I have whittled out a set of Chess men & we have fine times here playing evry day.

Newark Aug 29th 1864

My Dear Mother

I received a letter of the 25th this morning from you. I am feeling pretty bad today, last night I was taken again with the Diaheriah & today I am feeling very bad. but I hope to get better soon. I slep cold & I think that brought it on. I got a letter from Darwin from ft Warren yesterday writen the 26th says they live there like fighting Cocks. better living than at home. I think tho that next spring they will be ordered to the front as they then will be drilled & there will new troops take their places. but I hope he will never have to go to the front for he never could stand it to march. I am hartily sick of staying here & think if I was to the Reg I should feel better. I shall try & get away as soon as posible. Tell Lillie & Frankey to write me a letter & I will answer it & tell them all about the big city of Newark. I have whittled out a set of Chess men & we have fine times here playing evry day. Yesterday was Sunday but would any one have thought so, if they had been in the Hospital!! I guess not. There is a big church (Catholic) near the hospital with 30 bells which they chime It sounds very fine. the streets are all paved here & the Side walks flagged. I may get a 48 hour pass & go up & see Darwin & Abby before I go away. I will send you my pictures before I leave. I shall have one very large one taken in a frame made of over a hundred different pieces & send you to hang up in the parlor. the frame was made by one of the wounded Soldiers here. I can think of no more at present. I have a gold pen & Silver penholder that was given me the other day I am writing with it now. Well good by all.

From your Aff Son

Curator’s Comments:  Spencer’s final letter in August covers a wide range of mundane topics. His health has taken a turn for the worse. He is tired of the hospital where he now has spent most of the last three months. He thinks he might even do better if he were to return to his unit.

He mentions that he has heard from Darwin, possibly a relative, who is in training. Spencer figures that Darwin’s unit will be ready to join the front early in 1865 but he hope he doesn’t have to fight, that the war might be over by then.

McOmber has carved a chess set that the men enjoy playing. It seems that he must have enjoyed carving and whittling because Spencer often talks about making wooden rings, needing a knife to do his carving, and carving various other things.

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