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Date Original

1864 March 15


Letter from W. Babcock in New Orleans to Ralph Goodrich in Little Rock. Babcock tells Goodrich that examinations of the physical qualifications as an officer should not be a concern and states that Goodrich's education is an asset. If Goodrich improves a little in tactics, he could probably receive a commission and may be able to join troops at Shreveport. Babcock says that he hasn't personally taken part in the present campaign but that he finds his current situation in New Orleans to be pleasant, calling the climate delightful and stating he is in excellent health.

Biographical/Historical Note

Willoughby Babcock was a native of New York and an attorney. He and Goodrich had studied law together. Babcock later died from wounds received at the Battle of Winchester, Virginia.


[Page 1] New Orleans Mch 15th 1864
Ralph L. Goodrich Esq.
Little Rock, Ark.,
My Dear Sir:
Yours of 27th Feby
reached me yesterday.
In reply, I have to say that Ex-
aminations of the physical qualifi-
cations of officers in des Corps d'Af
rique have always heretofore
been merely nominal. There is
not even the pretense of a surgi-
cal Examination.
You can come down and enter
the Corps and try it. If you post
up a little in tactics, I do not see
how you could find to pass for
a commission in some grade, as
your Education is a great capital
I think you would be a good
[Page 2] Adjutant of a regiment to start
You may be able to join the
troops in this Department at Shreve-
port or thereabouts one of these days
\ as they are now in motion that
I do not take part in the pres-
ent campaign - at least in the
commencement of it, being left in
New Orleans, in charge of the of-
fice and affairs of the Cheif of
Cavalry of this Dept. I wished, &
do still wish to go on this cam-
paign, especially as I have never
yet campaigned any in capacity
of a staff officer, but I fear
I will not be able to get away.
Meantime, I have as pleasant
a situation as I could [illegible]
for the summer. Enough to do to keep
me out of mischief I think, &
yet I think not generally
[Page 3] a very exacting duty. I find this
climate delightful and have Excellent
health. My wife is with me and is also
Extremely well. Two or three Oswego men
are down here.
I have to close this letter in haste
to catch the mail to-day[sic]. My address
at the P.O. is "Box 644" which please
put on my letters and leave off the
name of my Regt. My office is at
156 Julia St., near Burks' Hd. Qrs.
Truly Yours,
W. Babcock

Physical Description

Letter, 3 pages, 5.25" x 8"


Civil War; Military; Military Officers; War; Correspondence

Geographical Area

Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.); New Orleans, Orleans Parrish (La.)




MS.000069, Box 1, Folder 7, Item 68


Goodrich family papers, MS.000069


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, W. Babcock to Ralph Goodrich, Goodrich family papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Letter, W. Babcock to Ralph Goodrich