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 at Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, among other engagements, and would leave the service as a lieutenant colonel. (He was commissioned, but never mustered, as colonel)
Camp near White Oak Station
Head Qrs 121st Reg. P.V.
Friday January 16, 1863
I have your letter of the 13th inst it was and is a delightful treat to me – Your box [by?] Adams express is not yet heard of I don’t think it worth while to try that chance of reaching me. Last night we had a most violent rain which poured down in torrents for a considerable time – I expected to find the ground exceedingly muddy this morning but a rather cold wind had hardened and dried the roads more than I had anticipated I went over to Court Martial after breakfast and tried one Case. found all the officers talking of a move. We have for several days past had fatigue parties at work on the roads mending them in the direction of the Rappahannock I hear to day that [sejet?] will cross above and that some regiments have crossed below and that we shall move tomorrow. What is intended we cannot of course comprehend but we hope there is some real military science to be exhibited on this occasion at least if we move. Whatever comes I trust God will preserve and strengthen me through all trials that may come trusting I may through his mercy be blessed finally with a happy return to you Ask Uncle if he has read O J Stille’s pamphlet “How a free people Conduct a great war” It seems to me an able comparison of the temper and feeling of the English people during the Peninsular War with our own I think he would like it – it pleases me much to hear the little incidental notices you refer to about the Major – You know I do not and shall not care for military distinction or prominence save the simple one of having it conceded that I perform the duty allotted to me…
Citation: Alexander Biddle (1819-1899), autograph letter signed to Julia Williams Rush Biddle.16 January 1863.