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Sullivan Ballou Letter

sullivan ballou letter

Transcriptions were freely circulated, but no one was able to track down the original. It was written on the eve of Bull Run and Ballou would soon be dead. The man who wrote the obscure examples I had the fortune to read recently was pragmatic, obsessed with details absent in the famous letter. I know how strongly 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. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again.

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sullivan ballou letter

Some suspect Horatio Rogers Jr. How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. She later moved to New Jersey to live out her life with her son, William, and never re-married. With the identity of the beheaded body now in question, the anxious group rushed back to the gravesite. He was born on March 28, 1829, the son of Hiram and Emeline Bowen Ballou. The Rhode Island delegation gathered what remains of him they could find and took them home.


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Sullivan Ballou Letter

sullivan ballou letter

How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness … But, O Sarah! 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. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Robert Grandchamp, who writes from Jericho Center, Vt. Richardson, John Clark and Tristam Burgess of the 2nd assisted in the effort; they had also stayed behind at Sudley Church after the battle and had witnessed the burial of Major Ballou and Colonel Slocum. He sends specific messages to each of his sons.

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Sullivan Ballou's beautiful letter, and how Schumer used it

sullivan ballou letter

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. Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield. As for the article, I know that such research has to be done and sometimes it's a shame, as with the Lydia Bixby letter which a Lincoln may not have written, b most of Bixby's sons survived the war as at least one of them had deserted and another was a prisoner of war at the time the letter was written and c at least one women she knew claimed Bixby did not have 5 sons and d Bixby was apparently a Southern sympathizer and e she burned the letter. It is that second letter that is now part of the American canon. His coffin had been thrown into the creek, only to be later used in another burial. She died in 1917 and was buried next to Sullivan.

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Sullivan Ballou

sullivan ballou letter

Sarah, my love for you is deathless. Nothing that was put in at that emotional moment was even talked about before hand. Army and a member of the Rhode Island Volunteers. It was a private love token from a man who would always be young to her. And how hard it is for me to give them up, and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our boys grow up to honorable manhood around us. The letter has since become a popular reading for a variety of occasions, from weddings to funerals—and, most recently the 2017 Presidential inauguration. Sarah, do not mourn me dear; think I am gone, and wait for me, for we shall meet again.

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‘O Sarah!’ Did Sullivan Ballou’s Famed Letter Come From Another’s Pen?

sullivan ballou letter

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for me, for we shall meet again. Tell my two mothers, I call God's blessing upon them. If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night—amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours—always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. How gladly would I wash out with my tears, every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me — perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. I never knew the longing of a father for his children before.


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‘O Sarah!’ Did Sullivan Ballou’s Famed Letter Come From Another’s Pen?

sullivan ballou letter

To probe for a solid object, Greeley suggested running a saber blade deeper into the ground. Sarah, do not mourn me dear; think I am gone, and wait for me, for we shall meet again. Sarah, do not mourn me dear; think I am gone, and wait for me, for we shall meet again. Immediately following the Confederate evacuation from the Manassas area in March 1862, a contingent of Rhode Island officials, including Governor William Sprague, visited the Bull Run battlefield to exhume their fallen sons and return them to their native soil. Private Richardson, who had nursed Ballou in his last moments a week after the battle, concurred. Led to the defiled body, the party examined the remains and a tattered remnant of uniform insignia and discovered that the Confederates had mistakenly uncovered the body of Major Sullivan Ballou, not his commanding officer.

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Very Dear

sullivan ballou letter

About half his letters appear to be missing. July 14, 1861 Camp Clark, Washington My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days — perhaps tomorrow. He was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, chosen as clerk of the House and later as Speaker. But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows—when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children—is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country. Camp Clark, Washington My Very Dear Sarah, The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days — perhaps tomorrow. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. The famous letter also speaks of capitalized Omnipotence and Divine Providence, in addition to Civilization, Death, and Country; the writer of the other ones does not incline toward such capitalized abstractions, and when he does capitalize, he does so erratically and idiosyncratically e.


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‘O Sarah!’ Did Sullivan Ballou’s Famed Letter Come From Another’s Pen?

sullivan ballou letter

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 of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together and see our boys grow up to honorable manhood, around us. The letter first appeared in print in 1868 in a chapter written by Horatio Rogers Jr. Every man in this country wishes he could say those things to a woman. I know I have but few claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me, perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. Financial support for the original broadcast of The Civil War was provided by General Motors Corporation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and The John D. The morbid incident launched a congressional investigation and remains a controversy shrouded in mystery. Kinkel on projects, personal, professional or otherwise, may appear on this website.

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The Civil War Love Letter of Sullivan Ballou

sullivan ballou letter

This is his letter to his wife, Sara Hunt Shumway, later named Sara Ballou. When Sullivan Ballou got word they would march soon, he sat down and wrote his letter. I know how strongly 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. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more. Shortly after being admitted to the bar, he was elected to the , where he served as a clerk, and later as the. In his letter to his wife, Ballou attempted to crystallize the emotions he was feeling: worry, fear, guilt, sadness and, most importantly, the pull between his love for her and his sense of duty.

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