March 31, 1864 The poor citizens of Virginia

Stephenesburg.  March 31st

 

Dear Mother   I have just had a long chat with Bill Pershall. the wholl of the 1st have arrived and oh how manny they look to be beside the rest of the Brigade more than all of the 5th 6th 7th & 1st Vt & 1st Conneticut which is now in our brigade we only muster 200 & 50 for duty now. with all our new recruits. should not wonder if we went to Alexandria for provo duty. I will try to get my likeness taken to send in my next letter. I shall probally go on picket in the morning. Bill Pershall says things are rather dull in Kall & that prices are high. & people are wishing this war was over. if so think once of the poor citizens of Virginia some of the woman have not had a new dress for 2 years & do not know when they will get one. they live on the Generosity of Unkle Sam & the Soldiers. I have often given a few lbs of hard tack to some poor Girls that come around begging of the soldiers. these girls I understand from some of the negroes that have always lived in this section of the country were once some of the F.F.V.’s. Oh yes. I saw last night a fellow that has been down in the Southern department most three years & says that he knew of Gen Rowley & that his Reg were at River Sariak and that the house where Gen lived is burned down. he says that that country is completely run over with soldiers & that it look there just as it does any where the army has been. So Aunt prehaps some of your Southern Friends have had a taist of northern hospitality to Rebs. Send me please some Gutaperchia buttons for I have got some files now & can make nice rings    I can think of no more at present so good by

Write soon & dont forget

Spencer

Curator’s Comments:
Spencer seems to be relaxed. He doesn’t speak of any action he has seen. He is impressed with all the reinforcements that have recently arrived. Among them is Bill Pershall, a harness maker from Kalamazoo. McOmber has the sense that there is war weariness in Kalamazoo but then goes on to describe how much worse living conditions are in Virginia for the civilians during the military occupation. 

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