Spencer McOmber’s military and Civil War journey began in May 1863, when he headed north from his home in Kalamazoo to Lee Barracks in Grand Rapids. According to McOmber, he joined 170 soldiers in Captain [Richard] Douglass’ Company.
Lee Barracks Grand Rapids
Michigan May 8th 1863
I arrived here night before last all sound. I enjoy myself finely here we have about 170 men in the Barracks, and Keep no Guard expect on the Guard House. I shall remain in Capt Douglases company with the position of Co Clerk. I can get the place as Sergent in other Companies but Dont like their Officers. here I have nothing to do at all but to Drill. I shall go to Washington before I shall take my place as Co Clerk. But after today I shall have business enough to keep me busy writeing for the Adj– I did not like the fair at first but I am now so much well used to it that I like it. I thought at first it looked to much like Hogs to see evry one try to get the most potatoes & the biggest piece of meat but I find I can take care of my share when roll is called for meals. you may direct you letters to me at Lee Barracks Grand Rappids Mich. (care of Cap Douglass)
Dont expect we will leave here for a month but cant tell. Good By Write soon
From S.F. McOmber
P.S. I paid out all my change for dinner & Supper on the rout so if you please sent me a few postage stamps.
Addressed to Mrs L.M. Denison