Camp Near Chub Run July 31, 1861
My Dear Niece, I’ve received your note two days ago, inquiring if I was safe, I am safe. Escaped unhurt. I wrote to you soon as I could after the battle informing you that I was well. That was the first regular letter that I wrote. My regiment was in the battle, entered the field I think about two o’clock. We had only eight men wounded from 428 carried into the action & none killed out right. Tho I have supposed until a day or two ago that no were mortally hurt. I directed my other letter to Union Mills. I suppose you have received it by now or will before this reaches you, I gave you a description of that part of the field when I was on action. I was on the right of the left wing & therefore under for the day, Gene(ral) Johnston. Two Prestons are in the field commanding regiments & I think some of my letters have gone wrong. In future write in the direction the No 28th of the regiment- 5th Brigade. with this exception as before. Please inform anyone you may see of this who writes to me. I have Sukey nothing in the world to write having given you a description of the battle in the other. You must continue to write to me without waiting for a reply. Two new difficulties have of late come in the way of writing, one is, the difficulty of getting change to pay postage. I have money enough for that but can’t get it changed & the other, is it’s so hard to get a letter mailed at Manassas. Please bear this in mind dear Sukey & write to me often. Your letters are a source of exquisite pleasure to me. You will know I need all the pleasure I can get now. Susan if I do live throughout this war I come to see you soon as I get home. The life I lead is hateful to me. Exposed to all kinds of weather bad food frequently not enough of that & etc. Do you think we will have another fight soon? You can see the papers & form some idea of the U. S. Policy. Some think we will have no other fight. I think we will have a desperate struggle but hope I am mistaken. It’s rumored here today this Brigade will be ordered thru Leesburg into Maryland. I do not believe that will be done soon but it may be true. If so the path will be dangerous one but Sue I for one do not fear to go. I can only be killed. If that should happen to me then there’s an end as far as I am concerned. I saw Billy today, he is well. I will try to get a transfer to the Howitzer battalion & if I succeed will join the battery to which he is attached. You must excuse this short letter. Kiss Aunt May and Chestnut for me. remember me to Mrs Julian. Hope to hear from you soon & will then write more but can not promise you anything interesting. Write soon.
Goodbye My own Sukey
Dr. Bruce Venter, ed, “The path will be a dangerous one…but I for one do not fear to go”: The Civil War Letters of William C. Kean, Goochland County Historical Society Magazine, Volume 43/2011, pp. 29-30
Used with permission. For purchase of this volume, contact the Goochland County Historical Society at 804-556-3966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transcription courtesy of Goochland Historical Society.
William Callis Kean on Ancestry.com