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This is coming from Patricia Mitchell's Civil War Celebrations from a Charles James Winston who served in Co. G, 11th Virginia Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia. He was writing home from Centerville on December 27, 1861. From pages 16 and 17:
"We received your kind favor Exas [Xmas] eve, also the box which came in good order. Capt. Otey also received the barrel of pickle which was busted open. Most of the vinegar was out, but the barrel was about 2/3 full of pickle which are very fine. and the boys seem to enjoy them very much, and for which we return you all many thanks.... Mr. Burks of Lynchburg got our company a Xmas treat and the citizens sent it down the day before yesterday, so we had a fine dinner yesterday. We had quite a variety of meats and deserts and plenty of hot apple toddy to drink it down.... We had a very ple[a]sant time... The were several very appropriate toast[s] dr[ u]nk. We enjoyed the day finely, it being so different from any other we havespent or ever expect to. Little did I think one year ago that we would be on the tented field accustomed to the cannons Roar, the muskets rattle and wield shrick of the warier [wild shriek of the warrior]. We have orders to move our horses inside of the Breast Wors, that is our present encampment, We will commence tomorrow. The weather is very cold and we will have a tough time of it. Will was at a party at the Powhatan troop yesterday....
"We have just finish another little dinner party given by tent No. 3 at some o the members o the Powhaton troop. We had 5 gal. of the best apple toddie in the first place: In the second place we had 2 1/2 gal. of egg nog -- the best you ever sent them. We eat dinner. We had ham [,] turkey, chickens, cornd beef, 2 kinds of pickle, three kinds of cake, three kind of pies, and etc. Well may we enjoy such a dinner when we pause for a moment and think how did we happen toget it! Sent to us by kind friends, Aunts, sisters, sweethearts, and last but not least dear and beloved mothers, all of whom we can never forget, while there exist a grain of sand on the sea shore."
And there's a little more from Winston on page 17 that's separated from the above. Either it's part of the same letter or part of a different letter. Mitchel's notes in the back of the book does place it in the same set of correspondence, so my guess would be it's from the same letter:
"Tom Harvey received a box last night with a 1/2 gallon of fine Apple Brandy so we had a fine bucket of Eggnog this morning. But the dull monotony of camp still held its sway. Oh how much would like to be with you all to enjoy the quiet and piece [sic] of home once more...."
I bet they did have a ball with that Apple stuff!!