Letter from Thomas McKean, from Camp Pierpont, November 14, 1861

Camp Pierpont,
Nov. 14 1861

Dear Rachel

I received an unnecessarily severe letter from you yesterday evening. I have written very often – never less that twice a seek- sometimes every other day. During the past two weeks there has been such a total lack of matter to write of, and such a small probability of our being moved, that I did not think you would feel any apprehension of uneasiness in reference to me.

My absolute freedom from sickness of any kind for more than two months ought to make your mind easy in reference to my personal comfort. As to the rumors you hear of the Penna Reserve being sent on a naval expedition, I wish you would let them go in at one ear and out at the other, if you must listen to them. You may take my word for it, that McCall’s division is not going upon any naval expedition- at least not until the enemy shall have withdrawn from Virginia. It may be that all the troops sailed before this reaches you. I don’t know what troops composer it, but I do not believe we will be moved any great distance, perhaps not further than Vienna, or Fairfax Court House.

I have been very busy copying and writing music for ten days past, and it tires me considerably, so that when evening comes, I am willing to quit writing. However, if it will contribute to your happiness to hear from me every day, I will write to you every day.

I sent you a hundred dollars by Mr. Francis, of Wilmington. He said he would deliver it himself, and tell you he had seen me. I want you to pay the Commissioners the money you got from them, and such other debts as you have contracted since I left. My old debts may stand till next pay day-at least I can think of none that I want paid immediately. It maybe there are some that should be paid if any of particular merit, and small amount are presented, pay them. But I want you to keep enough to supply your own and father’s wants till next pay day.

I was very much pleased with Sammy’s letter. I cannot say he has improved much in his writing, but it is good enough for me. Let him write as often as any of you. I thank Ellie very much for her letter. I will write to her some of these days. Is G box 128 still our box at the post office?

Ed Garvin is in camp this evening. His regiment is encamped east of Washington. He looks very well. As soon as I get my my new uniform trimmed, and my “sword upon my thigh,” I will have my picture taken. There is an ambrotypist in the 6 th regiment close by us, who takes pretty good pictures. I will send you a copy. I wish you would have your own and the children pictures taken on one plate and send them to me.

The Mercer boys are all well as usual. I have nothing more to write, soli close asking your forgiveness for not writing oftener, promising that here after you shall have nothing to complain of, if the mails do not miscarry. My love to father’s people, and kisses to yourself and the children.

Yours, as ever,