Tennessee Documentary History
  Multiple Collection Search     View bookbag 
your bookbag has 0 items 

Title:[Letter] 1847 Mar. 11 [to] Mrs. William R. Caswell, Russelville, Tenn. / William Richard Caswell : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Caswell, William Richard

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: March 11, 1847
Extent: 4 p
Summary:This document is a letter written by William Richard Caswell, March 11th, 1847, to his wife while on board the "St. Patrick" during the Mexican-American War. Caswell was part of the many "volunteers" from Tennessee to fight in the war.
Collection:William R. Caswell Papers
Box:MS-18, b1

Page [1]  view page image

No 36On board the Brig "St Patrick"11th March 1847
My Dear Wife,

I shall not send this letter until I shall have encountered or escaped the dangers of the expected battle at Vera Cruz; but the time has arrived for me to write you [added: a] letter, according to your injunction and my promise— It is possible this may be my last farewell—my last letter—for if I can by my best exertion reach the battle grounds in time to participate in the engagement, I will not act the cowards part —But I will not pain you by the direction of your thought, to what I know will be a melancholy subject even though the dangers may all be passed when I dispatch this letter— Let me rather turn your thoughts to the channel in which mine flow now and a greater portion of my time. It is to the period of my return— I have thought, and longed so much to be with my family again that all the wealth and honor and fame of the world could not keep me away from them any longer than the dishonor and shame of leaving the Standard of my Bounty prevents my return My calculation is still that I shall return home in April I think after the capture of Vera Cruz, the 12 months volunteers will all be discharged—because before preparations could be completed for a march to the City of Mexico, our time will be so nearly out, we would not be marched any further but discharged— besides I understand that the officers commanding Reg's [Regulars] will claim a discharge in time to reach home before or by the expiration of their terms of enlistment.

Page [2]  view page image

But as I have told you before, my calculations upon this subject are worthless, uncertainties, and do [added: you] not therefe [therefore] calculate [added: or set your mind] upon my return, with any promise to yourself of seeing me before the expiration of my term— When I will return as rapidly as I can— making no other delay than to settle my accounts with the government at Orleans & to purchase a few groceries for our family use— Perhaps I may come thro [through] Rutherford to see my mother— I refer all the descriptions with which I might fill up a long letter which of such things seen upon this voyage as are novel to me, until I see you— I have kept a brief journal which I think will entertain you— I sent copies of this journal to Crozier expecting him to publish it, but I have not seen it in his paper— and hence since I came to [unclear: Jarussico ] I have quit sending him copies of it & have taken but little pains in keeping it up—another reason for not taking more care in writing, it is that so few incidents of importance, pertaining to the movements of the company have occurred— I feel so sure of getting back home alive, that last night I sat down to make out a memorandum of such things as I proposed in my mind to purchase at Orleans on my return. In this I set down a lot of groceries— a dress for you and Eliza, an outfit for myself — &c [and et cetera]—The government owes me pay since 1st October at the rates of $116 or $118 per month—but I have borrowed $100—(50 from G. Gillespie & $50—from Garrett ) which I must repay out of my wages—I borrowed it [added: rather than draw my pay ] because they proposed lending having no uses for it. I have lent out about $40—which I shall probably loose [lose] on the greater part of it— I have sold my bay horse to Charley Stone for $65—which I expect he will not have the means of pay-

Page [3]  view page image

ing for it until he returns home— I have lent my other horse to Sam Nells who has no other[added: horse] & I have Crockett with me in good order I wrote you in my last that I weighed 147 lbs—I must (it seems to me) have fallen off some since then for I cannot perceive that I am now any larger or fatter than when I left home, and I have good health except sea sickness since I came out on the gulf. I think I look older, I am older, than when I left home, and I shall be sorry for you to perceive it when I return. I have looked at the lock of "that little boys" hair, and the picture of his hand, and thought so often of your descriptions, I think when I shake that big hand of his, I will know him—perhaps as well as I know Eliza, for I expect she has grown a great deal— I hope I shall get at Vera Cruz that letter you told me Eliza would write the next week— Give my love to Eliza, to your Ma, — and to that boy—to Ann and all the family— And my very dear wife my heart is your till death—

Your affectionat [affectionate] husband
Wm R. [William Richard] Caswell

Page [4]  view page image

Mrs. Wm R. Caswell Russelville Jefferson County Tennessee

A product of DLPS
To comment or inquire about content, contact UTK Special Collections
To report errors, contact UTK Special Collections