St. Augustine Thanksgiving Eve 1862
Dear Ones at Home
How many times I have thought of you today & wished I might be with you. The Day has been very pleasant but cool I have had some roast Pork & Pudding but have eaten the least I ever did at Thanksgiving
This morning we had a sad accident here at the Fort culpably carless one of the Guards forgetting for a moment that his Piece was loaded in a playful manner raised it as if to fire & at the same time gave the command ready, aim, fire & he did fire & hit one of his comrades in the left Breast the Ball passing through his left Lung within one 1 1/2 inches of his Heart, then passing through another man's wrist & hit another man's Gun glancing from that to the Breast of a Corporal without injury as the ball was spent. The man shot through is not expected to live although he is at the time of writing all the Parties belong to God. Speaking of shooting, I have come as near to it three times here as I want to, in tending target when the men come off Guard. The first time one man shot so wide of the target that the Ball came on a level with & about three feet from my Head, the next time was a Foggy morning, the men shoot down a lane that is 300 yds long, the officer of the Guard has to see to it & the man that makes the best shot is excused from the next tour of Gd, well I went down in the morning & plugged up the holes in the Target, & was starting for the 150 yd stake, where the men have orders to shoot from, when whizz came a ball close to my Head it was so Foggy that I could not see them as they were at the end of the Lane, I sung out what in H___ are you about, when another Ball came & struck the ground not an arm lengths from me, you had better believe they heard me when I commanded Cease Firing, for I thought it was getting carless to shoot at this uncle Dud in that manner; it was two men that had come off Picket & shot down the Lane at random, & left before I got a sight of them. If I had got a sight of them they would have slept in the Gd House that night Sure. There was a horse race the PM of the Parad Ground but I did not feel able to go so far & the day has passed rather lonely I assure you. The Fleas plague me so that I take no comfort while writing I should think my pants were alive with them by the feeling. This is a great place for Dogs it is Bow Wow all night long all the sporting I have seen today was a CockFight which was no sport at all for me. In the morning I think they will both wish they hadnt done so the victor seemed to have as sore a head as the vanquished; it made me think of our Union victories; or some of them. Sam has just been in & said dont you suppose our Folks wish their husband & their Son were with them to eat their Turkies; I thought Yes, it is Taps Good Night.
Sunday 30th I am better but not on Duty yet shall be at it in a day or two I have had some Wild Turkey for dinner it was very good if it had been cooked properly I was stuffed, & such stuffing, I hope but one sees but once in a lifetime!
We some expect a Steamer with mail, but it is all an uncertainty like everything else in war. there is one exception i.e. Comfort, there is nothing new here but silly Rumors which are not worth minding. it is very pleasant today & warmer than for a week past