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 Warrenton Junction
Head Qrs 121st Regt P.V.
July 26, 1863
I sent you a short note this morning and now begin another – the regiment reduced to less than 100 muskets is on picket and I am alone in Camp –To day I received my Commission as Lieutenant Colonel of the 121st Regt PV from Harrisburgh So that if it is any satisfaction to you the title of Mrs Colonel B &c is yours. It is but little to me – it stops a gap prevents any one being put over me in the regiment and gives me relatively a higher position in the list of Corps officers nothing more. it is dated 23rd April last – I have thought it ought to have been sent forward with more alacrity but suppose they have had enough work at Harrisburgh in the last few months–To day I learnt the 59th hymn–I got two letters from you, 18th & 21st and my joy over them is inexpressible. I do so long to be with you – I dont know what is going on about us but I think the whole army is coming together here and perhaps some active operations may take place. With all the bad news Lee must be in a bad way and if he gets much further South I should think it likely his army might become broken up – Keep the papers which have any official accounts of the battles – I find that the battle of Wednesday was fought by Ewell and A P Hill – against our Corps and part of the 11th – whilst Longstreet was getting into position to face our left next day. A letter in the Richmond Despatch of July 8th published in the NYk Times on the 18th contains a reasonable account of the 1st day – it is a summary but it is exactly our idea of what they were at. To day is Monday 27th when I close my letter in Momentary expectation of marching orders. Good dear wife, God bless and preserve you and grant us a speedy restoration to each other.
Your loving husband
Citation: Alexander Biddle (1819-1899), autograph letter signed to Julia Williams Rush Biddle, 26 July 1863. Rush IV:30:33