"Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?"

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February 3, 1863. Money and Measles.

"Fairfax Station - February 3, 1863

"Dear Parents,

"I presume that you will have learned before this reaches you that I have had what you most feared the measles. When I last wrote you I told you that I had been unwell for several days and that the surgeon said that l was billious. Mistaken man! The next morning as expected I was sick as a dog but I got along nicely and now am able to sit up all day and have been out in the street today and mean to go again if nothing happens. In short, I am getting along nicely though I do not intend to go on duty for some time. The weather today is clear and pleasant though quite cold. The measles are having a pretty general promenade through Camp.

"You should have been in camp the day after we were paid off. Everybody was rich and almost everybody was trying to trade watches. Uncle Joseph has just been here. Mr. Balcom is in camp today and is going to take home some of the boys' money for them. I gave Uncle J. $30.00 which he is going to put with his and hand to Mr. Balcom all to be paid to you. Uncle proposed this as Aunt M. is at Plymouth I suppose, and he thought it would be more convenient for you to get it for her. Perhaps you may think that I have sent myself short but it is not so. I have about $12 left and if we get home in June that will be plenty enough to last, even if we are not paid off again."   ~ Hezron G. Day, pvt., Company C, Sixteenth Regiment, Letter of February 3, 1863

"Feb. 3,1863. Last night was the coldest night I have seen in Virginia. ... we had a Vermont winter until to-day, which is quite pleasant. Things are going on quite quiet for an army like ours, and it is my opinion that if they would reduce the pay of an officer down to that of a private this war would have been ended long ago. I happened to hear an officer say to-day that he did not care how long it lasted if they would continue to pay him $175. 00 per month, as they had done for the last year or more, and it is the mind of most every officer in the army. ..."  Diary of Oliver A. Browne, Co. K, 15th Regiment.

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