The following is a transcription of a letter from Lieutenant Joseph H. Hornbeck written to the Perrysburg (Ohio) Journal.
Letter from Glendale, Mississippi.
Camp Daries, Miss. Dec 30, 1863.
Ed. Journal: Since we have been here (early in November) we have been recruiting - receiving about 309 into the regiment. This regiment was composed of twelve months'men, except companies I and K, so that the time of four companies has already expired, and they have been mustered out' but now companies are rapidly forming on the three years' basis. Company K has mustered in thirty-four men since we came to Mississippi, and is a full company again; and it keeps its only commissioned officer present for duty very busy indeed.
We do considerable scouting, and have had several skirmished this fall, but such work has got to be an old story with us, and creates no excitement. Our principal want is good horses.
The holidays create quite a demand for salt and groceries, among the inhabitants' and the only place where they can be obtained is at some post or camp.
Bad as they hate the Yankees, the ladies have visited us in considerable numbers of late, all claiming to be loyal, of course, which I think is doubtful, as they never give us any information of the guerrillas, when in the neighborhood. I take every occasion to tell them of it, too. I feel like doing everything in my power to assist the loyal people of the South, and there is a great deal done for them in this regiment, but we are sadly imposed upon by the rebel women; but they are so polite and well bred, that a Yankee officer cannot always resist their eloquent appeals. The have been so very sociable of late, that one officers concluded to get up a party. Accordingly, on the evening of the 29th inst., a number of them assembled at the residence of Mr. George, nearly half a mile from the fort and were enjoying themselves in a "little-john shin-dig, or break-down," - vulgarly called a cotillion party. They had taken the precaution to post a strong guard about the premises, but taking pity on the poor fellows, a dismissed them about 11 o'clock P.M., and within an hour there was a heavy firing at the outposts, which created great alarm. There was probably fifty or sixty shots fire, and of all the skedaddling that ever was seen, that which followed was a little the tallest. A party went down to the scene of action, but found all quiet. The casualties, as officially reported are:
One very much frightened 1st Alabam Cavalry Regiment;
About twenty-five pairs of badly "skeert" shoulder-straps;
Several pairs of muddy pants, (U.S. uniform);
One Major with a sprained ankle'
One Lieutenant driven into a swamp, (he reported next morning, however); and
Two officers' hats left in the house.
One officer reports seeing four mounted rebels about three hundred yards from the house' another says he was shot at near the fort.
Opinions differ as to the cause of the alarm - some insisting that it was rebels' other, that it was our own boys. The most reasonable conclusion is, that some evil-disposed person or persons, with wicked intent and malice aforethought, being instigated by the devil, did, on or about the night of the twenty-ninth of December, in the year of Grace 1863, by the firing of sundry and various guns, pistols, and other weapons, hideous screams and demonic yells, disturb the peace and quiet of a whole regiment, and entirely break up and scatter a social party, in the eternal disgrace of the managers thereof; thereby inflicting a great social and moral evil on the party aforesaid. Further, deponent saith not. Respectfully yours.
1st Lieutenant Company K, 1st Ala. Cav
P.S. The Journal arrives promptly; a welcome visitor it is, too. J.H.H.