According to the date, this letter was written before the 17th letter. I will correct this in the final version.
King’s Mill Warf,
10th July 1861
My Very dear Wife:
I received yours and Luly’s yesterday and if you knew how much happiness your letters give you would steal a great deal of time from other duties to write. Tell Luly Papa will write to her soon. I am today very busy and cannot do it. Tell little Mary that though it thundered and rained very hard the other night that father was just as dry and comfortable as if he had been at home in his own bed.
We are here quietly awaiting the enemy and may have to remain some time. In these trying times, unless our hearts are stayed on God, we are of all men most miserable, but if we lean on him and with strong faith see his guidance and leave with him the issues of the future, we may spend our days in peace in the midst of war. We have a great work to accomplish and it must be done, and tho it may seem that the hosts of the enemy would engulf us, let us remember that the victory is not always to the strong. It will not take years, as you seem to imagine, to terminate these troubles. There is now more accomplished in a month than formerly in years, and I have a trust that the Lord will soon make fall his arm and open a way of deliverance.
We anxiously await news from the Potomac and hope that the report in yesterday’s paper that Col. Pegram’s command has been taken prisoners may prove untrue.
If you think it would be more agreeable to yourself or protection of the health of the children to go up the country, do so, and if you would like to be relieved of the house I think putting the furniture in order and storing with David or Moorman the private articles that you could easily rent out house and furniture at good price, and thus save a great deal. Just do as you please. Should you think seriously of renting out, let me know and I will try and make the necessary arrangements. I will write again soon on this subject. I am now too busy with other things.
Allan (Lyon?) will come down Saturday morning. Try and send me a little good bread by him.
Kiss the dear children and give the enclosed to my dear little Mary.
Yours very affectionately,
Jno. S. Walker
Pray for our cause that the Lord may smile through the dark cloud and tune men’s evil heart to praise him. I will if He give me strength see my native land free from (absolute?) despotism, if my life is spent to accomplish it, and count it all honor to die in the protection to my children of the rights which I believe the Lord has given me and would have me defend.