Letter from Cruikshank, Robert

Soldier: Cruikshank, Robert
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 123rd Infantry
Home State: New York
Date Written: Sunday, October 12th, 1862
Location: Camp at Pleasant Valley, MD
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Camp Life, Commanders, Eastern Theater, Family, On the March, Patriotism, Religion, Wife/Girlfriend

Dear Mary,-

I do not know as I will have time to write you much today as I feel we may have something to do today although it is the Sabbath. I do not like this Sabbath work. We do not have to drill but have to be inspected every Sabbath morning,-that is, every man's person, clothing, tent, gun and accoutrements must be looked to and kept clean. This is necessary for the health of the men and to keep everything in order. I think over the times that I have spent Sabbath mornings with you and Ella preparing for church and hope the time will soon come when I can enjoy them over again. This work must be done and I am as able to help perform it as any as I am well and can endure more fatigue than some that are stronger. While I am writing these lines there is a battle going on somewhere as I can hear heavy firing of cannon in the direction of Gen. McClellan's Headquarters. It commenced at daylight this morning. You requested me to write what I thought or how I felt about going into battle. This I cannot tell. If we should receive orders to go into battle, with God's help I am prepared to do my duty: I put my trust in Him and hope that peace will soon be restored. There is one thing that cheers a soldier when marching through a free country and that is the waving of handkerchiefs and the cheering from the lowest hut to the largest mansion; from the two-year-old to the old and gray headed; all are waving us on to protect those rights that are being trampled under foot. Am I penning too much patriotism? I feel it more and more every day. I have learned the cause of the firing I have spoken about. General Lee with his forces were trying to cross into Maryland at or near the Point of Rocks but McClellan drove them back. He was trying to get into Maryland to live on the country. We were not called on to take part in the fight this time.

Your loving husband,

R. Cruikshank.