Albert Bancroft directed this letter to his sister Myra Bancroft in Shortsville, Ontario county, New York.
Plymouth, North Carolina
July 18th 1863
Dear Sister Myra,
According to all accounts the war is not yet ended but the news is very encouraging and we have reason to hope that we may soon enjoy the blessings of peace. But reverses may happen that are now unlooked for. Everything moves along smoothly here at present. The thrilling news of the past month has been received with a [ ] I told you so sort of an arir [?] and the merits of the several generals are duly discussed and Meade meets with the ideas of every man and all trust that he is the right man in the right place.
We are not doing much now that will crush the Rebellion. We make an occasional raid along the sounds and rivers with the gunboats and destroy and take away what comes in the way and sometimes the thrifty housewives remonstrate in strong terms but we generally carry the point. Some of the poor families are very destitute and the women work in the field but they cannot raise enough to support them through the coming winter and some of them will suffer severely. But I cannot find any sympathy for them, They thought war a good thing and now let them have enough of it to suit them for the time to come and they will learn as true as there is a God in Israel.
We are having fine weather now for the last 6 weeks. There has not been a week at a time that it has not rained and the dust does not trouble us any and the heat is not so oppressive and it does not trouble us as much as it did last summer. And we are healthier too although some are troubled with the ague. There is not a man in the regiment that is confined to his bed and our doctor’s heart is in the right place. He works for the boys and not for pay as the sick list shows.
I received a letter from Willie with yours and he is well and enjoys himself first rate and thinks of buying him a farm — gay old farmer he. But [he] is coming home and going to school this winter. I am glad that Susan can go to school this summer. Don’t so too? Tell her she had better if she does not, and that they must learn all they can too for knowledge is power and makes men truly great if rightly used. Knowledge amongst the few caused this rebellion. If the poor people had been educated, it could never have been done, and the way to prevent another rebellion is to educate the South. But that will do it for me. I must not dictate.
Captain W. W. Clark is promoted to Lieut. Colonel and [we] have no captain now.
I will send Sis some flower seeds that grew in one of the upper crust’s gardens.
Write soon and give my respects to all friends. Yours as ever, — A. H. Bancroft