Stephensburg. Feb 1st
My dear Aunt.
I did not answer your letter which your wrote me at Bristol. but I did not have a chance for a long time as I was on picket & was afraid you would not get it but the last letter from mother said that you had returned home so I will try & write you a few lines. We are having most beautiful weather here now and have a great many reviews & inspections there is a few ladies here now at Gen Kilpatricks Head Quarters. they are from York state & are most beautiful riders. they go with the General and his Staff out evry morning to ride& and make quite a show. They have parties at Head Quarters & dance while the Generals band plays on the Piano of the fine old Manshon where the General has his Head Quart. There is talk of falling back to Centreville if this weather lasts & organizeing the army for a Grand Move. Day before yesterday we heard terrible fighting over in Rebeldom & no one could surmise what it all ment but last night 40 men came over into our lines & said that a hole brigade of their army started to come over to this side of the river & lay down their arms. but another Brigade tried to stop them. the 2nd Brig had a large Battery & the revolting brigade charged on them & took the battery then 4 divisions of their Army were called out & over 300 men were killed on both sides before they could corner the Insergents & only 40 of them could make good their escape into our lines. none of them were Virginia troops & I do not think that a single man of the Virginians would desert but all the troops from other states seem tiard of the Rebelion & want the war stopped. I suppose you have read of the Grand Ball given in Washington to the Officers of the 7th Michigan Cavalry. the General gave leave of Absence to all the Lieuts in the Reg & they all went & came back looking very gay in new clothes & white collars they said they had a Glorious time & felt themselves considerably honored by the attention payed them by the Bells of Washington. Lieut Sergient was among others that attended the Ball. he is one of the finest officers in the Reg. Tell some of the gentle Misses of Old Kall if they want to get up a corispondance with a bold Sojer Boy on any Subject whatever except love & Matrimony I am their man. How does the Union School prosper & do they keep up the College yet. I have at present a fine assortment of Latin Books which I captured & am studying out the “De civitatum sociorum fato.” and if I can accomplish this shall be able to tell more than any other man now in existence! Please write & tell me all about the neighbors & how they are getting along. Why does not Mr Gurn answer the letter I wrote them are they all well. how is Mr. Dudgeons folks & (so forth). please ask mother if she can spare a Dollar to send me for we will not get our pay very soon. I suppose the most of the money I sent home is used up but I will send quite a pile when I next get paid off. This is from you aff nephew. Spencer
Spencer wrote this letter to his aunt, Jane Kelsey. He reports a mutinous fight between two Confederate brigades, one of which attempted to defect to Union lines. He has not been involved in any combat.
Spencer is a young man and all this social life, especially the young women, inspire him to tell his aunt that he would be happy to start a correspondence with any Kalamazoo women as long as they’re not interested in love or marriage.
And McOmber closes noting that he is studying some Latin books he has “captured,” that is, looted.