Dear Daughter-I this cold blustering night (for winter is here in its pure white robe), seat myself within my cotton house (tent) beside a small stove which is stewing green wood at quite a slow rate and indeed that is much better than none-but at home I would not sit by such a fire to write you. I have never received but one letter from you-and that was written at home. I know your time is occupied with your studies and dont expect you to write verry often-although I could like verry much to hear from you every day-and I think you might write to me pretty often and not neglect your studies either. How do you like school-and your schoolmates and your teachers-or preceptress, what are you studying. You must not expect to be delighted for a time, with your new associations, and your studies for a while may seem dry & irksome but the more you learn, the more easy will it be, for you to learn and soon you will be delighted with your duties as a student. No one ever made a scholar without labouring for it. What an accomplishment for a lady to sing and play upon the piano. Fine dresses never did, nor never will make a Lady. But a mind, and heart, and hands-all nicely cultivated-constitute the real Lady. Then my beloved Daughter, let me with a Fathers affection, urge you to labour to become, an educated Lady. Dont get impatient-dont expect to learn everything in a month or a year-but be cheerful and kind to your schoolmates. Persevere-and soon you will rejoice-that you have such favourable opportunities to become educated. And O when you have got an education-then how you will rejoice and thank me for impressing these things upon you mind at the proper time. I am confident if you live you will accomplish what I verry much desire and which is expressed in the foregoing lines-then be industrious rise early in the morning and all will be pleasant and agreeable. Love God and serve him and you will be happy.
No war news here that amounts to anything. We can hear the rebels on the other side the Rappahanock playing upon Drums and brass bands. Our pickets talk across the river with theirs. We can see some of their canons and fortifications.
I have nearly recovered my usual health. I hope you are enjoying
health. When you write address me
Col. Jo Snider 7th Va Vol
2nd Corps, De, Armie
I am truly and affectionately your Father Jo. Snider