Joseph Spafford to Mary Jane Spafford

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Camp at Union Mills Va.May 21st 1863Dear Sister,

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I have not recd a letter from you since I last wrote, but as I have not written for a number of days I will write this evening as I have nothing else to do in particular.

The 12th Regt releived our Co. at Bristoe Station the day I wrote you last; it was unexpected to us, as we were expecting to stay there some time, however here we are back in camp, but dont like it half as well as we did to be out there.

I went down to Washington the next day after we were releived, & have just got back to night; I have bid goodbye to W. until we go there on our way home. It was rather necessary for me to go this time as I was very much in need of some articles of clothing; now I think I am supplied with every thing I shall want in the military line until I enlist again. I got this time a hat, bugle,

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eagle, & band, ($9.00) a vest, shoes, shirts, &c. & at the present time am about 50 cents short of any kind of change so if you can make it convenient you may enclose in my next letter 5 or 10 dollars, whichever you can make convenient. I shall need very little money through the rest of our time now except enough to pay my mess bills with. It costs a fellow more to go into W. and spend a couple of days, then it does to go from Vt to Boston & spend the summer season. I got one of the new style of shoulder straps (if you can call it such) It is made of the same material as those we got at Springfield but is round & a little larger than a a dollar, with one, two, or no bars in it as the case may be & is worn on the left breast instead of straps on the shoulders. I think it pretty.

I got some photographs for you which I will send in this letter. I will also send Ellen’s & Carrie’s back to you

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but will wait until I write again.

I sent you to night a piece of music; “On the Shores of the Tennessee”, dont know whether its pretty or no.

“Ned” has got badly wounded so you will not probarbly see any of his letters for some weeks to come. He went out in the woods hunting rabbits with a large pistol & put a ball in his instep; shot quite badly, they could not get the ball out, so he is pretty bad off. I suppose there is some danger of lockjaw, or that he may loose his foot.

Have you recd “Harper’s” yet? I send direct to Harper & Brother’s, Franklin Square N.Y.

I think that album very pretty, did’nt see anything of the kind in Washington, tho’ I looked for them at a number of places.

Well, we are about beginning our last two months. There seems to have been a mistake made by our State officers that we were not mustered in sooner as most

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of the 9 mos. men from other states were mustered by Co. as fast as organized & many Regts that came here after we did are going home before us. I see most of Mass. Regts go home before us by a month, & I know the men were not raised so promptly as ours. The 3d Brigade, Abercrombie’s Div. go home in about a month now (Me. troops) & they did not get here till after we did. However we are good for it, & none of us wish to find fault, nor do we wish any one to come the odds on us, all any of us ask or wish is our rights, & every man wants that much in all circumstances.

I will write no more this time. I am thinking I shall get a letter from you about tomorrow. Love to all. Good night

Your Aff. Brother Joseph Spafford

P.S. Recd a letter from Hal this P.M.