Letter from Thomas McKean, from Camp Pierpont, December 31, 1861

Camp Pierpont,
Dec. 31st, 1861.

Dear Rachel – I very unexpectedly got a note from you last night, and you may be sure I was glad to get it. [We were] pleased with Col. McCalmont’s behavior. I never saw him any calmer than he was in the hottest of fire. Gen. Ord is the right mettle, too. He was everywhere.

The man we hired to play second lead in our band was to see us yesterday. He will come as soon as he can get his transfer. He thinks he will get it this week, when he comes I can get away, I believe, without trouble. As it is now, if I would leave, the band would stop, and I know it would be no use for me to ask for a furlough under such circumstances. I will come home at all events, after next pay day, which will be about the 10 th of January. You must try to get along until then without me, I know it will be a bitter disappointment to you not to have me home at the time you expected, but there are other things to be consulted besides our wishes and hopes. Tom Rodgers’ Trunk has not got to camp yet, so I have not got the pictures. He left it at browns hotel in Washington and he cannot get it brought up. He will go after it himself this week. Give my love to all, and kisses the children.

Ever yours