Pawnee, Dec. 25th, 1864.
Dear Wife and children:
Thinking you would like to hear from me, with pleasure I write you a few lines. Your letter of the 9th was gladly received, yesterday. Since I last wrote you I have been appointed Commissary Sergt, and for the last few days have been very busy in drawing rations, buying beef, corn, hay &c. I am relieved from all guard duty and will have very little to do till the 31st inst. We have to draw our rations once in 10 days, and our forage every week, which keeps me busy a part of the time. I took the Commissary Sergt place from choice. I could be Orderly Sergt if I wish, but think the place I have is the best for me, taking all things in consideration.
We have had no snow here, but the weather has been extremely cold for several days. A citizen near our camp owes me $25, due this day, which is Sunday. I think the man will pay me soon, and perhaps as soon as I see him.
I have had no news from Henry and Manley since they left Atlanta. I received letters from both about the time we were ordered into the field after Price; consequently have had no opportunity to answer their letters. I should be pleased to write to them, but do not know where to direct letters. I suppose they are at Savannah, Ga., but I think there is no mail communication from the North to Savannah. I should be happy indeed to hear from them, but fear I shall not for some time. I cannot say to you that I enjoy myself in the army. When I reinlisted, I thought the war would end by the first of July, 1865, and perhaps sooner. Now I can see no prospect of its ending at any stated time. I also believed that Richmond would be taken before cold weather, and every other one I conversed with had the same opinion. Consequently I embraced a wrong belief. Had I not so believed I should not have reinlisted. It is possible I may again have formed a wrong opinion and that the war will soon close. I can only say I shall be happily disappointed if such is the case. It would afford me the greatest of all happiness to see you all, but fear I shall not soon. It will cost me too much to come home on furlough, and I do not suppose you would come to this country if I wished you to. I should much rather live in Allen Co. in this state than in Wisconsin, but I am liable to err in judgement. Well, I am so situated that I can not form any plans for the future. In that respect I am, perhaps, differently situated than most of men are. Four men of Co M have bought land in this country and are doing quite well. One man bought 160 of land for $450 on time and sold it $800 cash down. I was offered the same land, but it was not my good luck to buy it. If the boys and myself should live to get out of the service, it is possible we may all go to some new country where land is cheap. It would be a great pleasure to you and I if we could be with our children the remainder of our days. Yet, as far as living, or obtaining a livelihood is concerned, it is not my wish, expectation or desire to be dependent upon our children in any way, only that which I pay them for. Nor am I able to give them -- which I much regret. None of the soldiers that I have talked with calculate to work after they get out of the service. Some calculate to keep store, others taverns, others groceries; but by far the greater part are on the steal. Well, I have not gone into the stealing business, which is so common in the army; neither do I expect to get a livelihood in that way. I am content to work for a living, but I would like to live in some place where I can raise stock, as I think I can live the easiest in that way. Therefore if I should live to get out of the service, I shall aim to put all the means I have into young stock, and would like to be where there is not over half of the year winter.
I will close this uninteresting letter by sending you my best love. Give love to all. Kiss baby for me. I am ever your affectionate Husband
C. N. Mumford
Please ell me how the stock look.