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Title:[Letter] 1846 Oct. 10 [to] Mrs. W[illia]m R. Caswell / W[illia]m R. Caswell : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Caswell, William R.
Availability:

This work is the property of the McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library, Knoxville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Manager of the McClung Historical Collection, 500 West Church Avenue, Knoxville, TN, 37902-2505. (865) 215-8801.

Date: October 10, 1846
Extent: 4p
Summary:This document is a letter written by Captain William Richard Caswell to his wife on October 10, 1846. Captain Caswell was a volunteer from Tennessee who served in the Mexican-American War. In the letter, Caswell expresses his unhappiness that his wife has not written to him in a while, in addition to his concern for her and their family's health. Caswell also discusses events going on in the war and the character of the other soldiers stationed with him. He concludes the letter by expressing his, as well as another soldier's, interest in learning to speak Spanish in order to understand what is being said around him.
Collection:William R. Caswell Papers
Box:MS-18, b1
Folder:3
Document:mc022
Keywords:




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[added: No 18]

Camargo, Mexico 10th October 1846
My Dear Wife.

Majr. [Major] Brookins Campbell , from Washington County , arrived here yesturday [yesterday] evening, direct from Tennessee , by way of Nashville - My first question to him, was to ascertain how your health was and athough [although] he could give me no direct answer to my interrogatories upon this subject, yet I derived much comfort from my cross examination of him, and Mr. Royston who came with him - They said they did not hear particularly how you was but merely that all were well - this of course was no satisfaction but they said they saw Eliza , in a carriage with Mary , returning from a visit to Ann in Knoxville , & from this I infered [inferred] your health must have materially improved, or Eliza would not have left you. - And I could only guess, whether you was at home or not - They saw my Mother at Nashville, she was on a visit to Mrs. Foster , who was very sick - My mother sent me a very fine black silk cravat, and [added: 2] pairs of Lambs - wool socks - James Nichol wrote to me, that Ma had heard from you, and that you was very well. I expect it was about such information as I received thro' [through] Majr. C. [Major Campbell] I have only received one letter from you (and that was by Lieut. [Lieutenant] Turnley ) Since I left home. I suppose my letters have been sent to San Antonio . - If I had recd. [received] them I should have had many of my anxious conjectures explained, relative to your heath [health] & comfort, relative to Eliza, to our little boy - to your Ma, & Mary, Alfred , Henry , Ann & our family, our servants, our neighbours [neighbors] - & c [et cetera] - What has become of Thos. [Thomas] M. Anderson - If he is at home - tell him to write me all the little neighbourhood [neighborhood] news - and direct his letter to " Captain Wm. R [William Richard]. Caswell " " Care of Brig. Gen. [Brigadier General] Pillow ." "[unclear: Hd Irs. ] 2nd Brigade. U.S.A [United States of America] ". " Mexico "- And so you can direct your letters; But I cannot tell where our Head Quarters may be when a letter will reach me from home, after you receive this.. I have calculated that the war would now be ended without any more fighting, but our negotiations must proceed slowly, and that therefore I shall be delayed some time yet in my return home -




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The Officers of the Army however, generally believe that the war is to be protracted - and carried on with rigor and energy - A despatch [dispatch] messenger from Washington City passed here last Thursday, on his way to Monterey , with secret orders to Genl. [General] Taylor , - I suppose I know their substance thro' [through] a letter from the President to Gen. [General] Pillow - We are looking for a reply from Genl. [General] Taylor in a few days - with Orders to Gen [General]. Patterson with Genl. [General] Pillow & his command and a considerable force, to make a pressing attack upon the enemy in another direction - And my calculation is that in about two weeks more I shall join my company at Matamoras - and proceed along the Western Coast of the Gulf - But no calculations are to be relied on, by a person who has to obey any and all orders he may receive - You know an armistice was agreed upon by Genl. [General] Taylor & [unclear: Ampudid ], that there should be a cessation of hostilities for two months - this ends on [added: or about] the 20th Novr [November]- and at the end of the Armistice, we will be ready to enter with renewed energy upon the war - Under this view of my future course, I shall not be farther north, of this, or west in this latitude, on military duty - and having nothing now to do but to await orders - I expect to take a trip of pleasure to Monterey , and to go up with a company which leaves here on day after to-morrow [tomorrow], - David Cummings is the only East Tennesseean [Tennessean] who will probably go with me - and when I get to Monterey or soon after my return (for I shall remain there but a few days) I will write to you - and if I can collect materials, with leisure to write - I will write a letter to some of our papers - which you will see ( if published) and will not be repeated in my letter to you - I have just within the last hour concluded to go to Monterey - I may meet with some obstacle [added: in contrary orders-] Balie Peyton and Genl. [General] Marshall have been expected to fight a duel here to-day [today] - as they quarrelled yesturday [yesterday] &, struck each other with their fist




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It has however been compromised & settled this evening - Mr. Royston tells me that Sam. Carter . has resigned and returned home - I am surprised at this - if you see Sam. tell him to write to me - I have interrogated Mr. R. [Mr. Royston] very closely - but I regret he could not give me any more particular news about you - Octr [October]. 12th. I have received to-day [today] a letter from Henry, which I do assure was very gratifying to me, and tell him whenever I can render him as great favor I will do so; but my letters to you must be an an answers to him, and to Eliza -This morning I was on duty in furnishing details of workmen in the Quarter Masters department, as blacksmiths - And in making up a company to visit Monterey, to start on day after to-morrow [tomorrow] morning, for you must recollect that, a small party is considered to be in danger of being cut off by Robbers, whom we generally suppose to belong to Canales band - In the afternoon, I met with a duelling party, two Texas Captains with their seconds I went out with them upon the ground - we all concluded to try and make up the difficulty - at one time we gave up the hope of a compromise, & squared ourselves to see them fire at 40 yds [yards] distant with rifles but it was finally compromised - And to gratify my curiosity, in this - I exposed myself to a thorough drenching of raine [rain] - I have no news of any change in the position or movements of the Army - The only movements now going on are heavy baggage trains, loaded with provisions, from here to Monterey, and guarded generally by some 200 Soldiers - And within the last day or two - many Texas Rangers who have been discharged, returning home [added: many] with trophies - such as Mexican Lances, swords, guns, Saddles - horses &c [et cetera] - Altho [Although] I have not recd. [received] letters - I know they have been written - you must keep up writing, for I think I shall begin to receive them soon- In the mean time. I shall write every day or two & despatch [dispatch] you a letter at least every week or two - I take more pleasure in




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writing to than any other person - Give my love to Eliza - Kiss the little boy for his father - I would say many things to Eliza but she knows I love her very much, and she is too good a girl to need any advice from me - I wish she were at school — My love to your Ma - & Henry & the rest of the family present

Your Affectionate Husband
Wm. R. [William Richard] Caswell [added: [added: [unclear: B ???? ]]
Mrs. Wm. R. [William Richard] Caswell Russelville Jefferson County Tennessee
][added: Captain Reynolds and myself occasionally call up a Mexican who may be passing - and make him to talk for us to learn the language - but we make very little progress -
Yr [Your] Husband. C. [Caswell]]



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