Letter from Smith, Watson B.

Soldier: Smith, Watson B.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 8th Cavalry
Home State: Michigan
Date Written: Wednesday, May 1st, 1861
Location: St. Louis
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Daily Life, Drilling, Family, Friends, Patriotism, Politics, Religion, Western Theater
Dear Father,

Yours of the 27th April enclosing a Draft for $30. came to hand yesterday as I expected to hear from Mary I delayed acknowledging it at that time.

You mistake my intentions if you think I intend giving up the profession of Law for that of arms. I look around me & see my country in danger. The head of the nation calls for help and I as a young man felt it my duty to respond if my services are needed.

Matters have taken a different turn from what I expected so that many more men offer than are needed. While this is the case, I do not propose giving up my time. As it is, I am drilling every P.M. with musket, fetting myself for action when called upon. The Union sentiment is increasing here so that the greatest danger is now over. Many think the state will seceed but I doubt it.

The clerk of the circuit court left the city some days since to take his family from danger & has not returned so I do not learn definately about that place. I am more than ever of the opinion that my best course is to go through is a course of study at a Law School & am undecided as to whether it is not best for me to go right to work to get money enough to do it.

I do not wish to determine about staying here for if the state seceeds its progress is stopped & I do not wish to determine anout any new Territory for the present war may make great changes .

If I can get a good paying place with Mr. Hill or Wareham, I think I will take it, if not, I am most determined to put my hand to anything legitimate that will turn me the most money. This state of indecision & suspense is dreadful.

I am not discouraged & will not be. I pray God I may do that which is for my best good.

Please write me as soon as you find out about either of the places you mentioned.

Give love to Mother & Howard. I write at dusk & in haste for tonight's mail.

Very affectionately, Watson

(Watson B. Smith