January 10, 1862
The 8th of January we camped four miles east of Columbia. It has been cloudy and rainy so we have hardly seen the sun in two weeks. We intend to leave here tomorrow. We are about thirteen thousand men on the way to Somerset, Kentucky, but the roads are bad. We have a lot of teams but not many enough for hauling provisions.
Today three companies of our regiment are out to rent teams from the farmers. The farmers will be paid for the use of the teams.
Telecoffer is about ten miles from Somerset by Fish river with an army of about twent-five thousand men.
The man that owns the land where Telecoffer (Southern army) camps, that same man is our guide through these mountains and lowlands.
We often have to build bridges as we go forward. We built a bridge over Rusel creek which is very large.
I don’t know how many of our troops are coming to Somerset form other directions, but I understand our men are thinking of coming on two sides of Somerset.
It won’t be many days now before we can try our luck.
Bukner is in Bolengrin with a rebel strength of aobut four thousand men. It is about seventy miles between these two Southern armies.
We have no news to write about yet, but the grandest sight that I have yet seen is when one or two thousand men go to a strawstack to bring straw for their tents, often a row of men a miile long with straw on their shoulders.
The religious friend Cliv gave us orders to buy the straw if we want it, but we don’t live according to the law.
In our last camp we had orders at four in the evening to leave at five the next morning. I, with two others, then went out of the camp, found a fat pig that weighed about one hundred pounds, killed and skinned it and brought it into the camp where we roasted it barbeque style. Some in our company thought it was wrong, but each and every one was glad to get some of it in their knapsack for the next day.
We have plenty of old meat, pork, crackers and coffee, but are getting tired of it. It is a month since we had soft bread, and don’t expect to get any the rest of the winter.
Evend and Peder are well and are gaining in weight and getting used to army life.
When we pass through the woods near where soldiers have been camping we can see the effects of war. Often we see the remains of cattle that soldiers have butchered.
We have splendid music in our regiment.