Friday, 22 August 2008

War time love II

The last two posts seem to have struck a mutual cord.....that Sid's letter is a beautiful, pure love letter wrote under the most awful of circumstances....thanks to lucylocket who did some wonderful research, it seems that The HMS Zulu sank a month later ~ Sid's name not being on the 'deceased' list, thankfully. Lucy also researched that there are two houses in Alma Street, Shrewsbury occupied by Reids. I can only hope that they are in some way decendants of Sid and his wife.

Janel ...left this, below, as a comment. She gave me permission to copy it for you to read.


Miss Wanderlust said...
This is one of my favorite love letters ever. It was actually from the US civil war. SOrry if this is a super long comment but I knew you would love it as do I:

July 14,1861 Camp Clark, Washington DC Dear Sarah:The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. And lest I should not be able to write you again I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I am no more.I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt.Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but omnipotence can break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield. The memory of all the blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crowding over me, and I feel most deeply grateful to God and you, that I have enjoyed them for so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes and future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and see our boys grown up to honorable manhood around us.If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you, nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name...Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have sometimes been!...But, 0 Sarah, if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they love, I shall always be with you, in the brightest day and in the darkest night... always, always. And when the soft breeze fans your cheek, it shall be my breath, or the cool air your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again...

Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the 1st Battle of Bull Run.
22 August 2008 04:16


I shall not comment, as my throat has seized and I can't see for tears. x

5 comments:

Gina said...

This has prompted copious weeping - what else can one say.

ethel and edna's tearoom said...

*gulp*

Is it facing such adversity that brings out not only this amazing strength of feeling but also the incredible poetry used to express it? Just beautiful...

I'm impressed that Lucy managed to find out more about Sid. Glad that he didn't perish so I can imagine him surviving and going home.

Victoria said...

I am so choked with emotion, and partially blinded by tears. I want to comment, but I can't seem to stop crying.

All of these posts have been incredibly moving. These men, their words and the love they have felt and expressed have touched me very deeply. I shall not forget them. Thank you.

Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Another amazing letter - so beautiful and sad. Somehow Sid's still seems more moving to me - probably because it was written more recently. This is a bit like that book by Nicholas Sparks, "Message in a bottle", where he writes the most amazing letters to his dead wife - I think it is easy to forget that there are romantic and poetic men around! (no offence to the wonderful Mr Locket here!) Lucy x

Pippa said...

Wow. Beautiful.