Salina Public Library Local History Collection


Thumbnail image of the 1st page   Title: Letter from Robert Muir, Jr., Salina, KS to Robert, Sr. and Jane Muir, Sparta, IL
Author: Robert Muir, Jr.
Date: June 2, 1861
Type: manuscript
Physical description: 1 sheet (4 p.) ; 7.5 x 10 in.
Notes: Letter mentions news of the Civil War and that the militia has been drilling.

View the original letter: pages 1, 2, 3, 4

Text:

2 June 1861 Salina

[Written on the top margin sideways] I send this by a young man who is going back to Chester. His name is J. J. Bean. Excuse the writing, I have a very bad pen.

Dear Parents

I received Jeany's letter last Thursday. I was glad to hear you were all well, but was surprised to hear that you had not received any letters from me for I have answered every letter with the exception of the one John sent me. Some of them ought to have arrived at their destination before the date of Jeany's letter if they had went right through. But the state the country is in at present makes it uncertain about letters going right. Mr. Phillips got home from Lawrence last night. He brought the news that the government troops had drove in the Secessionists outposts in Virginia. I hope they will be victorious in every engagement and cause the rebels to run for peace before long. I felt sorry when I received the news that you were out drilling with your musket. I know it must be pretty hard on you to be put through the drill for half a day at a time, but I suppose it is best for everyone that is able to prepare and be ready for any emergency for we know not what may take place in a few days. I do most sincerely hope you may never be called into the field. I expect times will be very hard this fall and money very scarce. You will have to do the best you can but be sure and not allow yourself to get low spirited about debt. It won't make it no less but only keeps you unhappy. You wished to know if we had been called out to drill. We were not called out but we formed a company of volunteer militia and have been drilling every Saturday afternoon. The object we had in getting up the company was for home protection principally and to be ready for any emergency. There has not been any trouble in Kansas as yet, and maybe there won't be any. Whether or not, they won't call us away from the frontier. Brother James started for Lawrence last Friday morning. He is hunting for Jones. He gets 2 dollars per day and board. He had his crops all in before he started. He will get back in time to attend to his crops and give them a pretty good chance. He will get about 30 dollars for the trip. That will go a good ways in getting things they need. Abbey is getting pretty well again. She was at preaching today for the first time since I came here. She is not quite stout enough yet to do all the housework but will be in short time if she holds on. I think she will make a first rate wife to James. She appears to be very good natured and I think she is both careful and clever. As far as I have seen yet they get along right well. I have a pretty good chance of knowing for I am at the house about every night. Willie had a shake of the ague twice but he has got it broke now. I think he is not going to have any more of it at last. It's past the time it ought to have come back and he is still feeling quite well. He has got over 20 acres of corn planted. It is up and looking well. His horses has got pretty poor but the hardest of his work is over now. They will soon mend up on the grass that grows here. They can get all they can eat and never go a quarter of a mile from town. I am still working for Mr. Phillips and expect to be all summer. I have only been getting 15 dollars a month as yet but I expect to get more after this. We get first rate board, more of a variety than I was used with[sic] at home. We have an apartment to ourselves upstairs with a wash basin and soap and towel, looking glass and comb, and every accommodation we could wish for. I intend getting some breaking done on my claim this summer. Tom Anderson is going to hunt buffalo this summer. The crops are looking uncommon well. We are all well at present. I hope this may find you enjoying the same blessing. Give my best respects to all my brothers and sisters.
Mother write soon.

Your affectionate son R. Muir




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