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 served, as colonel)
Head Quarters 121st Reg P.V.
Camp near Belle plains Virg
February 17. 1863
Today we have a heavy snow storm yesterday after returning from Genl Doubleday’s head Qrs where I report every day this week at 9 Oclock I set to work to pitch a tent close by to our log house I had it very nicely pitched with a carpet made out of small pine boughs, a rack for saddles on one side, a table for washing and writing, and a bed made out of poles and cross pieces of pine twigs. I had it all very nicely done. During the night a heavy rain fell which changed to snow – this morning early we had the ground covered with two inches of snow as well as soaked into mud underneath. Snow still falling and made as muddy as the two combined can make it this will of course put off any possibility of movement for a week or ten days – I yesterday got a letter from Uncle which I was very glad indeed to get. I had one from you speaking of Harry’s thinking you deaf for not hearing his cough. the dear little fellow always seemed to me to have a queer fancy for connecting cause and effect. You don’t know how I admire his dear little photograph which every one who sees it thinks very pretty We are now about being formed into a New Division – Roy Stone & Coister’s Regiments will constitute one brigade – Ours the 142nd and once two regiments yet to arrive the other – the first named arrived yesterday and must be in pretty bad plight in this storm unless they are in the woods which new troops generally avoid. I am not sorry to be out of the Penn Reserve Corps – they have gone to Alexandria and I hear Heintzelman has sent one brigade out as far as Fairfax Courthouse on picket duty. We hear of some difficulty among them and I have no doubt of it for they certainly looked upon their going to Washington as the commencement of a holiday and now they are no better off than we are…
Citation: Alexander Biddle (1819-1899), autograph letters signed to Julia Williams Rush Biddle.17 February 1863. Rush IV:30:28