Letter from Thomas McKean, from Camp Pierpont, October 21, 1861

Camp Pierpont
Oct  21 1861

Dear Rachel- We are in Camp Pierpont again. Saturday McCall’s division moved up he road toward Leeburg some six or eight miles. I did not go with them but went out yesterday. No enemy appearing and having found out that  move were within many miles, our division retraced its steps today to its old camp. We are  still under  marching orders with two days rations in our haversacks. We may start tonight. I feel pretty tired but probably not more so than most of the men. I think our movement on Saturday was to divert the attention of General Lee so  that Bank’s division might cross Potomac above. I do not know how far it was successful. I think the rebels are positive in their purpose not to fight us except at or near Manassas. I still think Gen. McClellan will not hazard a fight with their batteries. Whatever, he may decide upon ,it must be executed soon for in another month the weather will stop out door movements. It is said to be very bad weather here in winter- not cold but wet. We have had two frosts. I have not felt the cold yet. Yesterday I carried a knapsack and today I carried a knapsack and a musket. I carried the musket for one of our men who had been on a scout all night and was tired out. I stood it first rate. Last night I lay on a handful of hay in the open air. with a blanket round me. I got along finely only about one o’clock I got hungry, and got up and ate a hearty meal of hard crackers and  syrup. I then lay down and slept soundly till morning, and felt none the worse either for eating or sleeping out doors.  I am getting quite fat. I never felt so well in my life. If we are not too much exposed this fall, I shall be the better for my soldiering,  Cousin Will McKean was here today. His regiment is about five or six miles from us. He expects they will be sent to Kentucky soon. 

Tom Rodgers has got boarding at a private house about a mile from camp. He is getting along very well. He is boarding with a good Union Family. He will stay here till he is fit for active duty. I must close now. If we move I will write as often as I can. Love too all,

     Ever yours,