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Camp Peck Arlington Heights, Va July 8, 1861 Dear Jennie, Monday morning and writing a letter to my friend J. Well, I suppose you have no particular objections to it, unless in this; that my letters come so thick and fast that it occupies all of your time to read them. That must account for your having weak eyes. Now is that the case? If it is I will not trouble you quite as often, but there were some things in your last that I overlooked and my captain today is in Washington and will not bother me about writing so many letters. We are here yet. Regiments are coming in all the time and there is no doubt but we shall move soon. Wednesday we were reviewed by Major General McDowell. He looks like a lager beer Dutchman. That letter which you refer to is speaking of your friend is among mine somewhere. I will destroy it or return it to you, will burn it. You never need have any fears that anything you say to me is going to be repeated to any living person, unless particularly [illegible] by you. I spent the 4th in Washington on business for the company. Twas no holiday for me I can assure you, I had too much business to attend to. Yes, I very well remember how we passed the 4th one year ago. How things are changed, and particularly in respect to our individual selves. We were then strangers, or nearly so, not so much now however. I spoke in my last about the photograph. They are not finished yet and will not be until tomorrow. Now what I am afraid of is that we may march before I get them, then may not be in condition to get them or send them to you. Yesterday Rixford and Townsend were here. I gave Mr. Rixford instructions what to do with the pictures. I get three, one to be given to you, one to my sister Mrs. Clark, one to my sister Mrs. A. P. Stevens in Athens, Bradford County, Pennsylvania . So you see my friend as you term does not get one, neither does the poetess. Ah Miss Jennie, if I was with you I would have a good laugh on your friendship out I had been corresponding with the poetess, but will twill not do on paper. Levity on paper is often misconstrued. I fear to meddle with it. A long train of government wagons are now passing our camp returning to Washington. They have just moved a regiment in advance of us. Staff, field, and cavalry officers are continually going by at full speed, both ways. Mr. Rixford gets my pictures if I move from here before they are finished. He will see that you get one. That way the best I could do to make a sure thing of you getting one. I have been afraid you would begin to think I was forgetting it, and I would not have you think so, for you were so very kind to give me yours which I think so much of. The other day J. Sprague saw the locket hanging from my watch and wanted to see who it was. I told him twas my sister, did not show it [to] him, for then there would be trouble you know. Here I have filled this sheet already but shall probably not write you again under a week. Chandler hears from Camie, she sends her respects to me . If you see her you may remember me to her. I received two letters from you last week. That was good. Let me hear from you very often. Remember me to your family, Good Bye Jennie for present, Truly, Lt. H. [Major General Irvin McDowell was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army on May 14, 1861, and given command of the Army of Northeastern Virginia. John's youngest sister, Mary Hancock, was married to Lauren Norris Clark Clark. She was living in Troy, Bradford County, Pennsylvania with her two sons and a daughter in 1860. John's oldest sister, Violetta Hancock was married to Almon P. Stevens. They are listed as residing in Athens, Bradford County, Pennsylvania in the 1850 and 1860 US Census. Probably Sergeant John J. Sprague, who was discharged for disability on August 19, 1861. Homer S. Chandler enlisted at Oshkosh on June 11, 1861 and was promoted to Band Master. He was discharged along with the other band members on October 11, 1861. He married Caroline "Cami" Weed in Oshkosh on February 6, 1863. Caroline "Cami" Weed was born about 1834 in New York, the daughter of Alfred, Sr. and Rolina Weed.]
Letter from John Hancock to Jennie Reardon -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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