Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford
Miss M. J. SpaffordUpper FallsVermont
Camp Griffin Va –Monday Nov. 4th /61My Dear Sister –
I recd your and mothers letter a day or two since and as I am not very busy this
afternoon will try and answer them. We have been very busy lately so I have not
found as much time to write as I did along at first. Battalion Drill commences
at 1 o’clock P.M. instead of 3, so you see I have not a great deal of time. The
Regt is drilling now, but I went to the Surg. and got marked Qrs. to day at noon so I could get time to have a picture taken
you, and accordingly have been up and had one taken, and I must say tis the poorest one I ever had. It is’nt taken decent, but it will give you an idea of the style of our uniform so I will send it. The position is a little on the Stephen order I notice. I am going to take a piece off my coat, and send you so you can see the quality of the cloth. The coats are well stuffed and are very warm. They have no breast pockets but have pockets behind. I took the lining of my haversack and made a breast pocket to mine, which I find very handy. – We are not payed off yet and I don’t know when we shall be, but all the boys think soon. I see they are paying some of the Vt Regts. up to the first of Nov. and they say we shall be payed, so as to make the pay day of the whole brigade come at the same time, Jan. 1st 1862.
Tell mother I have recd all the papers containing the gloves & handkfs, and find them very handy, especially the gloves these frosty mornings. I think I shall do nothing about having a box sent at present, but shall wait awhile and find out what I want and where we are going to be. Some cake, butter, cheese and a few such things would go very well here, but I can buy them all of the suttler so prehaps I had better for the present. I don’t know how much the express on Kyle Smiths box was, it was prepaid. Chas Barrett sent it. – I see Geo. Taylor almost every day, he is well. Buckley, the fellow that drilled at C__ with us is Orderly in his Co. in the 6th Regt. – I told no lie in writing home, in regard to writing materials. I can get paper of the suttler by the quire for 20 cts or by the single sheet for 1 ct. per sheet
I have bought a great many stamps of him and never paid more then 3 cts each. – Lizzie did write in regard to that picture of Uncle C’s. –
The measels & fever are plenty in our Regt. Three have died. The last one day before yesterday from our Co. (C). He had been sick & in the Hos. about 3 weeks of typhoid fever. His name was Ellis, from Cavendish. He was a fine little fellow, but we have lost him now. His funeral took place yesterday. He was burried in the soldiers burying ground here. He had a brother in the 3d Vt. and another gone with the great naval Expedition. There are five of the 5th Vt. buried here. Two Sergts in our Co. are down with the measels. Needham & Spaulding, tho’ Spaulding is almost well again. My health is first rate. – I recd a letter from George the other day saying he was married &c. I shall write to him just as soon as I can possibly get time. I am glad he seems so happy. I must close but will write often and you will do the same I know. My love to grandmother and all our friends. My respects to Ellen B. Augusta & Jennie H. Mary Francis &c.
Good bye as ever yourAff brother Jo.
I have thought since I wrote you an extra line the the other day that
I would do the same again, as soon as I could make it convenient, and to day,
between recall from previous drill, and Batt drill I have two hours and a
half to myself, and can put it to no better purpose than writing to my dear
sister. I suppose you are somewhat lonely now since L- has gone, but you can
still make the time pass pleasantly by visiting the friends you have at
Felchville, Perkinsville &c. Ellen B. is at home & you & she can
visit often back & fourth She is excellent company for anyone. I
wish I could go with you to visit her to night. I recd L’s letter written at
Culver Hill, at our house, & at Gassetts Station. I have not heard from her
since and shall not expect to before the last of this week. I am glad to hear
speak of her as you do. Whatever else may happen we three shall certainly always be friends, the best of friends, more then friends. – I shall send her a picture bye & bye when I get a decent one. – I wish to enquire about C_. Where is he now? Have you seen him since I was there? What is he doing? – I cannot tell what to think, you know you & I have often talked on the subject, and I don’t know what more I can write, but still I wish to write something. if the stories we hear are true, he is not worthy of you, and whatever promises there may be, I do not think that under such circumstances it would be your duty to marry him, but on the contrary I think it would be your duty not too. Duty to yourself Duty to mother, and to all your
friends. And such being the case you would never be happy with him. I don’t know any other way to learn the truth, or falshood of the stories, than to wait patiently. Meanwhile you are well off (I know now how well off) at home. – I hope the stories may all prove false, and prehaps they may, but if they are true, and still he tells you to the contrary, I would not let it worry me at all that I must let him go. Keep up good spirits for my sake, for your own sake, and for your friends sake. Do not think you are left alone. If I am spared to return, you shall always be with us, and we could certainly live happily if we could live near each other. You & I shall never be enimies, but on the contrary will think the same we always have of each other we always have &
that is more than many brothers & sisters do. Do not think anyone has taken your place in my affections. There is room in a person heart for more than one, and the place you have always held is still the same. I remember once I felt badly because I thought I was partly forgotten by you and that my place was taken by another but I have since learned to the contrary that a brothers place cannot be filled by anyone but himself, and a sisters the same. There may be room for others, but those places will always be the same. We should both be glad that Geo. feels happy and hope that he always may. Prehaps what he has said was intended for your good, tho’ he might have taken a different method of letting it be known. If he looked for your good tis to bad to blame him tho’ you may feel as if you could not help it. But whatever
may happen you will not be badly off, if you will only think so. Look on the bright side of everything and certainly there is a bright side for us all. I am looking on the bright side tho’ I am far from all I love and amidst every danger I trust I shall yet be restored to my home whoever else may perish It always seemed to me so, & I will always think the same.
I have but a few moments more to write in, and will close tho’ I would like to write much more. I will write you as often as possible. Keep up good spirits and remember me, as I shall always remember you.
Your Affectionate brotherJo-
P.S. I wish you would send me the words to “Rock me to Sleep”, I have forgotten them. I wrote you the other letter yesterday, and should have sent it but waited to put this in. I shall send you a piece of my dress coat & a piece of my blanket in a paper so you can see the quality of them. I can cut a corner off my blanket without hurting it. –
The picture I send was not taken in my army hat but the cap I took from home. I hate the looks of those hats and will not wear them more than I can help. Ask me anything you wish to know and I shall then know better what you wish me to write
P.S. 2d I shall be 24 years old in a few days.
What did Aunt Martha pay to L– when you stoped there coming from Ludlow?
Nov. 6th 
I have not sent this letter before because I hoped to find time to write more,
but will send it to day. I sent you some clover in a paper did you get it? Neil
Balch is reduced from a Corp. to the ranks for being absent from several roll
calls. I have tried to find time to write to George but have not made out yet.
This is the only
letter I have written for near a week. –
I shall send you a paper tomorrow or next day. - Two more cases of measels in our Co. to day one of the Hatch boys, and Rhodes, of Windham.
I am well. Your Aff. brotherJo.