From the

Stockton Artillerists,


for the

Mexican War



White Swan Hotel

Stockton Head Quarters

Jan., Dec. 27th, 1846


Sir, agreeably to promise, I shall give you a short sketch of our doings since we left Pottsville.  We left Pottsville on Friday morning , you are acquainted with all that happened until we arrived at that place; we were escorted to the depot by the Pottsville Companie’s and Band, where a special train was in wait to convey us to the city.  It was found necessary at Pottsville to put on of our men under guard, who showed symptoms of backing-out (though one of the strongest war men we had 2 or 3 weeks ago;) but never let it be said we took one coward with us.  After due consideration the Captain generously released him from his obligation and sent him back.  We were received at the depot in Broad Street by the Washington Greys under command of Lieut. McKeen, who escorted us to the Washington Armory where we partook of a cold collation prepared for our reception.  After the collation we were marched to Head Quarters, the White Swan Hotel, Race St., kept by J. Peters, who by the way is a very gentlemanly fine fellow, who knows well how to provide for Soldiers.  On Saturnday night we received an invitaion to attend the Walnut St. Theatre, which you might swear we accepted with good will, for which we feel grateful to the knndness of managers.

          After theatre we marched to our Head Quarters and retired.  On Sabbath morning we were called together to attend church, which we did.

          We all rec’d a Bible from the agent of the Carbon County Bible Society together with other religious tracts.  We then marched to head quarters, and were dismissed to take a last fond farewell of our friends, write letters, &c, &c.  We start tomorrow at 4 o’clock P.M. via Baltimore to Pittsburg, where we expect to stay some time, how long we know not.


                                                                                      Yours, &c.,

                                                                                                J. M.


PS: The boys are all in good spirits, and anxious to be off.



A note on the writer’s identity:

          Looking through the roster of those in the Stockton Artillerists, there are two members with the initials “J. M.”  The first is James Miller, Captain of the regiment.  The other is 2nd Sergeant James McKean.  Since the writer refers to “the Captain” in the above letter, it is fairly certain the writer was McKean.  Sgt. McKean didn’t return from the war, he died at Puebla in October 1847.




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Jack Sterling

October, 2003