with her crew to keep her from falling into the hands of the rebels.