Letter from Thomas McKean, probably from Camp Pierpont, October 20, 1861

Oct 20th 1861

Dear Rachel- our regiment advanced to Vienna, together with McCall’s entire division. The band went with it, but it was necessary for me to go to the city to get some instruments and some new music, so I was left behind. The camp is here yet, with the usual guard. We have a rumor this morning  that our division has left for Harper’s Ferry. If so, we have  nice tramp before us to overtake them.

Tom Rodgers was not strong enough to go with them, though he is getting along very well. His appetite is better and he is getting stronger. Whistler happened to be in the city when the regiment  left and  though he  returned in  time to overtake it and started after it yet he could not get through.  Our patrol would not allow any one to cross their line and Whistler and Nate McQuillen, who started with him had to turn back.They will go with the camp probably today. When I get the chance again I will write. You need not be uneasy I shall try to dodge the bullets should we get into battle. I look for lively  times from now  till winter sets in. Though I hardly expect to see a fight till we get near Manassas. I must now close for the post boy will soon be around.  You will know  the the result of  the forward movement of the Reserve before this reaches you.GIve my love to all. Kisses to the children.

           ever yours,


P.S. Whistler wants you should send word to his  wife as his whereabouts. Tom