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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Slush & Snow on March 31, 1863

"...such days as these we call our days ~ pleasant ones we call Hooker's days..."

I'm back now the holidays are over!  At my last post I thought I was done with all of March 1863 but upon going through my files, I found another letter mistakenly tucked into the back of it.  This one is dated March 31, 1863:

"Camp near White Oak Church
Tuesday Mch 31st 1863

Dearest Roby

Having nothing very particular to do I thought I would pen you a few lines and send you a small book which you will find enclosed. It is as you see a book for Soldiers and I dont see why it should not be for Soldiers wives too and it may do you some good ~ I have such a load now in my knapsack that I don't believe I can carry many books so I send this one home to you ~ The Gilt Picture on the outside represents a scene in front of a Colonels tent ~ it is got up pretty nice rather nicer than the reality such a tent as that is almost as pleasant and comfortable as a house to live in ~~~

It is raining very hard this morning and is decidedly unpleasant.  Last night when we went to bed it was bright moonlight but this morning you can imagine our surprise to  on turning out for Roll Call to find about 3 inches of Slosh and snow and Raining hard ~ such days as these we call our days, pleasant days ones we call Hooker's days . for we know that as soon as we get fine weather old Hooker will have us digging out of here in a hurry and consequently I find the majority of our boys would rather see Rainy weather and muddy Roads than pleasant weather so great is the dread of moving but it must get pleasant soon spring is so far advanced ~ 

We had another wedding here 3 or 4 days ago one of the 16th Regt NYS married another pretty girl near here ~ I got a glimpse of as pretty a girl as I have seen in Virginia yesterday while we were on battallion (sic) drill in a little house near our Camp but they are very shy, they are afraid of the Yankees as they call us.  The woman who lives in the house has not heard from her husband in 16 months he then came to see her he is in the Rebel Army has been in 2 years all the families in our lines cannot hear from their husbands and brothers no way as there is no mail communication.

I hope in this you have got my money for I dont want that lost.  Mrs Cuppernell got hers safe ~ I see by her last letter that she paid you that 9/- she owed you. I am glad of it ~ I have not seen nubern this morning but he will be over soon as he comes to see me very often ~ I tell you he makes a dood Soldier and I think a good deal of him, when he and I come home we calculate to wear a sword and shoulder straps if nothing happens.  He is expecting a letter from Rosette every day.  Now I want to ask you a question, does Rosette think much of him (?) I dont know hardly what to think and I hate to ask him ~ I dont think she could do any better if she should hunt the whole town of Warren over nothing would please me better than to see him Uncle Asa Son in Law  and I think he will yet but I will have to close this letter and go after some wood as it is slacking up a little ~~ as I was undoing that towel you sent me in my box I found two white cloths ~ I guess you must have meant them for Dish Cloths ~ I couldn't think of anything else ~ Well we never wash Dishes in the Army at least I never heard of its being done that is amongst the Soldiers, the officer have theirs washed I believe but we merely scrape them off and let them go at that ~ I tell you Roby its well that you aint down here with me, your little stomach would get turned agood many times untill you got used to it ~~ 

If it clears off to day Sergt Armstrong and myself will go over to the 76th tomorrow I guess.  I am agoing to stew up some of those berries to day and make some sauce.  I have quite a chunk of Mart Ways Cheese yet ~ I am saving that till we march and eat it with Hard Tack, give my respects to him and to all the neighbors(,) write soon Love me as ever kiss little Georgie for me make him be a good boy Do you suupose he would be afraid of me if I should home or aint he afraid of strangers (?) Yours with Love PR Woodcock
Write Soon"

True to form, there is a post script written up the side of the first page:

"Uncle Asa nor Martha have answered my letter yet, Rill is in Canada now, Sergt Armstrong sends love"

And THAT finishes up March of 1863!

Until next time...please keep reading!