Monday, 3 January 2011

John Stewart Walker's Fifth Letter

5th June, 1861

My dear Wife:

                I wrote you on yesterday which letter you will not receive before this.  I received the gaiters by mail. They are about one inch to small in the leg, and I will have to give them away. You can make me some two pair more and send them down by the first opportunity. Dr. Parker may go up in a day or two. If so, he can bring them down.
                As regards the servant, I want him furnished with good shoes, flannel shirts, a pair of stout pants and a blanket, and sent to me at Yorktown. If Mr. Chambers will take him to the York River R. Road, he will almost certainly find someone coming down who he can get to take charge of him and delivery him to me or Gaston Otey at this place. Bro. David can give him a pass which will ensure his coming safely.
                You had better for the future direct your letters to Capt. Jno. S. Walker, Va. Life Guard, 3rd Regiment, Va. Vol., Yorktown, and I will get it.
                There are a good many troops arriving here daily, and we are getting pretty strong. We have a good deal of rainy weather, which is hard on our pickets and guards, but it is better than dust.
                There is nothing new. Persons may volunteer to bring things down to me. If so, do not tax their kindness too much, as I can get along as well as others with what I have. You had better make me two more brown linen shirts to send down by Dr. Parker when he comes. Let them be done up, as washing is hard to get done here.
                Love to all, and kisses for the little ones,

                                                Yours very affectionately,

                                                                Jno. S. Walker


While this letter has little of interest for the war historian, it has a couple of intersting family history notes. The first is the reference to Gaston Otey. "Otey" is the maiden name of JS Walker's wife, so it is probably safe to assume that Gaston is related by marriage. JS also mentions 'Bro. David'. I have reason to believe that JS's bother Norman served in the regiment with him, but this other brother is unknown to me. I'll will have to consult with the family archivist to see what can be uncovered.

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