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Camp Randall Virginia July 3, 1861 Dear Jennie, We are in Old Virginia, in the land of old Secesh. It's 11 O'clock AM we have just got our tents pitched and the boys are busy preparing their dinners, they not having had a regular meal since dinner yesterday. During the afternoon yesterday we received orders to march, no on but the colonel knew where, but it was surmised into the land of the F. F. V's. We struck our tents about 4 PM and preceded by our baggage train, some 20 government wagons, each drawn by four horses, we started. Marched through Washington, passed the White House, Old Abe sat in his carriage as we passed, and last evening 9 PM we got up where we now are, some 7 miles from Washington in the interior of Virginia. All I can say is that we are in Colonel Sherman's Brigade. When we arrived here the boys were very tired and foot sore. They all laid down on the ground, blankets around them and slept till morning. I was so unlucky as to be officer of the guard, consequently got no sleep whatever, but much hard work all night in getting the sentries stationed and relieved properly and etc. The boys begin to find that they have bargained for no practical pleasure excursion, but most of them enlisted understanding pretty well what they would have to come to I presume. Marching in the hot sun with a heavy knapsack, 40 rounds [of] cartridges and musket is no pleasure I can tell you. Our camp is pleasantly located on an elevation and near a fine spring. This is my first letter this morning and you [illegible] I do not forget my friends. Now, I've not received a letter from you since I left Oshkosh and what is the reason? [I] have written you several times. Please let me know the reason of you not writing and if the correspondence is to be discontinued twill be something that I shall much regret, but will have to bide your decision of course. Please direct Lt. J. Hancock Co. E, 2nd Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, Washington D.C. My Dear Jennie, I had written the foregoing [illegible] up the letter and felt quite desponding in not having heard from you. I stepped out of my tent for something and on my return saw laying upon my camp bed your last letter. Now I feel good again. My expression is not very practical, but my mind is much relieved. I was afraid our correspondence was going to cease. I knew twas no fault of mine. Now Jennie, I want to make a request of you to always to bear in mind while I am absent. My writing to you must necessarily be somewhat irregular although I shall enhance every opportunity to write you first, but if you should not receive my lines regularly do not think it my fault. And I want to request that you write me after, if only a few words it cheers my heart to hear from you. Write me as often as once a week. Direct for the present until I give different orders to me: Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Regiment, Washington, D. C. Then I shall surely get your very kind and affectionate letters. I go to Washington tomorrow and will get the picture and send it [to] you. I was intending to have had it taken and sent it [to] you, but our [illegible] so unpractical, I had no time to do anything. I was afraid then I should not be able to have it to send you at all, but unless we get away too much tonight, I will send it [to] you tomorrow. Your picture is my companion, that sweet sad face I love to look at it. I have a part of the lock of hair in the opposite side of the [illegible] in between the [illegible] of my Bible, so you see it is in a good place. I would love dearly to see you this evening at few minutes, sit beneath the trees then and converse with you, but that is denied me. My correspondence with Miss Alicia ceased before I visited you. So that is alright now. And accept for yourself my kindest and most affectionate Love. Good Bye, Yours affectionately, Lt. H.
Letter from John Hancock to Jennie Reardon -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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