Item Description: Letter dated 16 August 1864, written by K. Johnston to his mother. He gives detailed advice about the work around their property back home.
Camp near Smithfield at
Dear Ma. Aug 16th 1864
I seat myself in my lonely tent, to drop you a short letter, according to promise + also prompted by the maternal love, that has ever, + will ever be present to you son, Dick, though it may be his doom even to be separated from those whom he loves as relatives + dear friends: but be it as it may, I am in good cause; and let not a thought of me, trouble you; for I shall be very oft to visit you, in some nine or ten months, save my destiny is otherwise cast.
I am as well pleased as any one could expect, + much better than I expected to have been. We are generally well I have had a slight cold, but I don’t mind that. John looks as well as you ever saw him. We are some thirty miles of Suffock + 6 of Smithfield + 3 of james river near Burrell’s bay. I was down on the river yesterday + saw his Yankee Vessels but was some distance from them. I can hear the roaring of cannons constant. I haven’t had a fire at the rebbells yet if I do I will saw one sure. I saw some in Rawley as I passed through.
Lieut Griffith J.L. Wright ? are many others, send their love to you + family. I + Wes speak of going to Richmond tomorrow, by way of the Steamer up James River. I don’t reckon the Yankees will molest us though we thought we will be in sight of them.
Give [tear] love to Miss Fannie + Jennie- tell them to throw off all formality + write to me; tell cousin Fannie when she + Capt. weds send me a piece of her wedding cake. Tell her I had rather the ladies of K__ + C__ would not marry until I return. A few lines beneficial to yourself relative to farming. Tell Antony to take a log to the mill + saw some slots + make two or three gates one for the lot, one for the yard + one for the big legrooms. Let Austin paint the house before fodder pulling.
At all other leasure times let the boys, get rakes + dig up the paster fence. the women can clean up the swamp in the logrounds. It is time to sow rye. have the of of the mettinghouse sown, also the orched, + lot above the house. That will be plenty. There is about 100 bushels of oats get out sell as many as you please. I engaged fifty bushels of winter oats from Bob Warriner, sow them this winter spring. I would write have the [torn] sown down + especially the slips of logrounds + the hill sides where I have corn; if I would advise you to let the big logrounds rest for a paster it will be a great one + you will have plenty of land besides. Perhaps D.H. or some one else can give you better advise than I can. But my advice is to live as easy as you can until one of your sons, can contrive for you. Send my Buck-skin gloves to me by K. H. Warriner as he will be down soon. Wes would like to have a ? John also, Have Colored cloth. Send me one large enough for Wes + myself John’s you need not have so large. send them by K.H.W.
Give my best respects to all enquiring friends. I am as ever your devoted son
I have just room to inform you that I am enjoying fine health . Give my love to Cousin Fannie + Jimmie. Tell Johnnie to write to me. J.S. Johnston