Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

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Camp Near Fairfax Station VaSaturday Eve. Feb. 21st 1863Dear Sister

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I think it was a week ago last thursday that I wrote you last: since that I have not recd a letter from you until to night & I made up my mind it was nonsense to keep writing so often as I have done. Hereafter I shall intend to write about once a week which is often enough, especially as I only get letters from you that often, dont you think so? By your letter to night I take it that I have lost the one before it. You say you have written me once before that week in which you told me you had got some new chain

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mountings &c. I have recd no such letter, but it may come around sometime. Now what shall I write next. You dont ask many questions in your letter so there is no chance to fill my letter with answers to them. You know I commenced to keep a diary & send you, but I have not written a word in it since I sent it you the last time. I dont think it much account. We have had quite a snow & rain storm this week, but to day has been a very pleasant day, tho’ to night it looks & acts very much like rain or snow tomorrow. Williams & the Capt are both on the sick list just now, nothing the matter with the Capt however but a cold,

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he will be on duty again in a day or two. Williams has a cold also but a very bad one, he coughs a great deal, he has not been on duty since a week ago to day & is not like to be for a week or more to come. I think I have been mighty lucky have not been off duty a day since we left Brattleboro, & at the present time my health is good. Johnson has had the measels, but is getting well over them Wesley Walker has had them also & he is getting nicely over it. I went to Washington a week ago Friday & came back Saturday. We can go from here right down to Alexandria on the cars and take a boat from there. I finaly concluded

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to get me a new coat. I did’nt like to come out on dress parades & Sunday morning inspections looking rougher than any of the Co. beside. My other coat looked very badly, red & old, worse than any other officers except Geo Parker, which was the same thing, he bought it of Capt. M- & has not paid for it yet. I have got a very good coat now, better than the Springfield one ever was, & it fits me as nicely as if it had been cut for me. I shall try & keep it looking well enough to come home with. It is not a logwood coat. I paid $15. I also go me a new pair of straps. They are the prettiest ones you ever saw

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they are [swedged], but nice ones for all that. Paid $3.00. I went to the Washington Theatre friday night, saw Maggie Mitchell in the play of “The Cricket” it was excelent. I took the sword I got at B- with me & left it for safe keeping at Prentiss’ No. 496 Ninth St. So if I dont happen to come to bring it you will know where to send for it. I have an artillery saber quite a number of the officers have them. I shall get me a hat the next time we are paid off. They are very pretty & convenient. Several of the officers have got them now. They are all

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the fashion. They are very much the shape of my old army hat (the one I used to wear when I belonged to the Army of the Potomac). Except a little lower crowned & wider [brim], with the top squeezed together. One of them put up acording to army regulations costs $10. Hat 4. Bugle 2. Eagle for the side 2 Band 1 and plume 1. They look splendid as Liz Hadly would say. I should only get the hat & band, thats the way they are worn in our Regt. Capt. M- wears one.

I get the Boston journal you send.

No. I have not recd anything from Geo. E.

I am rather of the opinion that it would be best to

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sell the Atherton pasture, aint you?

I have been reading “Dickins New Stories” containing The Seven Poor Travelers. “Nine New Stories by the Christmas fire” “Hard Times” &c. Will send it you as soon as I have read it enough.

I will write no more to night but may think of something else I want to say in the morning. George is going to write a line to put in this.

Dont John Atwood begin to tremble?

I saw John Holms in Washington.

Sunday Morning
As I anticipated it is snowing hard this morning, snowed nearly all night.

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& is a very disagreable day.

Has George Clark writen you? he told me the other day he was going to.

Williams spoke this morning of trying to get a furlough, I think he will The 2d Lieut. of Co. F. (Burns) has resigned & is going home tomorrow. Capt. Foster of the Ludlow Co. is at home on furlough.

George is going to write a letter to put in this. I shall write again next sunday, prehaps before.

I direct my letters to either of you. They will answer alike for all. My love to everybody that I ever saw & tell the male portion that I’m sorry they did’nt come & spend the winter with us & then they would have been all right now but as it is they will be pretty sure to get hit

Your Aff Brother Joseph Spafford
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Sunday P.M.
George handed me a letter just now to put in mine & of course after he went out I read it. I see he says he dont think “Jo or I” shall be likely to come again after we get home. You might think by that we were pretty sick of the buisness, which so far as I am concerned is not the case & I dont think it is with him. If my health remains good & I come home all right with the Regt. it is quite probarble that I may come out again. tho’ I can tell nothing at all about it now. I can only say that I have not the first reason to be dissatisfied, my health good, & I am having an easier time than I ever had before in my life

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I wrote this because I thought prehaps you might get a wrong impression by reading Georges letter.

Tell Ellen I have got another coat which she may have now. Tell her to get her another new dress immediately as I have had my new coat now nearly two weeks.
J. S.