Newark December 29th 1864
My Dear Mother,
I have just received a letter from you & sis with that Splendid Christmas present. I was very glad to here from you, you may believe as it was the first letter I have received from you for six weeks. I shall send sis her present in a few days I am very busy but found time to go to N.Y. night before last & went to the Opera at the Hall of Music on 14th Street. I have got so now that it would be hard to loose me in N.Y. It does not cost me any thing to go there as I can have the Medl Cadets Season Ticket any time he is here. We are having an axemation today for the Invilid Corps, but I do not have to be examined. I have been this week at work on Discharges & old Muster Rolls, we will muster in about a month. We had the Hospital very finely ornimented with flags & pictures & evergreens on Christmass & we had a great many visitors on last Monday of ladies & Gents who were invited to come & inspect the premises. At present I am in charge of 80 men & have all their buisness on hand besides my regular duties of Clerk as the Dr’s are gone away. I prescribe salts & oil & Tinc of Opi or Laudlum Cough Mixture & several other remidies so you can see I am quite a Dr but I only have this to do when the Medl Cadet is away as he has gone home on a leave of Absence to spend the Holidays. It is very muddy here now & the snow is all gone & the river all clear from Ice & boats run up here as usual. I have no more of importance to write now so Good By
This is from your humber & Aff Son
Spencer F. McOmber
P.S. Direct letters to me Ward. General Hospital
Ward No 5
Curator’s Comments: Spencer’s final letter of 1864 thanks his mother and sister for the Christmas presents they sent him. He promises to send his sister a present shortly. He also describes the hospital’s holiday decorations.
Apparently some of the staff doctors are on holiday leave because Spencer seems to be in a position where he is prescribing medications to eighty patients. These responsibilities seem to keep him busy although he still finds time to go to the Opera and other activities in New York.
In fact, McOmber brags that he is getting into New York so frequently that it’s unlikely that he would get lost. He tells his mother that he is able to get to the city so often because a medical cadet allows Spencer to use his season pass.