I want to finish up this last letter written in the month of February and then move next week to the Thanksgiving of 1863 and Philip's letter from that time period. (He was in battle during the Thanksgiving holiday).
This current letter details a surprise for Roby:
I thought when I commenced this Letter I was agoing to scribble off a few hasty lines & then put particulars in Aby s Letter but I had business to see to &c and I might as well finish this now by filling this sheet ~ The nature of the business I refer to may take you by surprise & I had calculated to keep it to myself untill I knew the results but I suppose its my duty here as well as at home to confide to you ~
in short I have been examined for a Lieutenancy by our Major ~ a Chance was given to anyone in the regiment to hand in their names for examination I thought I would try my luck I dont know as it will do me any good or hurt as there are over 50 of them & I dont see how over 8 or 10 can get the commissions as there are not vacancies enough [,] still I think I stand as good chance as any of them as I only missed one or 2 questions but in my next year will probably know whether I am to wear shoulder straps or not..."
What a great surprise! I won't let on the answer to that either...and now the weather report:
"We are having rough & bad weather this week day before yesterday the snow fell 6 or 7 inches[,] yesterday it rained hard all day & it is raining yet[,] the mud must be about 2 ft deep again[.] It is not cold[,] the snow is about all gone[.]"
And Philip, always a strong Northern Baptist complains a bit:
"I enclose some extracts of a Southern Baptist Journal that I got when On picket of a Secesh family[,] while they appear very devoted to the cause of Christ[,] yet see the bitter hate that they regard the Northern Baptists with. Their doctrine is on one of them & it may interest father some[.] I shall send home money as soon as I can get a chance[.] I dare not risk it by mail just yet[.] I also send you a Valentine by this mail..." Awwww.
The letter finishes with:
" it was given to me this morning[,] I got a paper this morning with a lot of writing paper & Envelopes enclosed in it[.] who sent it[?]
I think it was Orville Burnhams writing on [it.] Write soon Love to all Yours PR Woodcock"
Like many of his others, there is a postscript written in down the side of one of the pages:
"Tell Aby that his letter will be off in a day or two[.] You may expect my Likeness every day"
There you have it~ a February day in 1863 during the Civil War.
Please join me next week for a jump to Thanksgiving of 1863!
Hope to see you then!