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, July 10, 2014

Roast Pork and a Song

"I tell you ~ you little know how much joy it gives me to get letters from you...."

The mail finally arrived with a letter from Roby to Philip on November 2nd, 1862. After cautioning her not to send "that box" with extra winter stuff in it because he is on the move again, he writes:

"It does not seem to me much like Sunday to day [.] Sunday in the Army is not much of a peaceful Holy Sabbath day ~ it is generally the busiest kind of a week day ~ marching & fighting is generally done on that day ~ The 76th is on about 2 days ahead of me unless they have marched very fast ~ we Encamped last night near where they did 2 days ago ~ we shall soon catch up with them [.] I saw Seth Payne yesterday & he is connected with the 8 Illinois Cavalry ~ he saw Father Pierce [that is Philip's father-in-law] he said & also you before he came down here a month ago ~ we had 2 or 3 men desert last night from Co I Bill is awful sick of Soldiering ~ he wants to go into the Cavalry very bad now..."

He writes a bit about some financial issues at home:

"Rosa had not ought to have charged that to me for I paid her...."  
"....settle it some way with her but I know I paid her for the jockey in cash..."

And then continues with: "The fighting must be very hard a few miles ahead of us ~ they are carrying the wounded back behind us & there is any quantity of Contrabands are skedaddling back when near a battle field ~ we hear all kinds of rumors that we cannot depend upon ~ Gens McClellan & Burnside passed here on their way there a short time ago ~ O what cheering there was & running ~ I could not get within 1/8 of a mile of him hardly"

And then--dinner is served, Civil War style:

"I had a nice lot of fresh Pork for Dinner to day ~ you see we are in a Seceded State now & we can confiscate anything we want ~ some one shot a large Hog & then cut its Throat ~ I saw it & soon cut me out a chunk & skinned it & fried it ~ it was tiptop & how the boys all begged for some of it"

His letter then goes on a bit about mutual friends or family:

"Parsons stands the march very well..."
"Phil Jim & Harrison Vanhorne are all behind in the Hospital.."
"Phil wouldn't hesitate long if he could get his discharge either...."
"George will be tickled enough when he gets the babys Likeness..."
"I am agoing to write to Uncle Asa & Roselle in a few days if I live..."

The final part of his letter made me smile:

"I wish you could send me some music of some kind ~ some of my Sabbath school papers also notes or cut out the music from Abys Sunday School Paper that is pretty or if you pick up a piece of Sheet music with the words to it ~ send it & you will see how the Company will rush around me & want to sing ~ any old leaf out of a Singing book would be more though [of] here than 5 dollars but I think I have written enough [.] I shall write again every day & keep you posted ~ if its my Luck to get into battle God will take care of me & protect me ~ give my Love to all[.] Kiss the Baby for me & one for yourself too & remember me[.] This from your affectionate husband ~ now write soon & send me some papers & lots of Letters[.] Yours with Love

                                              P R Woodcock"

There you have it--roast pork and a song!

Tomorrow he camps near Snickers Gap, VA.

Hope to see you then!

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