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, January 29, 2015

It's About Time

"...I was interrupted the other day..."

How true that statement is from Philip's continuation of his letter of March 15-17th, 1863.  I have been very interrupted in posting recently due to some internet issues, but I'm back up and running!  I'll finish this letter and then tell you about an exciting new direction I'm taking with this blog in the upcoming months.

Here is the conclusion of his letter written from Winter Quarters, Camp at White Oak Church, March 17th, 1863:

"I was interrupted the other day & now I will finish this ~ Our Lieutenant has returned from leave of  absence & he has command of the Company now though I am acting orderly Sergt.  Davidson has gone home on a furlough & I rank next to him so I am Orderly and I have enough to do too[.]  I dont know but I shall be home soon on furlough maybe next week I shall try hard but I am afraid I will have to wait 20 days longer ~ Sergeant Nubern, Armstrong & myself had our pictures taken yesterday & they were the best pictures out[.]  You must get it copied the first chance you get if you want ~ a good picture of 2 of the best Sergts in 121st Regt ~ but without bragging they were tiptop[,] they were taken in full Dress uniform with no Equipments nothing but Dress Sash[.] We sent it to Rosetta this morning & you must get a copy of it ~ I was vaccinated the other day again and it is working nicely I have a pretty sore arm[.]  The Small Pox danger is all over now I guess ~ We dont hear much about marching though the spring is getting so far advanced that the roads will soon be passable and from appearance & present indications I think we will soon have to "dig out".  Hooker is not the man to let us lay idle longer than he can help and when we do get it will be with a rush and some hard fighting again[.] The last and most current rumor now in camp is that we are agoing to Washington & from there to Staten Island but we of course don't put any confidence in such rumours (sic) as it dont pay ~ but if we go to New York I will let you know. "

(As several of his letters refer to the numerous rumors swirling through camp, I thought I'd research that.  It seems that swirling rumors were a very common occurrence throughout the war.  I tried to pinpoint it to just one battle or situation, but there were so many I couldn't even begin to list them.)

Philip went on to tease Roby gently in his letter about a gift he made for her and where it was obtained from: 

 "I enclose in this letter a bone ring which I have worked a good many hours on & which I hope you will be pleased with ~ but what would you say if I should tell you it was made out of the Shin bone of a Rebel? you must be carefull and not put it in your mouth..."

No worries though: "But you need not be afraid for it is made from a Beef bone and not a Reb[.] "

Then comes family concerns:  "I wrote the other day to Burney ~ Harrison, VanHorne & Bill Craft.  I got a letter from Aunt Nelly yesterday.  She is down on the War question the worst kind[,] she writes that Grandmother is very sick & helpless & would like to see father but she did not know what his business was & whether he could come or not ~ "

And finally, business at hand and updates on soldiers they both know:  "We had Target shooting the other day & as luck would have it I plumbed the Bulls Eye though not in the Center. I was the only man in the company though they all shot close but it was cold and windy & I guess it was accident my hitting it. We each had 3 shots[.] We are agoing out again this afternoon to try it ~ Isaac Whipple & Bob Christman have gone to Rip Raps and confined to hard labor for one year & forfeit all pay & allowances now due & 10 dollars a month while there ~ that is what follows desertions ~ Bill has been home I heard and is now in Canada[.] I hope you have got that money all safe I guess we shall get paid again this week now write soon give my little boy a kiss and one for you[.]

Love to all                                                           PR Woodcock"

A long and newsy letter!  

Now, onto my next blog idea....

The 150th Anniversary of the end of the Civil War is this year--2015!

Philip wrote approximately 40 letters during his final year in the war.  I also have a few that Roby wrote to him plus one from a friend.  There are also those diaries that I've yet to get to!  Much, much more to be explored.

My great great grandfather wrote about the death of Lincoln and the surrender of Lee, so be sure to join me on my Countdown to Surrender journey in this blog!

Hope to see you then!

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