Joseph Spafford to Marianne Spafford
Miss M. J. Spafford
Camp VermontNear Alexandria Va.Nov 24th 1862Dear Sister –
I will write you this afternoon by continuing my diary from the last date I sent you. There is nothing at all interesting and I questioned whether it was worth the while to send it but as you wish wish me to I will do so. Before I proceed I will aks you what you think of my paper? I think it rather pretty, & about as appropriate as it would be for the rebels to stick Washington on their paper.
Monday Nov. 10th George has got a pass & gone to W-. Nothing going on. Fine weather.
Teusday 11th **** -
Wednesday 12th My birthday. I am 25 years old; getting to
be quite an “old batch” you see with a fair prospect of being an older one. A year ago to day I was in camp with the 4th near this
place. We are building three forts within about a mile of here & I have been
on duty there to day; it will take some time to finish them yet. 7 P.M. We have
just recd an order for 2 Commishd Officers & all privates for duty in the
Co. to be ready to start on picket at 7 A.M. tomorrow with 2 days rations. The
Regts take turns picketing, each staying out 48 hours. The Capt & myself are
going. It is dark & cloudy & looks as if we may have a
Thursday 13th Started from Camp at 7 A.M. for the picket line. The weather, contra to my expectations is clear & pleasant. My quarters are in a bush hut on the main road from Washington to Richmond. Have 4 men stationed with me. My duty is to examine passes, & pass such as are all right. Gen. Casey & staff passed by here this P.M. He asked me several questions in regard to who lives in the houses near here, but as I had never been here before I could not tell him.
Friday 14th Lieut. - of Co. D. who was left back a mile
or two with 50 men as a reserve, came about noon & releived the men I posted
yesterday. I took the men back to the reserve where I am now stationed, &
have got to remain here till we are releived
by another Regt tomorrow. The weather is still fine which is very lucky for us. There are 5 other Co’s from the Regt on picket with us. The 12th will releive us tomorrow. I got a good nights sleep last night & shall again to night.
Saturday 15th Stoped at the reserve until 12 M. to day, when we were releived. Have had fine weather all the time. Recd your & mothers letter of Nov 10th.
Sunday 16th Nothing to speak of. Sunday morning inspection as usual. The prospect is that we remain here this winter. The different Regts are puting up winter quarters.
Monday, Teusday & Wednesday, 17 & 18 19 Nothing worth writing. Had battalion drills &c. A little rainy to day (18)
Thursday 20th Got a pass this morning & Geo. & I
went to W. Rained a little all day. As we
came back we heard at Alexandria that the whole Brigade had recd marching orders & would move in the morning. Got back to camp & found it partly true. They are ordered to march to long bridge in the monning to be reviewed by Gen. Casey. Also the 15th & 16th have recd orders to have 2 days rations cooked & be ready to march at one hours notice. Have no idea at all where we are going or if we go at all.
Friday 21st Rained quite hard all night, very muddy this
morning. Started for the review but was ordered back after we had passed
Alexandria a short distance. Got back to camp about noon since which time it has
been raining a perfect shower nearly all the time. We hear nothing further in
regard to moving.
Recd your letter written last sunday.
Sat. 22d Rained hard all night but has not rained much through the day. Built a California stove for the Surgeon
Sunday 23d About camp as usual.
Monday 24th This takes me up to the date of my letter so I will read over your last & ans. it now. The boys are busy building winter quarters.
Now while I think of it, did Aldrich ever say any thing to father about the
Election of Officers in the Springfield Co? He came to me when we were at
Brattleboro & said he understood father was down on him for working for B-
at that time. He said he did not work for B- at all that
it was nothing to him, & B- was nothing to him, one
way or the other. I intended to have spoken of it before but it has sliped my mind.
I cant bear [Lt. William] Danforth, and George thinks the same that I do of him. He is a regular old granny, think nobody knows quite so much as he does, &c.
Then Az has lost 20 pounds, I’m sorry for the boy, he is nothing but skin & bones. Now I cant tell you whether its so or not, & I dont beleive he or any one else can, for I think he has [not] weighed himself since he came, but I can say this, his health never was better, he is perfectly contented, and says he has not seen the day that he wished to swap this place for Felchville.
Tuesday 25th I did not finish my letter yesterday so I will do so to day Our Regt
has gone on picket again to day. Only one Com. Officer
from our Co. so [Lt. Warren E.] Williams has gone. The Capt went down to Washington yesterday & will be back to night.
Here is something that will please mother. Dan & the other two boys that came with the Regt ran away yesterday. We have not seen them since yesterday noon, prehaps they will come back & prehaps not, however we have got Dan’s name which we can use for a servant. Tell Bill he need’nt worry any more about him. Geo. says, Sophia wrote, that Bill Harris told her that Commissioned Officers who enlisted as privates & took their chances were entitled to the $7 state pay. I think Harris ought to know, at least I will send a power of Atty. & father can find out & if it is so draw the pay, at least it will be no trouble to sent the power of Atty. I am at the bottom of the sheet so I will close. Love to all.
Your Aff Brother.Jo.
The weather is fine again.
Is Ellen B- still at Newburyport, & is she going to stay there this winter