Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

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Miss M. J. SpaffordUpper FallsVermont


Camp Griffin Va.Wednesday Dec. 19th /61My Dear Sister

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I recd a letter from you and mother last night dated Dec 15th, also at the same time two papers from home, one the Vt. Journal the other the Budjet of fun, which had a letter in it that Lizzie had sent to you. Mother had also written a line in it which was dated Nov. 24th so the paper had been 3 weeks on the road. We recd last night the box from Weathersfield containing bed quilts, stockings, mittens &c, all of which will come mighty handy here but be a nuisance when we

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march. The Weathersfield boys took all there was in it and that only gave them one bed quilt for two, each a pillow case & towel, besides a number of these articals left, & a pair of socks. The white cotton sheets we can not use to any great advantage, so prehaps shall let them go to the Hos. We shall expect the barrell & other boxes &c soon.

Then the Capt came from prove patriotism? I don’t doubt it in the least though prehaps some may. He thinks non Commissioned officers stand the best chance for promotion. O fudge, thats all talk to please people whose sons are non Commissioned Officers. What does he mean by saying so? That they stand a better chance than who, the privates? It certainly has’nt proved even so in our Co. for no non Commissioned Officer has been the boys, some to Surgeon Childs and some to the Hos. Steward

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promoted, and one private has, Conant who took the place of Corp Pierce who died. I cant see any chance for them to be promoted to any advantage unless the Commissioned officers are killed, die of disease, resign, or are promoted, and even then there is a poor chance. The Adjt. will have a Sergt Major, or some one else he will favor for the place. Lieut Holbrook was promoted to Adjt but there has no one taken his place as yet. Gale, the taylor from Springfield is Orderly Sergt in that Co. but they say will not get the place of Lieut. A Lieut. in Co. B. resigned. They expect the Sergt Major to take his place. The office of Sergt Major is not much any way, but there is a chance for I ate part of the maple suryp myself, gave part to

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any one who can do it to show off. The pay is the same as mine. It makes me mad every time I think of 27 dollars a month and all the work to do that there is in the Co. As much responsibility as the Capt, ten times as much work, & one tenth as much pay. Don’t believe any thing about non commissioned officers standing any great chance for promotion.

I am glad you are going to send me one of those pictures. I want to see how they look. TELL George Clark that he would make a much better drum major than ours is, as ours is better than Ben Graves would be. The barrell & box you sent may get here within a few days and may not for a few weeks. How I wish I could attend one of the reading circles at Perkinsville.

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I think there is no possible chance for me to get a furlough. If there was you would soon see me in Greenbush. If I should be realy quite sick I should try hard for it. I know Frost will. I did not know he had gone to Vt. until you wrote me so. Tell Harrison to come and see me when he goes to Washington. We are only 15 miles from there. Has father entirely given up the idea of coming?

They are fixing up about here as if they expected to stay here forever. Building a log Hos. log houses &c. I cant believe we shall stop here this winter.

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some days past. Seven men will soon get their discharge from this Co They will probarbly get them so as to go home before the first of Jan. Two, on account of hernias, one heart discease, and the rest consumption.

O how much I would give for a chance to live in our house for awhile; to have no drum calls to mind, to be absent from as many roll calls as I pleased, and have no superior officers whom though you hate, are still obliged to keep my tongue tied. Do not think from what I write that I am homesick. Of course my home is “the dearest spot of earth to me” and if I could I would gladly visit there next week, but if I am obliged to stay here, or go farther

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The weather has been like summer for away I can do that. I never knew before how dear my home was to me, never until I left if for a life like this. I never had the least idea how well off I was at home, not that I would be there now while all the rest are here, but that if it was so I could be there as well as here I would be perfectly happy. Tomorrow it will be 3 months since we were sworn into the U.S. Service. If we were 3 months men we would be packing up to night. Now the Lord only knows when we shall do so. Do not let what I write make you feel unhappy on my account. Truly I do not feel so here, I only wrote as my thoughts occured at this time.

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Give my love to Alfred, Mr. Gays folks &c. Remember me to Lydia Ann Mrs. P. Mr. Whites folks, and in fact every body I ever saw. Tell Augusta & Jennie that I recd the love which they sent in your letter, and in return send them mine. Remember me also to Mary Francis. Tell her I have a little Red white & blue pin flat here that she gave me. How does Johney Murray prosper drilling now days? Give my love to him Oscar, the Gay boys, Billey & all the little boys. They are the best friends any one can have, and remember longest. I wish George B. would write me. Give my love to him, also to Ellen & Carrie, how much I would like to see them both. I must close. Good bye Write me soon, and often. God bless you all, Remember -

Your Aff. brotherJo.

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My Dear Mother

I thought I should not write you as I had written so much to Jane, but since I have finished her letter the barrell from Weathersfield and the box from Windham has go along, so I thought I would just speak of it. We are now well provided for bed clothing and can be comfortable. There was full as much from Windham as from Weathersfield. I think there will be no use in sending anything more of the kind to us. The boys feel very thankful to the people of Weathersfield.

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I think Cavendish have done nicily . I recd a letter from the Capt to night saying he had been at my house &c. – The questions that I answered this time I believe I answered in my last, prehaps you have not recd it. – I will close for tis late and there is nothing in particular to write. I wrote to Geo. to day. Good night

Your Aff. Son,Jo.

I am well.