10 August 1862
I held off answering your last letter as long as I could waiting on Willie
to put too his hand and do it as you desired him. He promised me when
he got the letter he would do it but it seems like he can't pick up courage
enough to begin. I thought you would be weary for an answer and sit down
and do it myself. We were glad to hear that you were all in the enjoyment
of good health and that father has stood the harvest so well. I did not
expect father would have went into harvest field this year with any other
intentions but to boss round a little and see things was done up rite.
The thought often arose in my mind while toiling in the harvest field
here how much pleasanter life would be if I was situated so that I could
have seen you occasionally and known how you were getting along with your
harvest on the ole place. But we can't expect to be situated always as
we should like to be. I was glad to hear that brother Bryce was still
enjoying good health and my prayer to God is that he may still continue
to have his all protecting arm around him and shield him from every danger
and in his own good time restore him back to us in health and strength.
We was glad to see by the papers a few days ago that there has been a
more vigorous war policy inaugurated that Congress has passed laws and
President Lincoln has sanctioned them which if carried out would bring
this unholy and accursed civil war which has and is still spreading desolation
throughout the land and filling the whole land with the sound of weeping
and lamenting to the speedy termination. But the question is will it be
carried out. I hope so but I very much fear it. Had it been done at the
start we might have been enjoying peace and prosperity now, and those
we love have been at home with us following their peaceful avocations.
Well, Mother, Willie and I start batching it this coming week. We have
been engaged for the last two weeks in cutting and hauling logs for a
house, and digging a well. And a good well we have got. We had to go 23
feet deep. We have everything on the ground ready. Tomorrow we will haul
our stable down and the next day raise both the house and stable. And
the next day move in. The house goes up on my claim. The size of it is
16 by 16 covered with 5 feet boards of our own making. I shall christen
it Valley Home. I hope it may prove a pleasant and happy one. Write soon.
I will write to John and tell you ______ and crops doing. We are all well,
hoping this may find you the same.
Your affectionate son R. Muir