Wednesday, 10 October 2012

J. S. Walker's Thirty-fifth Letter

Camp Deas,
near Youngs Mill,
2nd Nov., 1861.

My very dear Wife:

                I have no doubt that if you have such weather as we have had for the past twenty-four hours, that my little family have frequently thought of Papa, the wind blowing and the rain pouring, and tho some of the tents leak and some blow down, mine keeps up and is very dry and very comfortable.  I returned yesterday morning after being out twenty-four hours on picket duty with my Company, sleeping and waking all night in the woods, and tho we ushered in the first winter month without a covering to our head, we all got on very well and I keep in astonishing good health, for which I cannot be too thankful to a kind Heavenly Father, but for his protection I would not be able to stand this life, and I will trust Him to the end, knowing that his Grace will be sufficient if our trust is in Him.
                We have not yet commenced winter quarters, and our tents being made of cotton osenburgs in the first instance, are getting very rotten and a stormy season will make ribbons of them.  We have no idea whether we will be kept here or taken back to Williamsburg to winter, for I think it will be too great a sacrifice to expect men to stay in the tents which will not protect them from the falling weather much less the cold.
                Sunday morning: I started this yesterday, but as it was raining all day I could not continue it.  It is now a fair, beautiful day, a day of rest, and I hope it may be of spiritual profit to us all.  May we live for God and die to live with Him, and in living for God may we live for the world, that is, its conversion from sin, and live without selfishness, covetousness, etc., and above all, content with our situation, turning to God for direction.
                I wanted to write you a long letter this morning, but must close with an earnest prayer for the Lord’s protection to you and our dear children.  Kiss them for me.
                An ambulance is about to start with sick to Williamsburg, and must close.  Love to all. Will write you again soon more at length.

                                                                Yours very affectionately,

                                                                                Jno. S. Walker

* If anyone knows what 'osenburgs' are, I'd love to know!

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