Friday, June 27, 2008

A Captured Letter. Sweet but Sensible.

Magnolia Vale.

My Own Darling Herbert:

Dearest one, once more I resume my pen to transmit a few thoughts to my best loved in reply to his very kind and acceptable letter of the 7th of last month, which was this day received. I am thankfully dearest, beyond my feeble power of expression, that your precious life and health has been spared thus far, trusting in faith that you will be permitted to return to the fond passionate embraces and loving caresses of your warm hearted Amelia, to the enjoyment of what you were pleased to term her charms. I would thank you, my Herbert, for the many kind and affectionate expressions on our last evening, for the continuance of your love for one who feels deeply her unworthiness of the priceless boon. If I had language at my command sufficiently powerful to convey an idea of the intensity of the affection I bear you, I might attempt to tell you of the length, breadth, and depth of my love, but dearest, language is powerless to portray my feelings, and I must leave you to judge, darling one, of your Amelia’s affections so deep and lasting that a life’s time will not be sufficient to prove its strength.

Notwithstanding, dear Herbert, you attempt to present the situation of our beloved country in as favorable light as possible, my hopes for success are dead. I cannot in the present aspect of affairs perceive the slightest ground for hopes. If, as you say, the circumstances of our situation are flattering, why is it that a proud and exultant enemy is permitted to occupy the heart of our territory? Why has he been allowed to sweep our commerce from our Rivers, to blockade our seaports till every article of comfort or necessity which we do not produce has become a novelty purchasable only at fabulous prices? Why has he been allowed to sit down quietly and undisturbed in our fairest cities converting the palatial residences of the noblest of our land into Hospitals for the reception of his low and vulgar soldiery? The truth, dear Herbert, though humiliating, is apparent; our means are inadequate for the performance of the task we have undertaken, a task which time and experience has proved our inability to perform and every day while it reduces our strength, increases that of the enemy. If such is not the case why do foreign nations who sympathize naturally in instinctively with us, hesitate to acknowledge our independence. Is it for any other reason than because they see our situation in the true light and know that we shall not succeed? You will not, dear Herbert, change your Amelia with disloyalty, or want of heart in the good cause. Dear Herbert, you know that I have sacrificed too much to subject myself to such imputations; you know that the material aid I have furnished and the losses I have sustained. You know that when the war commence I rejoiced in a fond father and two loving brothers, high minded, chivalrous, and magnanimous gentlemen, the very soul of honor, as true knights as ever laid a lance * * * * * rest in defense of insulted virtue. Where are they now? Alas! The victims, and to me the sad evidence of the irresistible power of the government we have attempted to overthrow. I know that I am but a woman, and that my opinion on affairs of state are of but little worth, nevertheless, dearest Herbert, I will appeal to you to hear my request. Resign your commission, return home and enjoy the charms of your own Amelia, whose life is bound up in her adored Herbert. Now please don’t refuse me, my precious one; you know that I am alone in the world, and oh! How lonesome. Come back while there is hope of appeasing the terrible power you have defied, come while the day of probation lasts, or I shall die. Do come home. You are exempt under the negro act from conscription, and if you will can return and enjoy the delights of home. I have enough to support us in affluence and luxury. Come, then and for time and eternity you shall have the undivided affections of your


Co. D 5th Regt, Georgia Cav.
To Lieut. H. M. Preston

– Published in The Union Sentinel, Osceola, Iowa, January 30, 1864

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