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)
Camp at Cedar Run Bridge 53.338
I sent by the morning’s mail another note for $100, being the second I have sent you in all $200. Let me know if it all reaches you in safety. Today has passed by pretty much as usual. We were not disturbed last night and have heard of nothing along the line. We hear that the artillery of the reserve have harnessed at Rappahannock Station this morning and therefore presume they cannot have advanced much. I do not think any of our troops are much beyond the Rapidan yet. We hear of some 400 cattle being taken by our cavalry from some guerillas but nothing more. We have been adding to our chimneys and houses and I believe would soon have a little village erected if we knew we were to stay here. Today I took out the whole regiment to discharge their pieces which had been loaded for a week or more… We covered a stump distant about 130 yds with an old coat and fired at it, the firing was very good most of the shots striking very fairly or going into the creek beyond. I think the men were much pleased as they all could see the effect of the firing on the water; this occupied us nearly two hours of the day. In other respects everything has passed as usual, the cars running up and down the road with their guards. I sometimes write these nominal statements because I count you to keep my letters to be hereafter a sort of record of the campaign and I therefore sometimes jot down details which to you must be uninteresting. I got your letter of [21st?] inst. I know both you and uncle must have much pleasure in the hospital. Poor felloes they deserve all the attention should to them, especially those who suffer from wounds of injuries of actual service. The number of feigned ailments is great and a soldier in the field who is always looking with suspicion upon a man who merely complains has less sympathy sometimes than we perhaps ought to have. To night a cavalry scout of some 200 men is going out to see if there is any worth in the tales we have heard of assemblies of guerillas in our neighborhood which we do not expect to return until tomorrow morning. Some 400 cavalry from dismounted [Camp] have come into the woods opposite to us. These are coming and passing by us every day. Good night dear wife may God grant us his merciful protection and soon restore us to each other. Love to the darlings and dear uncle.
Your loving husband, Alexander
Citation: Alexander Biddle (1819-1899), autograph letter signed to Julia Williams Rush Biddle,25 November 1863. Rush IV:30:37