Philip finished up his letter of New Year's late at night. After declaring his utter devotion to Roby (see my previous two posts), he concluded with some family details and simple conversation:
"It is bed time but I must finish this ~ I wish you could see my vest & jacket [,] you could not laugh at them they are fancy & gay ~They will last my time out I guess[.] Tell Georgie he must improve his time this winter in sliding down hill &c as next (illegible for a few words) home & he must go to school if his Mother is willing ~ He will feel awfull big if he gets a hand sleigh of his own wont he[?] When do you expect George & Sarah home[?] I would like to see that new baby of Emmelines & ask her if it hurt her much but I would not dare too (sic) though she is awfull strict in her notions of Propriety ~ I would not care so much for Phebe she can take a joke for fun & not get spunky[.] I wish you could get acquainted with Phebe she is a sensible good hearted fun loving smart girl naturally romantic but always within bounds[.] I see I am fast getting this sheet filled up & I would not have written so much but the bosy all said I could not fill it tongiht & I want to show them in the morning that I can[.] Every one but me is in bed ~ It is past 10 oclock but it is my last night here and I dont care[.]
When George comes down this way I hope he will come to Petersburg to see me ~ he can come without charge I think but I must close write to me soon to the Regt write often My Regards to all Love & a Kiss to you & Georgie Love me as ever Yours with much love Be sure & write soon
Phil R Woodcock"
His sense of humor was certainly showing in this letter. I've transcribed the letter exactly how it reads at the end...with no punctuationand a true sense of urgency to convey his feelings towards her and his young, toddler son, Georgie. It is almost like a single sentence, only broken up by capital letters occasionally.
As in his other letters, he wrote a post script upside-down but I also discovered something new that totally excited me! When reading it,I realized that he actually connected the two pieces of paper side-by-side and wrote lengthwise across BOTH of them. I had not realized that until today's post when the sentences did not make any sense. I lined them up and looked again and voila! Mystery solved!
And the P.S. reads:
"I have a long and tedious journey before me in going back I have a couple of days riding on water[,] I wish it was over and I was to the Regiment[.] The Confederacy is getting rather small is it not the Rebellion looks as if it could not last many months longer & I would warrant it crushed in 4 months for three cents[.] I may possibly not get away from here untill Tuesday..." (His prediction came true...4 months it was until Appomattox!)
One more P.S. on the final page:
"Should you see Roselli tell him I shall try & pay him off soon[,] tell him also what I tried to do when I was home & that I meant to tell him all about it..."
I have no idea about that, but sounds like debt is nothing new!
Please join me again for his return to the regiment letters during this countdown to the end of the war!
Hope to see you then!