April 15, 1864 I drew a new saddle, bridle, and trimings this afternoon

Stephenesburg.  April 15th


My Dear Mother.

I got this afternoon yours of the 4th but do not see what made it so long in comeing. I rote to you last night but thought that I would answer this so you could have no excuse for writing often. I drew a new saddle, bridle, and trimings this afternoon and turned over my old ones. I also drew yesterday a new Saber & turned over my old one. I also drew a new Carbine in the place of the old one that was lost by my bunk mate in the Richmond raid. We are having gay times for Soldiers. drilling and playing ball and getting reddy for the Summer campain. You spoke of the Governments putting all cavelry-men in the Inf – that play-out their horses. The horses are not played out on account (so much) of neglect (for what have we Officers for unless they see what care is taken of the animuls) – as from a failure of the Governments sending us soficient forage and grain. then think once what you would think at home of riding a horse three days & three nights without stopping to feed but once. and most of the way on the run. So you can see it is not so much our falt that the poor beasts give out. what I last spoke of was the Richmond raid. of course it is a great expence to Government for on each horse that plays out is a Saddle & a Carbine & Saber. which alone are worth over a Hundred Dollars but still it can not easily be helped. What a squad of Cav can do would be prehaps of more Service than a Brigade of Inf. We when on picket keep always in sight of the enemy and half of the time are as good as Scouts. Tell Sis I have not much money now, but in a few weeks I will send her enough to buy her music book. I do not know as this half 50 ct check is going to be of much value here, but I will keep it to remember Sis by. I do not know of more to write at present so good by and write often & tell Aunt to.

From Your Son



Curator’s Comments: His big news is that he and his unit are being re-outfitted and have begun to drill for the coming summer campaign season. For relaxation, the men play baseball.

The bulk of his letter addresses what he perceives as unfair criticism of the cavalrymen for riding their horses too hard. It is not the soldiers, he feels, but the government and the officers for not providing sufficient feed. Spencer’s real concern is that there is a rumor that cavalrymen who wear out their horses may be reassigned to the infantry.


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