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Regiment: 56th Ohio Infantry
Cincinnati, Ohio March 6th/65
I have just returned from a pass into the City which Ralph has so kind to procure for me
on the fourth which lasted till today at 3 o’clock P. M. but I have not saw him since he
brought the pass to me though I called at his office twice to see him but he happened to
be away both times so I reckon he thinks I am very ungrateful for not calling to see him
after he was at the trouble of going to the Generals and getting me a pass. But I reckon
that he would not if he only knew that I did call to see him but as I called in the wrong
time to see him I guess that I will not get to see him now at all again as I will likely
start for Cairo to night.
Ralph seems to enjoy himself pretty well here but I fear Emily’s companion will never be
to her what he was before this cruel war began. Though he may be as kind as ever to
her, yet there must at present be a golden link broken asunder which once
made them happy and content but now their pleasure must differ. Ralph said that he
would likely get a detail for me to stay in the office with him but I do not think he can, but
I guess you know the likelihood of that.
Well, Mary, I will quit writing about Ralph, for fear I might say something I ought not to
say about one that has been so kind to me. I hope to repay him some day when peace
once more resumes her seat in our fair country, though that may be far yet two more
years will soon be gone if life and health is only spared. I will do what I can, Dear Mary,
for both but I will not promise to bring either back. As I have the promise of
neither from one day to the other from him who carries the lives of all his creatures in
his hands but who does not even allow the sparrow to fall to the ground without his
care. Pray Dear Mary that I may be worthy of his care. I mean to try to be for I know the
dangers to which I must be exposed. I know that not half that have to brave them for
two years will ever see home of friends but some must brave those dangers and I
reckon I have just as good a right to do it as any one though I might have been clear of
it had I not been so foolish as to give those unscrupulous officers a hold on me which
they will use to their utmost.
Well Dear Mary I will try to endure it without murmuring though it kills me. I could bear
my error if I was the only one who felt it but I know Dear Mary that it has carried sorrow
to to you. Oh! that it would never cost you another hour of sorrow, but Mary I do not ever
want to return to you again unless I can bring joy instead of grief so that I may
compensate you some for the true love you have ever borne for me.
Today has been a fine day here and things look well out on the hills back of the town but
the Town looks a little gloomy from the fog of coal smoke that hangs over it. The folks
that live on Front street have things handy to day as they can take freight into the
second story of the boats and there is no need of a well as there is plenty of water in the
house without going after it. My health is good at present and I hope yours is also with
pleasant time. I am spending my time lazy enough as I have nothing to do, but that is
harder to me than being employed.
Well Dearest Mary, I guess I have wrote you enough for this time, I would like to hear
from you but cannot, so goodbye for this time Dear Mary.
Yours with Love, Will