Algiers La Jan 3rd 1864
After a long Silence I am again Seated to write to you. I do not wish alway to be making excuses for not writing oftener, but this time there is an unusual reason for my long forgetfulness. After I heard of Rhoda's death, for a long time I seemed to Shrink from undertaking to write to you. The old thoughts of home no longer gave me pleasure as they once did, but only served to remind me that one of our number was missing from the circle & hereafter I must think of her as a Sister in heaven. it has taken a long time to reconcile my mind to this new condition that was so unexpectedly thrust upon us, but I will no longer allow such thoughts as these to make me forget the duties I owe to you who will still look as anxiously as ever for the letter that is due from me. Since we came here which was on Christmas day, I have been very busy making out my Rolls & Returns, but now I have got nearly through with my work & have time to bring up my correspondence which is badly in arrears. We came through from Brashear City on the Cars, on Christmas Day & went into camp on the west side
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