Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Major Henry L. Abbott to Colonel William F. Bartlett, February 3, 1864

Near Stevensburg, Va., February 3, 1864.

My Dear Frank: — I have just heard through letters from home and by Slocum Milton of your new misfortune, though nobody can tell me how serious the paralysis is, and of your pluck and cheerfulness in standing it. Why, dear old fellow, you don't know how much we all sympathize with you, and how much we admire your resolution in bearing your sufferings. I trust the evil is not so serious as reports make it, but I know at the best it must be bad enough. It is your duty now to think only of your own case and how to alleviate it, and not fret about military matters. You have done and suffered enough, not for one man but for a hundred, and you ought to think of nothing but your own health. You know, of course, Frank, and it must be some compensation for your trials, you have won a name for capacity and gallantry and heroism, as great as any man of your age in the whole army. God knows you have deserved it, and I don't believe he will allow it to be your only reward outside of yourself. You will weather it all, so that you can enjoy as much physical comfort as of old, in the possession of your laurels. For Heaven's sake, don't be rash again in the smallest particular. I was afraid when I saw you at home this last time, you were over-tasking your strength, and you are well enough aware that it is your tendency to think too little of that body of yours, which, with all its losses, is thought very well of by your friends, if you disregard it yourself.

Of course I don't expect you to answer this; I have only written because I couldn't help expressing my sympathy in your unparalleled sufferings and fortitude. With my kind regards to your family, I am,

Your affectionate friend,
H. L. Abbott.

Nat and all the rest of the old fellows send their warmest love.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 93-4

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