Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford
Miss M. J. Spafford
Mansion House Hos.Alexandria Va.Saturday Mar. 15/62My Dear Sister –
I suppose you will think strange at the date of my letter but I think now, I am
fairly done with dating “Camp Griffin” which I have done so many times. I will
explain to you as well as possible how everything is situated just now so you
can see how I came here &c. – Last Monday I went to the Hos at Camp G- as
Dr. H- advised me to, and the same night the Regt recd marching orders and
started at 4 oclock the next morning. You see I was left behind. Well I did’nt
exactly like the style in
which the Hos was run, and found I could be just as well off with the boys in the Co. who were left behind (15 or 20) so I left the Hos and went down to living with Hen S- in his tent. The next day it became necessary for Hen to leave the old camp & join the Regt. so he & I broke up house keeping & I went down and Corp. Conant Corp. Piper & myself commenced keeping house by ourselves in one of the most comfortable tents. We lived there one day when an order was sent back for all of us that could stand it to march to Vienna (10 miles) to get ready & go. This time they all left but 3, from our Co. those three being Jim Hatch (of W) Walker (of Springfield and myself.
I was not able to march 10 miles, tho’ I assure you I would have given almost anything at the time, could I have done so. It looked as if we three had got a hermits life to live for awhile, but about noon that day (yesterday) the sent up ambulances from W- and took away all the sick there was left in camp, amounting to about 40 in all. From Co C. there was 9 the three I have mentioned and the rest from the Hos. Well, they brought us to this place (last night), and now I must describe this Hos. how we fare &c. It is a very large nice looking building & I suppose was formerly a Hotel. Two of us occupy a room about the size of your bedroom or bigger. There are two single beds
in each. Hatch & I room together. There is a stove in the room so we have a fire when we please, and they keep everything as slick & nice as at any Hotel. We have bread & butter, oysters, chicken, roast beef, boiled beef, and in fact as good as we could ask if it were a Hotel & we were stoping here. I think now you will understand every thing so far. They have male & female attendants, and they are all very kind. – The Dr. examined me this morning (I like him) and I will tell you all he said and done for me so you can know just how I am and not have too much worring to do. I suppose you are bound (as Frank H says) to worry any way.
He asked me what had been the matter with me, how long sick &c. I told him what the Drs. at Camp G. said ailed me, that I had a light fever and a slight touch of Pneumonia (is that spelt right) besides a bad cold, had had a very poor appetite for the past 2 weeks. Now, said he, take off your coat and let me examine you. I did so and after thumping, & harking &c, said he you have also got the pluricy. O well said [he] I will bring you out of this all right after a little while. Then he gave me a blister plaster to put on my side, and some cough medicine, and said he if you stop here long you
can walk out about the city pleasant days (to day it is raining awfully). Now I think I have told you all. Owing to the fact that I have been moving about so I have not recd the letter which you of course wrote last sunday, and which I should have recd last wednesday or Thursday. I presume I shall never get it. I do not know how long we shall stay here they may put us somewhere else, still I think if you set right down as soon as you receive this and write me directly to this place that I shall get it; if I do not it will be only the loss of the writing to you, while if I do it will be worth everything to me.
I dont know where our Brigade is or what they are doing but I understand that Smiths division was to take the cars at Vienna yesterday for somewhere. I have heard nothing of pay, or pay day and probably shall not until I join the Regt again and prehaps not for some time then. However I have plenty of money on hand Dr. H. is coming home as soon as his time is out, and he can tell you all about me I would’nt wonder if he was at home the last of next week. – I will close for this time but shall write you very often whether I hear from you or not. Give my love to all the the neighbors to Uncle Charles, Grandmother father, mother &c. –
Good bye I must close be sure and write as soon as you get this Good bye again my own dear sister. O how much I want to hear from you. Direct like this putting the 4th Regt Vt. Vol. Co C on the corner
Mansion House Hos
(Co C. 4th Regt Vt Vols)