The letters and diaries of Lieutenant Philip R. Woodcock
121st Regiment, New York State Infantry
"Upton's Regulars"
September 4, 1862-November 9, 1865

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Good Looking Soldier

On the limited number of occasions that brothers George and Philip were together, they made the most of their time with each other.  This is evident in the next set of letters as George has written on the top of the page prior to Philip writing the rest to Roby.  You can hear the differences in voice and time spent mustered in:

"Camp near Antietam Creek
Oct 15th 1862

My Dearest Wife

I have a little time to spare & thought I [you] would like to hear from me again [.] In the first place I am perfectly well & hearty [.] George, Bruce, Gib Miers & Holmstreet [are] visiting me now & we are having a fine time ~ now George is agoing to write a letter to you in this letter so I will give way ~"

Letter from George within letter from Philip:

"Sister Roby ~ As I was visiting Phil & as he was agoing to write to you I thought I would try & write a few lines [.] We are all well & in good spirits ~ at present we are still encamped near...?" unfortunately this section was illegible but he continues about his nephew: "...I am quite anxious to see my nephew as I hear some great reports about him that is his abilities & qualifications ~ he must be quite a chap --I wish he was Large enough to take his uncles place for a time so that I could come back & recruit up but that is I[,] calculating impossibilities [.] Our brigade was ordered out Saturday night about 11 o'clock & formed line of battle & marched two miles then throwed out pickets where we laid two days while the infernal rebels passed within half a mile of us ~ they intended to cross the river through our brigade but we were a little too quick for them."

George continues with a great compliment to his younger brother:

"Phil makes a good looking soldier ~ he has just gone out on battalion drill & I shall have to go back to my Regt before he come in but he has promised me to try & come & see me again tomorrow [.] I am agoing to write to Maranda while I am here as Phil has plenty of paper so I will have to close write soon & give my love to all the girls [.]
                                      Yours with love ~ George

Not being quite sure who "all the girls" are, I can only guess.  I have no record of whether George was married at this time or not.  Philip continued the letter after his Battalion Drill & Dress Parade at 5 o'clock that same day:

"Now I have finished Labors for the Day ~ I will write more ~ I will give you a description of the Dinner I gave in honor of my visitors [.] I bought some Bread & Butter also Potatoes & we had some cheese [.] I boiled the Potatoes [,] made flour Gravy [,] fried some Pork & had a pretty Respectable dinner ~ something the boys had not had in a good while [.] I ended up with a pie which I traded Coffee off for [.] I tell you they enjoyed it too [.] They came very near cleaning me out [.] I am agoing to try to go over there tomorrow but I am not sure as I can get away [.] I have a great deal to do & the Captain says he can't get along without me [.] We are expecting a mail every minute so I am sure I shall hear from you [.] I shall have to send this without paying the Postage which I do not like to do but shall have to [.] "  And rather sadly he adds: "The mail has come but no Letters from you..."

Maybe tomorrow?  the next day? I find no mention of receiving letters from Roby for at least a week or more longer.  At least we see into the future though..

DEB'S DATE IN HISTORY:   June 26, 1864, 150 years ago

"near Petersburg VA, Sunday June 26th/64

My Dearest Wife

I received your very welcome letter this morning & was indeed glad to hear from you & above all to see your Picture ~ you can imagine how pleased I was to get it as you know how anxious I was ~ it was first rate although it did not seem to look quite matured ~ you have changed some I think [.]"

Roby didn't forget him.

TOMORROW, Oct. 25, 1862 and beyond!


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