Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

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Miss M. J. SpaffordUpper FallsVermont


Chain Bridge VaOct 8th /61My Dear Sister -

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As we have got no drilling to do to day, I will ans. your letter which I recd sunday night. The mail generally comes in just as we are getting ready to go out on dress Parade and it makes me mad to be obliged to put the letters I get, in my pocket and carry them an hour or so before I can read them. That has been the case with almost all the letters I have recd from home. They have all come through in two days except the last ones, they were three. I have recd all the letters you have written. I wish you would send those pictures you spoke of they will come safe without doubt.

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You ask me how I like Charley Reed. I answer, well, first rate. He is 5th Sergt but should have been 2d he is better qualified for the place than any other Sergt in the Co. He is the one I mate with in particular. He is altogether different from what I thought him from what I had seen of him before I was well acquainted with him. “Old Long Handsome” as the boys call him, who sets near me while I’m writing, just remarked in speaking of our Capt, “He’ll look out for No. 1.” That seems to be the oppinion of most of the men. If you have mailed my letters all up safe prehaps you had better not burn them now. That little photograph of Homer you may send if you think of it.- Last sunday was the first sunday that has seemed like that day to me since I enlisted. We had a 5 o’clock

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meeting in the Fort and did not drill at all during the day. - The health of the men is very good. I took 8 down to the Surgeon, this morning from our Co. 4 of them were excused from duty to day. We have one fellow in the Hospital at Washington, L. L. Taylor of Weathersfield. He has a fever I believe. - We got a little specimen of a Virginia rain storm last night. Any one could have stood outside the tent and read a letter or paper by the light of the lightning without hardly stoping at all. It rained faster than I ever saw it in Vt. We were all lying down in my tent when all of a sudden the ditch around it got damed up and in came the watter about 6 inches deep all over the bottom of the tent. We got up on the double quick and picked up our

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knapsacks &c. Some of the boys went and slept in the bagage wagons that were standing around, and others went into other tents that were not so wet. I went into another tent. It has done raining to day but tis much cooler than it has been. Our tents are good about sheding rain. It does not beat through them at all. We have got our tent fixed not so that another such a shower will now drive us out.

Capt Atherton was out yesterday and last night on Picket Guard. There is the spot where I have the advantage of them all. I’m not obliged to go on Picket, or any other kind of guard. - We have just got to start out on Battalion drill and shall not be back until 6 o’clock so I will write no more now. We have to go a mile to find a spot level enough to drill on.