Letter written by Private Reuben Rhoades of Company C, 19th ME Infantry, to his mother from McVeigh Hospital in Alexandria, VA. Rhoades writes that he is exhausted from marching, hence why he is in the hospital. He came to Alexandria on the railroad from Warrenton Junction. The army has gone down the Rappahannock River, but he is not in a hurry to join them. He mentions fighting at the battle at Gettysburg and the long marches that preceded it. He cautions his mother not to worry, as he is not “so awful sick.” The house that serves as the hospital is along the Potomac River, and he is able to look out his window and gaze at the steamboats while he rests.
Alexandria VA. July 28
Mc Veigh Hospital 1863
My Dere Mother it is with plasure that I now rite to let you no how and whare I am weell as for my health it is not very good nor very bad but I am wourn out a marching and the most that I want is rest and I am in a good place for that. I come in to Alexandria last night on the cars from Warington Junction. the Armey has gon down on the Rapperhanock a gane [again] but I shant be in a hurry a bout going. I shell stay here till I get recuted up in good shape. wee have bin on the
March for Six weeks without hardly adays rest and that is a nuf [enough] to ware most eny one out but I will be all rite before long but I shell stay here as long as I can and let the armey march to the devel [devil] if they want to. wee have marched over 600 miles and fought that battle at gettersburg that haint doing bad is it. I have not got but one letter from you since I left Falmoth wee could not get our male [mail] and not much chance to send one I have rote to you every chance that could get. now I dont want you to think that I am so awful sick for I haint and I dont want you to think so I am worn out and all I want is to lay still and recute
up, and I have got whare I can have good care and well doctered and a good bed to sleep on, and it is rite byt the window and whare I can look on the Potomac and see the steembots go in and out, im up the thurd story of a splended brick hous, rit in the sity, now I have not got much more to rite this time I have jest bin to dinner and wee had new potatos and beets and onions and soft bread I call that prity good, now when you rite to me I want you to send me one or to dollers if you can get it eny way for I want a little change, rite soon and all the nuse and [w]ho was drafted from your son
put on your letters
Mc Veigh Hospital
Reuben Rhodes, a citizen of Troy, ME, enlisted on August 25, 1862. He was between 18 and 20 years old. He served as a private in Company C of the 19th ME Infantry and mustered out May 31, 1865. After the war he returned to his parents farm and married a woman named Josephine. He died in 1923 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery.