Monday, 10 January 2011

John Stewart Walker's Sixth Letter

Bethel Church Camp.
York County, 9th June, 1861

My very dear Wife:

                I have not written for several days, as I have been marching, camping out and so busy that I have not had time. I am very much gratified at the tents which the ladies have sent down to us by Mr. Bennett, and only regret that I have them not at present, as I am having a brush tent made hastily and cannot keep out the rain, and tho the tents are within 15 miles of us, we cannot get them, as all the transportation wagons are busy about more important matters, but I hope with experience and time that things will work better soon.
                We are within a few miles of the enemy and have been frequently called out to meet their approach, but they will come along after a while and we will give them a warm reception.
                I am very well and hope I may so continue, and hope the Lord will protect and defend my company and myself not only from the enemy but the diseases incident to camp life.
                J. Thompson Brown is now in my brush tent and says you must go and see his wife and cheer her up. He is very well and very much occupied with his command.
                Write to me at Yorktown, care of G. Gaston Otey*, but do not send me anything as it is more than probably I will never get it. I received the shirts today by one of my men.

                                                Yours very well & affectly.,

                                                                Jno. S. Walker

Kiss the dear children for me.


*After the mention of Gaston Otey in the last letter, I asked my aunt if she could identify the man. The results were more than I ever expected. She said he was probably, George Gaston Otey, brother of John Stewart Walker's wife. This seems almost confirmed as here J.S.W. has given his first initial as well. George Gaston Otey was also the founder of Otey's Battey, which served from the beginning of the war. George Gaston Otey was killed in 1862 and command of his battery passed to David Norvell Stewart, who, unless I'm mistaken is the younger brother of John Stewart. It is all very exciting stuff, but I think I had better put it aside for the moment and concentrate on my direct ancestors.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff as usual. That's great that your Aunt was able to pass along that information, hope the research continues to go well!