Tennessee, December 11, 1862

We are still on our old camping grounds which we now have held a couple of weeks. The Rebels are much stronger than us here.

The largest part of our troops are in Nashville, and some are scattered in several directions.

The 2nd Minnesota regiment and also the 18th and 35th regiment and three of our brigade are camping near the Cumberland river. We are by a large bend in the river on the Gallatin side where Lebanon, Tennessee, is on the other side.

A few miles from here the Rebels are making breastwork or protection walls in Murfreesboro and other places.

Ten miles from us was a U.S. camp of new troops, three regiments on foot, two companies on horseback, and one battery. Last Sunday morning they got a visit from the Rebels, the shooting lasted thirty minutes, the U.S. were taken as prisoners, but help came so they got only the prisoners without guns and property. The Rebels left the U.S. camp in a hurry with the prisoners.

We are on a bad place. We are waiting for the Rebels every hour, and we are often in line and ready at three o’clock in the morning. We hear the cannons around us nearly every day, we are in the way for the Rebels so it is queer that they do not visit us.

Our old minister said yesterday that the Rebels know who are here.

Our regiment is about five hundred and fifty strong. None of the whole regiment here in the camp was on the sick list yesterday morning, only three of our company are away sick. They are in Nashville, they are Hobert, Barbon and Levena.

Ben Rounsville and Pasko died a short time ago.

We got a little snow the 5th of December which still covers the ground. The nights are cold, and we have lots of guard duty.

Col. George is well liked among the soldiers, but Lt. Col. Bishop is more particular.

Bishop was away one month, then we did not have anything to do except when we marched. We did not even have to keep our camp nice, but since Bishop came back we have to drill three hours a day.

In the battle of Perrysville it is said we lost six hundred killed, and two thousand wounded. The Rebels had 1300 killed.

At present we have enough both of food and clothes. Each one cooks his own food, we have crackers, beans, rice, pork, meat, coffee and sugar, but the tobacco we have to buy. A plug of tobacco that cost fifteen cents in St. Peter sells here for sixty cents. We have used a lot of tobacco the last couple months.

The papers say that in Cincinnati the wheat is from one dollar and twelve cents to one dollar and fifty cents a bushel.

We have no potatoes and none to get in any way.

If Skaro is in St. Peter greet him from me, and ask him to send me the St. Peter paper sometimes.

We live here as heathens, sometimes we happen to get a paper from Louisville and St. Peter, but seldom. We do not get the Norwegian paper “Emegranten”.

We have a large supply of false Southern money on Richmond and others which the soldiers use when buying things from the people here, but I have not used any of it.

Last evening we received the news that the largest part of our troops were driven back to Nashville, and we are waiting for orders to go to Nashville.

About the war, we live in the belief that we will have to serve the other nineteen months too. It will not end by killing soldiers because we are too many on both sides. It is like starting killing mosquitoes in a large woods in the morning, in the evening there are more than when you started.

But my hope is that the Southerners will be encircled so the settlers there will be dissatisfied and then eventually will come under U.S.

Jacobus came back from St. Peter December 1st. He says that hay is already high in price.

If you have the “Emegranten” and see something interesting in it then send it to us sometimes, the time is long, we have nothing here to read.

Evend and Peder are well. Evend behaves well and looks to the future so I have been busy lately teaching him many things such as reading and arithmetic. He is now strong and healthy and looks better then at any time before.

I have at present no more to write, and my hand is so cold that I can hardly hold the pen.

Greetings to you all. Greet Dina, Louis and Keet. Keet will soon enlist as a soldier I think.