Joseph Spafford to Marianne Spafford

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Mansion House Hos.Alexandria Va.Saturday Eve Mar 29thMy Dear Mother –

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I recd yours & Janes letter written last sunday & mailed monday, to day. For some reason it had been a whole week comming. I will answer the line you sent in it to night and Janes tomorrow. You say you hope I shall not go off with the Army until I am able to. The Army has already gone, when I get able I shall go on and join my Regt and not before., do not think I am going on after the Regt when I am half sick. – Yes, you have said every time you have written, “why not

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get a furlough & come home?” I have answered the question in a previous letter, but will say again here, that to do so is perfectly impossible. I know none of you wish to have me come home for a few weeks, more that I wish to come; if a furlough were possible I assure you no one would work hader for it than myself. Our Regt has gone “down the river” (that’s all any one knows about the troops that are leaving here now days, they have “gone down the river,”) communication with them is impossible. Even if we could communicate with them it would take a long time to get one through. When a Regt is stationary and one is

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is with it, then there is a prospect. - They send them from this Hos to Washington, Georgetown, Anapolis M.D. & Philadelphia as fast as they get so they are not very sck. Sometimes they send to one place sometimes to another. A batch is sent off about once a week Probably the next lot that goes, I shall have to go with them. I should have had to this last time but for the kindness of my Dr. who let me stay because I prefered to. – I dont know that this place is particularly sickly. I walk about the city nearly every day. This Hos is a splendid building, I think the best in the city. If they could only get such a house as this for every man that joined the [Heathen] I think

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it would pay well. The house where Elsworth was shot is a very plain poor building. The staff he took the flag from is still up there, a short pole 10 or 15 feet high. – It has been snowing a little to day, what we would call in Vt a sugar snow, it will all go with 15 minutes sun.

As you say, the hospitals are crowded since the move of the Army. They did not take their sick along, but left them all in the hospitals and from a big army there would be very many. The 4th Vt furnished this hospital with about 40 men. If each Regt does as well you can judge how full they must be. – Corp. White is here, he is pretty slim, will never be better, his Dr. says he has the consumption. As soon as they can

correspond with the Regt he will be discharged. I do not think tho’ he will ever be able to ride home. George Bates’ father left for home a day or two since. He said he was only eleven hours from Windsor to Washington. I will write no more this time. Good night

Your Aff SonJo.