Albert directed this letter to his brother, William J. Bancroft, at Grand Blanc (near Flint), Genesee county, Michigan, care of H. H. Cook.
Plymouth, North Carolina
June 6th 1863
Dear Brother Willie,
Then you have really got out west? Have you seen the elephant and it it as large as you thought? But you are better off now than you would be on the lakes — and just tend to the music and you will do well. Stick to your old course and you will be respected and looked up to. Be as good as anybody but not above them.
I had a letter from home this week and one from vet. They were all well as usual. Myra is going to Edwards to stay a spell.
How do you like it out there? Have you been hunting yet and what is there to hunt? How did you find the folks out there? Are they doing well? Is Mary as soft (good) as ever? She must make an agreeable companion for someone. Does Pete carry as much sail as ever and are they as happy as clams?
How do they feel about the war out there and how are the crops and prices? And is the man you work [for] sound and able with the ready come down? My old boss [Uncle Sam] keeps the change, you may bet, and some of the hands know how to spend it too. But he calls around once in awhile and pays us off. I guess he thinks of going to farming. He has been cutting down the South woods and cutting a ditch over in the cotton field. He thinks we will not get through in season to put in the winter wheat and he swears he will have some more help from somewhere. But somehow they do not want to hire out yet. They are afraid they will not get their dues but dome of them will and all stand a chance to. He has been busy up in the back lots lately but I do not know what he has been about. Threshing, I guess, and there is a month’s work yet to do. We have got a very heavy summer’s work to do but the spring crops look well for the drouth and the old man thinks he can let us go to school this winter.
It has been very dry here this spring and summer. This morning it rained a little — the first in 6 weeks — and the people begin to think they will all starve. But the flies bother so that I can hardly write and so I will close. Write soon if you can read this. I do not know when the mail goes out and it may be a month before you get this. Hoping this may find you well, I remain your faithful brother, — A. H. B.
Direct to A. H. Bancroft, Co. B, 85th Regiment, N. Y. S. V.
Care of Capt. W. W. Clark, Plymouth, N. C.
¹ William W. Clark, age 38. Enrolled August 26, 1861 at Canandaigua, to serve three years; mustered as Capt. Co. B. December 2, 1861; as lieutenant colonel, May 1, 1863, mustered out regiment June 27, 1865 at New Berme, North Carolina..(Co. B. 85th Inf. N. Y.)
‘fought in Battle of the Wilderness and battle for Richmond,. Commanded in several raids into N.C. from seaboard. Discharged July 23, 1865 with regiment”-New York Town Clerk’s Register of Men Who Served in the Civil War ca. 1861-1865.