9 November 1862: “my sister in one of her letters not long ago spoke of that ‘Little love affair’ of mine, how she found out our secret I dont know nor do I care…”

Item description: Letter, 9 November 1862, from Union soldier Stephen Tippet Andrews to his beloved, Margaret (Maggie) Little.

Stephen Tippet Andrews enlisted in the 85th New York Infantry Regiment on 26 August 1861. He helped organize Company F, and was mustered in as first sergeant of the company in the second half of 1861.

For an introduction to the correspondence between Andrews and Little, please see our post of 11 February 1862.

Item citation: In the Stephen Tippet Andrews Letters #5324Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Suffolk Va Nov 9, 1982

My Dear Maggie

I rec’d you letter of the 2nd inst in due time and now I will try and answer it. But to begin with – pray excuse me for sending such a letter as my last one was. I had just come off of Picket and was so sick that I could hardly hold my head up and I got the letter partly written and had to close and lay down — but I feel better now – in fact my health never was better than at present

We have been having York State weather here for a few days past – The snow has been three inches deep and weather very cold (The sunny south ?) but it is getting warmer again and the snow is nearly all gone.

We have lain in camp for the most of the time since our Blackwater expadition and have done nothing but a little fatigue work – That is work upon the fortifications – I was out a day or two ago with a working party working upon a new fort which is but just commenced and it stormed all day which made me think of home – and by the way I have had the queerest (?) luck while on duty anybody ever had – I have been out on fatigue duty a great many times and I never yet was out but that it stormed all day. – On the other hand I never yet was on Picket but that I had fine weather – queer isn’t it?

I received your lounging cap which you were so good as to send me the night before last and have now got it on as I write; You are very thoughtful Maggie; for it is just what I was wishing for; it will be so comfortable to wear while in the tent for a military cap is stiff and awkward, I hope I may be able to repay your kindness some day if you was here I would kiss you as many times as there are Stitches in the cap- There dont I love you sone?

Maggie you write that you do not know as you shall attend school at Rashford this winter or not;  if you do I would like to have you grant me one request, an that is this: – I would like (to) have you take lessons upon the guitar I will send you money to pay the expenses of, music, instrument etc. now dont say no for it is my wish and I must be (officers always should be) obeyed

Did you feel bad when our Black Creek girls were rallying you of me or dont you care a fig for such things, I have had to take it too; for my sister in one of her letters not long ago spoke of that “Little love affair” of mine, how she found out our secret I dont know nor do I care, I had just as leave the whole world would Know that I love so good a girl as Maggie as not. I have never written to but one person of you and that is a cousin living in Yates Co I have told her all about you and she has sent her love to you I know you will accept it and give yours in return. Poor girl she had her lover killed in the late battle at Bull run his name was Palding and he was a Lieutenant. But I must close as it is time for dress parade so good night a long kiss

From your own


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