Sunday, 20 March 2016

J. S. Walker Letter (3rd April 1862)

Camp August, near Lees Mill,
Postoffice Yorktown,
3d April, 1862.

My dear Wife:

                I have written to you twice since I returned to camp, but have not received a letter from you. I hope to hear soon, and that the Lord keeps you all in good health. I understand there are all sorts of startling rumors in Richmond about fighting on the Peninsular, all of which have not a bit of foundation in truth, and I doubt very much whether there will be any for some time if we wait for the enemy to attack us. I think it probable that Magruder will go down and attack the enemy as soon as he gets a force sufficient. In the meantime, I am more concerned about the reorganization of our Virginia forces.
                It requires a great deal of grace for me to see my men, who respect and are attached to me, leaving me for the artillery and Cavalry service only because it promises them some little relief from the arduous duties to which they have been subjected, and they may have the opportunity to get by home in order to report to the Company they propose to join. I have held myself above all influence with them and sympathize with them in their desire to get home and into easier service. I am determined to leave the whole matter in the hands of the Lord, only asking him to keep out of my heart any ambition, of which I see a great deal around me, and to direct my steps so that I may be useful to my country. I am willing to stay in the army for the war and am satisfied I would be most useful in the Infantry service. I could have easily raises several companies of Artillery, but do not and did not believe I would be promoting the cause by doing so, and consequently would not do it. I shall await Providential guidance and will try and submit patiently and humbly to whatever He may direct.   In the meantime, you had better get your furniture put in good order and let Coz Crenshaw have an idea that we propose selling out, that you may have a good customer.
                Kiss the dear children for father, and remember me kindly to all friends.

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