In spite of the soldiers ballet, Captain Jesse Gove of the 10th Infantry found his 1857 Christmas at Fort Bridger somewhat lacking. As we can see in this letter to his wife, he was homesick for more than festivities.
"Friday December 25 It is Christmas and my thoughts fly to you in Concord. I imagine I see Charlie wishing his Papa a Merry Christmas. Well, today I went up to camp. Called on Colonel Johnston. Several of the officers and myself then started out for calls. Went to Mrs. Canby's, who is living as comfortable as a heart could wish, and on Mrs. Burns, then on Governor Cumming and lady. She is a small pert woman, looks like Miss Retchie, wears spectacles, very agreeable and affable. Comfortable as could be desired, took some wine, et cetra. All these people have comfortable homes and tents, and in this delightful climate everybody is happy and cheerful. At 4:00 PM, I dined with Captain Dickerson. During the evening the soldiers had a ballet in two large hospital tents. Most of the officers went in and took a glass of wine with the managers. Last night the 10th Infantry and 5th Infantry bands were out all night playing throughout the camp. A Merry and Happy Christmas to you and the dear ones." "Friday January 1st 1858 A Happy New Year to you all! I think I have spent the holidays very poorly. The ball last night, given by the non-commissioned officers of the 10th Infantry, was a great affair. They danced until daylight. I am now glad I did not go up."