Letter from Thomas McKean, from Camp Pierpont, January 7, 1862

Camp Pierpont,
Jan. 7th, 1862.

Dear Rachel,

I am still in my quarters, in camp, and getting along, slowly but surely. I got a letter from you last night, the first I had got for three days. In the one before the last you had spoken of Sammy being unwell, and it went three days without any further news I began to feel very uneasy. Your letter of last night, however, satisfied me.

The weather is still extremely cold – regular home winter weather. The boys of the different regiments have “drawn” from the various deserted farms around here, a number of old-fashion sleds, and I have seen them busily hauling wood on all day. They run smoother than the wagons, and hauling wood seems only a frolic.

The divisions of Gen. Smith and Gen. Porter, the next two divisions south of us, are off today, on a reconnaissance in force. The first brigade of our division has also been under arms all day, ready to move to the point of danger, but no rumor, even, has reached us as to their destination, or why so powerful a reconnaissance was made. Probably we shall know tomorrow. They had no battle or we would have heard the firing.

I suppose before this you have heard Tom Rodgers’ trouble. He got drunk on new years day, and in that condition appeared on dress parade. Capt. Warner ordered him to his quarters, and he refused to go. The Capt. Preferred charges against him, and he was placed under arrest. It would have resulted in his dismissal from the service had it gone before a court marshall, but last evening Rodgers solicited an interview.

With the Captain, apologized for his language and conduct, and the Captain withdrew the charges. I am glad the matter is settled amicably.

George Graham was taken quite sick last night but is much better today. The paymaster went past us today, to pay some regiment further out. He will probably be with us on Thursday. Then for an effort to get home! Give my love to all, and kisses to the children.

Ever Yours,