Wednesday, 9 February 2011

John Stewart Walker's Ninth Letter

14th June 1861

My very dear Wife:

I wrote you a short letter by Bro. Bennett since the memorable fight of the 10th. There were 200 of the enemy at least killed and wounded, and a deserter from their camp reports today that there were 400 missing at roll call next morning. They, the enemy, were 5000 strong, we but 1200. We marched today from Yorktown between 10½ o’clock and 5 through a hot sun and deep sand road, but are now so accustomed to long marches, this last being 15 miles, that we don’t mind it and feel fresh this evening and may have to march again.
                I am now writing in my tent, which is a great comfort. I saw a sweet little girl, the first child I have seen for a fortnight, on the road as we marched, and she said “There goes Pappy”, and I could not help clasping the child, she reminded me of our dear little angel, Amanda*.
                My health is excellent, never better in my life, and I think better than it has been for years. I think it probable we will be sent from here to Grove Warf on James River to fortify and defend it against any approach of the enemy. I am satisfied to leave all my movements in the hands of the Lord, knowing that he can direct not only the wills of my superiors, but hold in his hands the storms as well as the issues of life and death, and believe that our cause is His. I only write to report my very good health, as I have the opportunity to send it up.  Kiss the dear children, who with Mother I would like to see, but in these times my post is at the head of my command, and I must forego the pleasure until a more favourable opportunity offers. And now, my dear wife, commending you to the cares of that good Heavenly Father who has so long been our best friend, and you to keep close to the cross of our Saviour and find the vacuum made by my absence filled with His Grace and that alone. I must bid you good-night again, reminding you not to give credence to rumors, but trusting the Lord rest assured that sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

                                                                Your very affectionate Husband,

                                                                                John Stewart Walker.

* I believe this to be JSW's daughter who died before the war.

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