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From the Hundred and Ninth.

CAMP OF 109TH REG'T ILLS. VOLS.,
MEMPHIS, TENN., March 14, 1863.

To the Editor of the Jonesboro Gazette.

Though we have been under marching orders for a week, expecting daily to start on our journey Dixie-ward, we are yet within the walls of Fort Pickering, remunerating Uncle Sam for his many kind attentions to our wants by guarding such of his property as chances to have a "local habitation and a home" in this vicinity. — We are understood to be destined immediately for Lake Providence, some 70 or 80 miles this side of Vicksburg, where we will most likely take a breathing spell till such time as we may be needed to scale the batteries at the famous rebel stronghold. — This we, in common with the mass of the soldiers in this army, expect to do about as successfully as did the brave fellows under Sherman a couple of months since, when five or six thousand men were sacrificed to the ambition of a rash and incompetent General. Brigades were literally annihilated, and a couple of rebel cannon were the fruits of their slaughter. About as important results will be accomplished in the impending contest. Very few of the soldiers entertain the remotest idea of success in the event of another attack; and they have so little to encourage them that they have no spirit in the work. A great victory to them simply means the slaughter of thousands of their comrades, the reading of an order on parade extolling their bravery, the officers receiving fresh honors and promotions, a season of drunken revelry among those in command, and a few thousand negroes liberated and sent to fill the places they have vacated at home. To the common soldier it means nothing more. — For his bravery and gallant exploits he receives no honors or benefits, while the commanders, safely posted at respectful distances, watching the contest with glasses, are complimented for their skill and bravery, and at once promoted to higher positions. Feelings of patriotism, prompted the volunteering of the rank and file of the army; hope of gain secured the officers. Hence, when all see that the war is no longer prosecuted for the restoration of the Union, those who enlisted to fight for that purpose, are anxious for its early discontinuance, that they may return to the bosom of their families; officers who enlisted for gain and distinction, are steadfast in their adherence to the President and his policies. What care they for a nation bathed in blood and clad in mourning, for constitutions and laws defied and trampled under foot, for a Union destroyed forever, for a prosperous country devastated? — They delight in such a carnival of blood and destruction. They are receiving a hundred or two dollars a month, and are clothed with a little brief authority. The men are therefore taking every opportunity to get out of the army. The convalescent camps are crowded with men representing all the "ills that human flesh is heir to," and Surgeons are beleaguered at all times and on every corner for discharges, mutinies are constantly occurring, and hundreds are daily taking the shortest route home, regardless of all obligations and authority over them. An army in such a condition can scarcely be depended upon in a contest so desperate as will be required to compel the surrender of a point so skillfully and powerfully fortified as Vicksburg.

We have been having some very fine weather the past week. Several days of clear sunshine served to render locomotion much more agreeable, camp life far more pleasant, and to cheer up the drooping spirits of the men. A decided improvement is manifest in the health of the soldiers. Ten days ago we had only about 75 privates for duty, out of a force of 550 men. This morning's report shows the regiment to number 380 men, all told, of whom 127 have been declared by the Surgeon unfit for active duty, and will be sent to General Hospitals and convalescent camps on our departure from this city. — This leaves 253 — officers included — to embark in the Vicksburg campaign. We left Jonesboro five months ago with about 980 men. We have twenty-one cases now in hospital, with diseases requiring constant medical attention. I furnish the list: James Benefield, E. Baker, I. W. Uody, all of co. B, with diarrhea; Silas Hileman, co. B, remittent fever; William Tackett, co. D, general debility; Albert Gales, co. D, remittent fever; Jack Nipper, co. C, debility; Thomas Boswell, co. E, bronchitis; 2d Lieut. Crabtree, co. G, diarrhea; Thos. Crabtree, co. G, debility; Jacob Verble, co. G, conjestion; O. J. Brown, co. G, remittent fever; Wm. Hinkle, co. G, remittent fever; Lewis Carothers, co. H, pneumonia, G. F. Brown and Columbus Murphy, co. H, diarrhea; A. Edmonds, co. H, debility; Anthony George, co. I, remittent fever; M. A. Seals, co. I, remittent fever; Thos. Nickens, co. I, bilious fever. John H. McCrite, of co. B, a most excellent young man, and a son of James E. McCrite, Esq., of Alexander county, died on Thursday of pneumonia. He has been in hospital the greater part of the time since leaving home, and has not performed a day's duty in about four months. He was a Sergeant in co. B, and was highly respected by all the men of his acquaintance for his uniform kindness of heart and gentlemanly deportment. Drs. Henley and George H. Dewey are still in charge of our regimental hospital, and through their labors, with the well-timed and valuable assistance of Hospital Steward James W. Hunsaker, everything possible is done for the comfort and to secure the rapid recovery of those under their care.

Our boys would not now object to a few bites of something good to eat. The dainties sent down some six weeks ago by Parson Kroh, have long since departed, and have been followed by a month of dieting on hard bread, beans and bacon. Breakfast generally consists of the three above named substantials, in the order given, insufficiently cooked, for the men go on duty at 8 o'clock, which allows a short time for boiling beans; dinner is a slight improvement, as we usually serve up beans first, after which full justice is done to the crackers and bacon; while supper is invariably formed from "warmings" from the two preceding meals, of which bacon, bread and beans form the chief staples. A few apples or onions, a little sack of dried fruit, an occasional mess of potatoes, or a plate of steaming hot home-made "corn dodgers," of the regular Egyptian touch, would be a feast to tempt an Epicure.

Our men are now on exclusively interior guard duty, and manage to be called on guard about every other day, which is pretty severe. However, they do their duty willingly and promptly, and will continue to do so during their stay.

COPPERHEAD.