After so long an absence, I thought you might desire to hear from me, and as it is a pleasure, as well as a duty, to write you, I cheerfully engaged to do so. I would have written you at an earlier date, but my duties has been incessant. Since my return, I was placed in command of the first Brigade, the day I arrived and remain in command at this time. We have been marching nearly every day, and on the night of July 31st we camped within six miles of the Rappahanoc River, about twenty miles above Falmouth. The next day August the 1st, we, that is, the 3d Division of the 2d Corps was ordered back six miles to this place, called Elktown, or Elk Run. Our duty at present is to guard about six miles of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Hope they will leave us here. Yesterday morning an old Darkie Wench, came to my quarters with eggs, and cucumbers, to trade for sugar, coffee and salt. You, no doubt will think that I was not hard to trade with-neither was I. We lived high yesterday as it was Sunday-had nice roast beef nice stewed young chick, cucumbers boiled eggs, tea, coffee, sugar, milk pickels, beans, vinegar, hot biscuits etc. We came nigh foundering but we will get over it. This town consists of one old dilapidated house, situated on Elk Run at a cross roads-there are generally an old house at the X roads in this section and they call all such places towns. This is a poor country. Pine and chinkepin bushes are the staple commodities.
My regiment will be consolidated, that is, make four companies instead of ten. This will muster out of the service, all officers over enough to command those four Cos, consequently I will be mustered out. I dont know yet what I will do, or at least dont know what I shall try to do. Perhaps try to get an appointment somewhere else. The weather is extremely hot. A little more air is blowing today. We are situated among the pine bushes and in the shade generally but the heat is verry oppressive. Should I be mustered out and not get an appointment to some other command I expect to be at home soon.
And now my beloved Daughter, I want to say to you that I only desire to live for my children and their Mother-for you I am here. I desire above every thing on earth, that my children shall be esteemed and respected as a Lady and as gentleman-and because they are-and in order to thus be respected-you must be verry careful in all you do or say-and let me say that there is nothing that is so well calculated to let a Lady down from the high position she ought to occupy as letter writing to young men. O, my Daughter, as you prize your good name beware of this practice. Dont ever begin this unlady like practice. Young men make fun and all kind of remarks about girls letters. They never can do any good but a great deal of harm. Eda you have been writing letters and I am not mistaken, all thoug you denied it to me-I verry much regret, that you have done so. Eva-as well as I love you-I must say that you will have to quit writing letters to young men-or quit school-you cant write without it comeing to my notice. I hope you will do so no more. I also hope you will consider me in the line of my duty. I know you will thank me when you get to be a woman. Address me
Col. Jo. Snider Comdg. 1st Brig
3d Divis 2d Corps A.P. Washington D. C.
Eda I am goeing to write no more about this letter writing. You are young and may think this hard but did you know how I despise the practice. You certainly would never write another letter to a young man. It is for your good-I want you to be a Lady above far above the approach of suspician.
I am dear Daughter affectionately your Father Jo. Snider