15 Oct 1861 Salina
I received your letter a few days ago and was glad to hear that you were
all well and that you are still enjoying peace and quietness at home.
I hope and trust that you may still be permitted to pursue your peaceful
avocation and not have to take up arms to defend your own fireside. War
is bad enough when it is raging at a distance, but we know nothing of
its evil effect until it comes amongst us. The governor of Kansas has
issued a proclamation that all able bodied men over 18 years and under
45 must enroll themselves in some militia company and be ready to march
at a moment's warning with all the arms they have in their possession.
Any refusing to enroll their names are to be looked upon as Secesh [a
secessionist] and treated as such. His reason for issuing such a proclamation
was to find out how many men he could call out in case the state was invaded
which was much feared would take place a short time ago, but the union
men succeeded in driving them back so there is no danger on that score
at present. I suppose you have heard by this time that W. Bean got killed
on his way out here. It was a sad accident. It cast a gloom over the whole
of the settlers here. He was a fine young man and was very much respected
here. I was thankful that none of the other boys were on that train for
they could not have escaped without injury and very probably would have
been killed too. The boys seemed to enjoy themselves very well the time
they stayed here. We went out on a buffalo hunt with them and was out
5 days. It was the first time I had been out, so everything about buffalo
hunting was as new to me as it was to them. Tom Anderson said they were
very scared, but we saw one herd with over 5 hundred in it. The boys did
not appear to be very well pleased with the country. Their main objections
were the scarcity of timber and the distance from market. The only objections
that can be raised against the place are they are not quite as bad as
the boys thought they were. We can get fencing for $2 a hundred and that
is as cheap as it can be got anywhere. We done the first grinding yesterday
that was ever done in Saline County. We grind corn for 10 cents per bushel.
We are not quite ready to grind wheat yet but will be before long. We
have had a good deal of rain in the last two weeks. The fall wheat is
growing right ahead. The first 6 acres that Willie put in is covering
the ground all over. The 6 acres that Tom and I put in is not so early
but is plenty thick and looking first rate. I expect that by this time
the boys are home and giving you a full detail. Tell Mother the things
she sent with the boys has come on to Leavenworth and I will get them
before long. Willie had a spell of the ague but he has got over it now.
The next time you write tell me where Bryce is and to what regiment he
belongs and all you know bout him. We are all well at present. I hope
you may be enjoying the same blessing. Give my best respect to all my
friends and be sure and not forget little Johnny and Robert. No more at
present. Write soon.
From your brother Robert Muir
are all well. Tell Tom Anderson that ____________________ got up at Fort
Riley and were not accepted on account of their horses not being fit to
pass muster and that some of the boys went into the Second and the rest
are on their way home.