Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A War-Time Love Letter

I woke up this morning from a terrible nightmare that left me shaking and crying. Perhaps that is why I teared up immediately as I read this letter from an article for my social studies class.

This letter was written by Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah one week before
the Battle at First Manassas (during the Civil War).

… I have, I know, but few and
small claims upon Divine Providence,
but something whispers to
me—perhaps it is the wafted prayer
of my little Edgar—that I shall return
to my loved ones unharmed.
If I do not, my dear Sarah, never
forget how much I love you, and
when my last breath escapes me on
the battlefield, it will whisper your
name.

Forgive my many faults, and
the many pains I have caused you.
How thoughtless and foolish I
have oftentimes been! How gladly
would I wash out with my tears every
little spot upon your happiness,
and struggle with all the misfortune
of this world, to shield you and my
children from harm. But I cannot. I
must watch you from the spirit land
and hover near you, while you buffet
the storms with your precious
little freight, and wait with sad patience
till we meet to part no more.

But, O Sarah! If the dead can
come back to this earth and flit
unseen around those they loved,
I shall always be near you; in the
garish day and in the darkest night
– amidst your happiest scenes and
gloomiest hours—always, always;
and if there be a soft breeze upon
your cheek, it shall be my breath;
or the cool air fans your throbbing
temple, it shall be my spirit passing
by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead;
think I am gone and wait for thee,
for we shall meet again….


Major Ballou died in the battle a week later.

I just had to put a copy of this somewhere where I knew it would remind me
to always express my love to those who matter most to me.

Let's all show a little love today, shall we?

5 comments:

  1. Dude, now I'm all teary eyed. What a beautiful letter and expression of love to his Sarah. Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love this letter, its just so tender. thanks for the sweet reminder.

    ReplyDelete

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