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 Quarters 121 Reg P.V.
Camp near Belleplains Virg
March 15. 1863
My dear dear Julia
I thank God that I hear that you are doing well. May his mercy guard and protect you and our new darling from all evil – the news was a surprise to me I wrote to you long ago about taking care of yourself but you were so quiet you always wrote so cheerfully and seemed to me so full of energy that I almost thought when I left home you had made a slight mistake. You remember I wrote to you about Mrs L and you never answered a word on the subject – You naughty girl I fear you have been playing off on me to, and making believe that there was no coming event – now I presume very distinctly visible and audible. You must as soon as you Can do it have the silver Cup of the same old pattern procured at Caldwells with the name and date from his Papa. What is the name to be – tell me what you wish and I will consent, he weighs 10 ½ lbs does he a very respectable weight for so young a gentleman – What does Miss Jule think of it him – it he confirms her in state of betweenity two above and two below – In household matters she will always form one of a triple alliance with the older or younger party. What does darling Harry think of him does he say he’s pretty or what – unbiased opinion as regards his beauty Do you remember the day we showed him the ruby and his remark, its very pretty well This dear one is dearer and I dare say prettier in Harry’s eyes than any ruby Julia how many mercies and blessings surrounds us – I hail another evidence of our heavenly father’s gentleness in his dealings with us in this new proof of his abiding protection and mercy May we so live in thankfulness and humble dependence on him that in all we think and speak and do We may endeavor to be guided by his percepts for our instruction – I see the mercy of his overruling power almost every day. Six months ago I left Philad one of seven of the Field & Staff – to night I am the only one in Camp – out of ten Captains who came out with us Three now are here and one of them is pretty low in health – have not I reason to thank him for his mercy to me have I not also for his mercy to you and our beloved little ones May he always preserve protect and keep us from evil and guide us through a righteous life in peace together to an eternity of happiness in his favor through our Savior God bless you again and again My beloved wife
Citation: Alexander Biddle (1819-1899), autograph letters signed to Julia Williams Rush Biddle. 15 March1863. Rush IV:30:29