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 Reg P.V.
Camp near Belle plains Virg
Sunday night March 22 1863
We have had two or three days of wretched weather – I now write just before going to bed – first enclosing a note and two photographs one of Capt Zell who will probably call to see you – he was one of out best Captains has now resigned – after doing all his health and constitution permitted him to do. I send you his note in reply to a friendly one I wrote to him upon hearing his resignation being very sorry to lost him The other photograph is Dr Ramsay’s – our Surgeon’s – to add to your album of our officers – I also enclose a slip cut out of the newspaper – an advertisement from the office in February last which keep – it might perhaps be well to know where to lay one’s hands on it at a future day I hear to day that we are to turn in all our baggage, each officer allowed one change of clothing – each man a blanket – a regiment to have only two pack mules – after this is effected we are to be ready to march at any moment I would not be surprised if Hooker made a bold move with the whole army before two weeks are over. We shall see and try to be ready
We have been looking up tactics and drill of all kinds and will I think do pretty well although we want a good deal of steady quiet practice to make things to my mind – I hear my chance of getting home is very slight indeed I think our Lieut Colonel is likely to leave us for a political Campaign for which his abilities are better fitted than for the field – You of course know the prospects of the Colonel better than I do – they are not encouraging to me – I fear it will be a long time before his health is sufficiently Confirmed to enable him to ride at the head of the regiment Tell me what name you determine for the little master – Your fancy Eugene would suit I think very well – if you do not choose any of the others . You used to speak of that as Commemoration of Murray’s wife if it were applied to a young lady but being in the male line may do as well…
Citation: Alexander Biddle (1819-1899), autograph letters signed to Julia Williams Rush Biddle. 22 March1863. Rush IV:30:29