Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

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Miss M. J. SpaffordUpper FallsVermont


Camp Griffin VaFriday Nov 22d [1861]My Dear Sister –

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I recd your & mothers letter and answered it by a line in a newspaper but thought I would write again to day. We are having very pleasant days here now tho’ some of the nights have been so cold the ground has frozen considerable. We are still at Camp G. and I know no more about moveing than I did the day we came here tho of course we are nearer a move. Since I wrote last I have seen some rather hard marches, tho I feel none the worse

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for it to day. Day before yesterday the Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac came off, at Ball’s Cross Roads, about 10 miles from here. Our Regt started at 6 a.m. carried haversacks with 24 hours rations in them, canteens of water and knapsacks, tho’ none of us put the first thing in them. Old Abe was there to see us, and I thought he looked as if he had been kept on hard crackers for a month. There was about 75,000 troops there. I wish you could have seen them and I been in your place at home while you were looking at them. We got back home about dark having marched all the way back without making a halt. If I had had to put on a knapsack, haversack, canteen, cartridge box, sword &c and then taken a gun & marched to Springfield, when

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I was at home, without stoping I should have thought it was rather hard. Yesterday the whole division (Smiths) went out again, on a scouting excurtion tho’ we saw no rebels. We went about the same distance yesterday that we did the day before. If you will look on the map and draw a straight line from Vienna to Drainsville, you will hit the place, about midway between the two places, where the Vt. 4th stoped in the woods a few hours and watched for Rebels but saw none. We came across an old fellow out there, who told us that about 500 of the Rebel Cavalry was out within a few miles of our camp the day before to see what was going on. We got back home about 8 o’clock P.M. and I assure you I was somewhat tired after the two days march. To day our Regt is out on Picket. They send Pickets now by Regts instead of Co’s as they have been doing. I do not have to go on Picket in any case. I have not recd my box yet, but expect it is at Washington now, and that I shall get it tomorrow as the Quarter Master is going down there. He goes down about once a week and brings

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up all the boxes there is there for the boys. I expect to find the chicken damaged, but the rest all right. I will send you a line in a paper as soon as I get the box. I expect our Regt will be paid tomorrow, or monday as I was over to see Dan White to day and he told me that the 2d got thier pay yesterday, and the 3d were being paid now, so they will take the 4th next. Dan says I had not better send any money home in a letter until a week or more after pay day, as they look out for soldiers letters about that time. I will write no more to day but shall write you often. I recd a letter from Charley K. a day or two since, and a letter from George to night. I am anxious to get my box. I will write no more to night. I am well, tho’ I got excused by the Surgeon to day, and I do that often as I dont like to drill so many hours a day as the boys have to. I like both Surgeons well now. I send you a piece of a cedar tree which I picked off a tree where we stoped in the woods yesterday. I am going to send you a piece of hard cracker which I carried with me in my pocket to the grand review, and again yesterday when we went on the scout but did not eat it.

Good night Your Aff. brotherJo.

Thanksgiving in Vt the 28th of Nov. I shall think of it that day. J.