Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

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Camp at Union Mills Va.Sunday Apr. 19th 1863.Dear Sister

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I recd a letter from you to day so will answer this evening tho’ I have nothing in particular to write only that we are still at our old camp & likely to remain here for the present. It seems from what we can learn that at the time we expected to move, they intended to send us to Suffolk Va. but finally concluded to take Regts from nearer Washington. We have got our tents back & are living again.

I’m not yet so black as I was last summer when I came home, but when I do come home this time I’ll bet I’ll show you a black Jo, for the weather is getting warm & the sun just beginning to turn.

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When I go into W. again I’ll get you some photographs; Stought[on] if I can find one, McC & lady, Hentzelmans, the Washington beauties, (the Misses Hales) & any ones I think you will care for. I can get some pretty ones. I probarbly shall not go to town until we are paid off as I’m thinking my funds would not hold out under existing circumstances. I do wish there was some sort of regularity in regard to pay days, a fellow dont know know what calculation to make, you see as yet (& six months are nearly gone) we have only recd what we ought to, before we left Brattleboro. We have got a new Brigadier, Col Stanard formally, of the 9th Vt., now Gen Stanard of the 2d Vt Brigade. We have also got a new Div. Gen in place of Casey, Gen Abercrombie (if not spelt right, it is spelt so you cant fail to pronounce it)

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I was very much astonished to hear that Geo Dodge & Augusta were married; had’nt thought of such a thing, wonder if Hymen was reconciled, or was it with him, “What can’t be cured must be endured,” reckon thats about as near the way as we can conveinently guess.

I notice that all the three years men, & in fact many who are neither 3 years or 9 mos. men, but have staid at home, seem to have a kind of a spite against the 9 mos. men. Where have you or any one else ever heard a good word spoken for them? The 3 years men say they have no patriotism, were bought; call them the Pick hic, Party &c. Even many at home think this Brigade is good for nothing & blame them because they have not been in a fight every other day since they left Vt. &c. I suppose they would be perfectly satisfied if half of us could manage to get killed

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before our time is over! They seem to think that as long as we recd large bountys for coming here, we have not any right to come home alive. &c. &c. All I have to say is that so far we have gone wherever we have been ordered & that hereafter we shall go where we are ordered, & different from that we can not do if we would. They all seem to think we have rather got the whip now; thats whats the matter, we think the same prehaps. I notice the Tribune speaks of the “9 months beauties, who brought neither health or patriotism with them into the army” &c. I think if this Brigade were placed alongside the 1st Vt. Brigade we would fight each other like dogs & cats.

I will write no more to night for its nearly bed time.

Love to all.
Your Aff Brother Joseph Spafford

P. S. Poor “Ned”, bad off aint he? got in a place where he cant tell the truth. Wonder if he was ever in a place where he could.