The Memorable 22th.May 1855 *
My Dear Father,
It was with joy I received your eagerly expected letter and right glad to find from the tone of it that you were in good health and spirits.I need hardly remind you what day this is. I am going to crack a bottle of brandy with some very few friends this evening but my thoughts will wander homewards for I know that those at home will think of me tonight and I send you a proof that I am not unmindful of your wants as long as I am here I will send to you quarterly, it may sometimes be more ..... ..... whilst I hold my present position it shall not be less. This is for March, April and May in case that I should go to the Crimea. When I bclose my accounts I will send you the residue and you may rest satisfied that I am on the credit side.
I told you in my last about the cholera. You say you are glad to hear of my getting good health, I know well you are and I am thankful to have it to say that I never enjoyed better health, not the slightest trace of my old complaint, the pain in the chest and I am begining to look strong and healthy and the sun seems to have no effect upon my skin in comparison to all here. Our draft for the Crimea left here on Friday back. They went off like true British soldiers “Brave Hearts as England’s Pride” how many of you may return, but I turned away and left them with an aching heart that I was not among the number.
If you see Sena ** tell her that I have received letters from all whom I have written to but from her. I wish you to tell her this.
I send you this by overland as I unfortunately missed the ....... mails which went this morning. You will get this long before the other vouchers arrive. Burrows ........ will cash it.
I hope that all our friends are well and healthy as I left them. Give my love to Uncle James, Aunt Elizabeth and cousins Remember me kindly to Miss Page, Mr. ........, and Annie, Mr. and Mrs Dunn and family, ........, ........ , and any one over there who cares about the Wanderer and believe me my undying love to you and that I will ever be,
Your affectionate son,
* 22th. May 1855 was his 28th birthday.
** Thomasina McFadden - his future wife
1st. July 1855
My Beloved Father,
Glorious news, I am ordered off to the Crimea. I start tomorrow and I have not volunteered. I am in good health and I need not say spirits, ere you have received this I will have fleshed my maiden sword.
I place my life in the hands of Providence therefore I am strong in the hope of returning with honour.
I cannot say much for my feelings are strong at the moment. I cannot write to Sena, tell her I am gone, I will write from the Crimea by the first mail (if I can)
Give my love to Uncle James, Aunt Elizabeth and cousins, Mr and Mrs Dunn and family, Miss Page, ...... ...... .... ..... and all other kind friends. Tell them not to forget their soldier.
My Dear Father,
and believe me to be,
Your ever affectionate son,
I sent you an order for £3-0-0 in the middle of May. You have not answered. I expected it for days, write as soon as you can. I received the papers.