Letter from Thomas McKean, from Camp Pierpont, January 3, 1862

Camp Pierpont,
January 3rd, 1862.

Dear Rachel,

I did not go to the hospital yesterday, though I wrote to you would, it was too cold to venture out in the morning, and when it got warmer I felt so much better that I concluded to try it another day in camp. The result was that I have tried still another day, and from present appearance I will get along finely. The worst thing is I must diet myself, and you know how good I am at that. My acquaintances in the regiment keep sending me what they think are “Good things” but which would be as good as poison to me, and it requires a great deal of self denial to refuse them. I succeeded all week until this morning, a friend tempted me to eat a piece of mince pie from Mercer County. I have felt it all day and shall not soon act the fool in that way again. I think I will be ready for duty in another week. There is nothing new in camp. Our pay rolls are in the city for the department to look over and when satisfied that they are correct, they will send the paymaster out and then I think I must try for a furlough. Give my love to all, and kisses to all the pets, especially the one I have never seen. Father speaks of her as being a very knowing child. Do you think she will know me?

Ever yours,