Few Persons can conceive of the mental torture endured by those who have near and dear relatives in the army on receipt of the news that the regiments to which they belong have participated in the battle. We have seen the tears come into the eyes of strong men and feeble women, as they have talked to us of the terrible suspense in which they have been held; and we have received letters from both men and women, entreating us to tell them, if we know, the fate of their loved ones. We have invariably done this, though sometimes we have had to keep back a part of what we did know. We will give one letter, received three days since, though not the most recent one we have had as a sample, suppressing names, etc.
MR. SANDERS. – Dear Sir: I address you this, hoping in this way to gain some information in regard to my husband. Since the terrible battle of Pittsburg Landing I have heard nothing of him. I am almost wild with anxiety. I have seen a great many lists of the killed and wounded, but none of the Iowa troops. This suspense is dreadful. I would rather know the worst, let it be ever so bad. No, sir, for pity’s sake answer this. I felt that you would know, if it were possible for any one to know. I live in a country place, and get but little news. Please answer this as soon as possible, and you will have a grateful thanks of an almost heart-broken wife.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Thursday Morning, May 1, 1862, p. 1