This is the letter I shared in my sermon today written by a major just before the Battle of Bull Run to his wife in July 1861. This letter was shared by Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott in "Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts" DVD series. This is one of the most touching letters I've ever read. Back in the day, people knew how to write.
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 the chains, to the battlefield.
The memory of all the blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crowding over me and I feel almost deep so much deep gratefulness to God that you and I have enjoyed them for so long together. And how hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of the future years when God willing we might still have lived and loved together and seen our boys grown up to honorable manhood around us.
If I do not return, if I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you.
Now when my last breath escapes me in the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and my many pains that I have surely caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have sometimes been.
But oh, Sarah, if the dead could somehow come back to this earth and flit unseen among those they love, I shall always be with you.
In the brightest days and in the darkest night. Always, always.
And when the soft breeze fans your cheek it shall be my breath. Or the cool air brushes 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.
The major who wrote this letter died in the battle later in the week.