We are nearly starved and if this situation continues, the Yankees will capture all of us without firing a shot. Some time ago, this Lee issued an order forbidding the use of public ammunition by hunting parties. There is a cartridge shortage and this is supposed to help. We haven't had adequate rations for so long and we have come to depend on hunting game to add to our meager plate of victuals. Now, only private ammunition may be used to hunt. All of us who joined up at Columbia who brought their
There were some of our gallant boys passing through and I got to talk with them. Their accents sounded familiar and sure enough they were from Virginia. The 60th Virginia Volunteers from western Virginia are a new addition to our forces here. I met the Bland boys, Benjamin, George, John and Robert, all from Company A. They are all related to each other but I have forgotton how. I was most gladdened by Samuel Hambrick of the Osceola Guards. His company was raised in Botetourt County which is so very close to my old home in Virginia. We talked at length all of us. Some of the people I knew back home have gone on. Others have joined the army and are now fighting for our freedom.
The 60th were ordered to Salem where they boarded a train of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. For a time, I worked for the railroad. The line runs so very close to the Yankees occupying western Virginia that I fear the line will be subjected to raids.
I asked where they had been and what they had done and their answers opened my eyes wide. They knew our General Lee as at one time he was their general during the battles around Cheat Mountain.. They say that they were beaten by the Yankees in a horrible campaign and they left in an disgraceful retreat. They said that Lee acquired the names Granny Lee and Retreating Lee since he had performed so poorly. That General Lee is a humbug. Now he is here in command of troops and all we do is dig. They said that General Donelson and his Tennesseans were up there, too. I and others want a transfer to where the real war is, northern Virginia. The Yankee Grant is making trouble in Kentucky and Tennessee. We would not mind going there if we cannot get to Virginia. We all want to shoot something.