Newark. July 31st 1864
My Dear Mother
It is Sunday today I wish I was at home & could go to Church with you. Mother I feel very bad I am not very sick but I know I ought to try & be a better boy! Mother please pray for me. this morning we had a short service here in the hospital I do not know exactly how I feel only I feel bad. Oh I wish I was home. I do not feel like writing much now. I will try & write more next time.
There is some excitement here about the late Raid in Penn – I presume considerable many will leave here to go there but I do not think they will send me. I cant write any more now so good by
Curator’s Comments: In this third letter within a week, Spence is clearly down in the dumps. He has little to say other than that he just feels bad. He wishes he were home and able to attend church with his mother.
He does make a brief mention Confederate General John McCausland’s raid on Chambersburg, Pennsylvania the previous day. McCausland had attacked the city demanding a huge ransom which the citizens could not pay. He then had his soldiers deliberately burn down the entire town, some 550 buildings. Spencer doesn’t think he will be sent there.