Alexander Biddle was a member of the prominent Philadelphia Biddle family and was married to Julia Williams Rush, the granddaughter of Dr. Benjamin Rush. Biddle served with the 121st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, beginning in September 1862. Starting out as a major, he would participate in Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, among other engagements, and would leave the service as a lieutenant colonel. (He was commissioned, but never mustered, as colonel)
Head Qrs 121st Reg P.V.
Camp near Belle plains Virg
February 26. 1863
I have written to Uncle and find I have time beloved to write a few lines to you before our mail goes out Your box was much more than I had expected, last night we had rolls for supper fresh baked and this morning eggs & honey – last night too we had Mrs Eating’s peaches which were delicious – the box was a little unfortunate, it came up from the landing having had at least one hard knock – the brandy peaches and honey were both smashed but notwithstanding were both available – dear Aleck’s figures were very sweet to me as sweet as could be for the honey had saturated them I read over your little mem and counted all his figures carefully – they promise pretty well for him hereafter your black currant jelly good for sore throat was taken by me immediately to Dr Ramsay who was abed with an attack of Quinsy – I also gave him the candy – strange he had asked me nights before if I could get him a piece of lemon candy and next day yours arrived – The great pear and the white onions were very much admired – An onion is looked upon as very good medicine in the army and something of a prophylactive I am entirely set up by what you have sent me, as comfortable as I can possibly be in such mud and weather when away from you We have had three deaths lately in our camp and I fear lest we may have another – everything seems so slow in movement in every department the want of thorough organization and then there is always somebody to decide who can know nothing but some papers The pickets are delightful. I have one of them on now having seized this morning as an occasion for a thorough ablution & change always a great comfort, I hope before long to send you a sketch of our White Camp near W.O…
Citation: Alexander Biddle (1819-1899), autograph letters signed to Julia Williams Rush Biddle.23 February 1863. Rush IV:30:28