Spencer McOmber’s November letters provide another perspective on a soldier’s daily life. Other than picket duty and occasionally trying to harass Confederate guerilla forces, the 7th Michigan Cavalry experiences a quiet month. In his letters home, Spencer dwells on routine matters, asking for certain clothing to be sent, giving his mother instructions on what to do with his paycheck, and discussing his health.
Perhaps the most interesting insight Spencer provides is how the war is changing him. Horrors that he could not have imagined a year earlier have become routine. How, he wonders, has he become so hardened to the bloodshed and violence? Clearly, he has thought about how his military experiences have changed him. Remember, he is only 19 years old.