Requests personal item be sent to Washington, staying at Pennsylvania Hotel in Washington while serving as defense witness at Col. Augustus A. Gibson’s court marshal.
Washington, D. C.
February 9, 1864
Dear [Mr.] Richards,
I have heard this night that Thompson has failed to call for the things I sent for by letter a few days ago. I am really disappointed, more, because I am in pressing need of them more now than when I wrote, as I shall explain.
I was detailed the 30th ult., for duty in the City Clerk of the Court of Inquiry, at these rooms, our Colonel (A. A. Gibson USA) being under serious charges of disrespect to Pennsylvania and her troops in the field, and the relations between him and the state are such that the Authorities will not even answer his official communications. This is the 13th day the Court has sat and the prosecution has not yet closed. I feel sorry for Col. Gibson. He has been very kind to me and was kind enough to have me detailed on this Court. I have every prospect of being permanently attached on duty which will be as good as a commission (pecuniary). I commute. $1 a day for rations, 40¢ extra pay, besides my wages as a Soldier. Should I succeed in getting permanently attached, I shall succeed for I am determined on the thing. (“Miss) Fortunes never come singly.”
I am staying at the “Pennsylvania Hotel,” Pennsylvania Avenue & 21st Street. They charge here the small item of 7 dollars per week, rather steep. I can stand it though. Uncle Sam pays his clerks here handsomely.
Now Dear [Mr.] Richards, I wish you would put up for me what I sent for, and being allowed to wear citizen clothes, which is all the go. I shall also have you to pack me them in a Box, coat, vest, and pants, also my white shirt, and a colored neck tie with my shoes and anything else needful. If you have time not to fuss about this, my friend Henry will take the burden off and see to it. Please have this done, and the box sent day after receipt of this.
Dear friend, I feel sorry to set you to such a confounded trouble, I hope yet to be able to express my gratitude in more than words.
I consider my luck good, and I expect henceforth to be master of the situation. It don’t rain but it pours. Should I succeed, what I wrote you in my last will go for naught, and no cause for regret.
Henry will be kind enough to put up in the box as follows: my coat, drab vest, pants, shirt, necktie, shoes. Charge me a couple of pocket handkerchiefs & necktie (colored) besides the other things I sent for on the 28th or 29th. Address the Box to: William B. Phillips, Pennsylvania Hotel, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. per “Adams Express.” I wish Hank will be kind enough to do this first thing.
Excuse the writing, the utensils are miserable & I have swore some. I believe the whole creation has handled this pen. My love to Mrs. Richards & Susan & Nettie and all.
Henry will please also have my best regards, and I shall write him this week: Henry ought to come down here and see the sights. I shall be in a posish to show him around. Tell him I shall expect the Box early the next week, if not this. Please advise me when you forward the Box.
My respects to Mr. Howell & Hughes,
Good Bye, Yours — William B. Phillips, Military Clerk Ph. R. S.
A. A. Gibson, USA
Col 2nd Artillery P. V.