Byrns, William – April 9, 1863

Michigan Civil War Collection Rare and Notable

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Regiment: 1st Michigan Infantry Battles Mentioned: Historical Figures: Abraham Lincoln Camp near Potomac Creek, Va. April 9th, 1863 My Darling Wife, Another odd day comes & with it the inclination to write you. No letter came within the last two days. I was congratulating in my last that we had escaped the review, but we only had a postponement. It took place yesterday. It exceeded in magnitude any I have ever attended, even surpassed the Great Review near Washington more than a year since. There were four Corps in all & when I state that they will average 20,000 to a Corps you can form some idea of the tract of land covered by the troops. The joke of the matter is that the review took place back of the Lacy House & in full view of the rebel encampments. Mr. Rebel must have thought his enjoying a holiday. Today the visit of the army was reviewed – the President evidently needs to form an opinion own regarding the Army of the Potomac. He is taking time & trouble enough to have it correct. We reached the ground about 9:30 A.M. & had to remain until 1 P.M. before the President came down the lines. He rode through the lines quite fast & took up his position for the troops to “pass in review”. I don’t know how long it took them. I was a good deal cold & not very well. Our Brigade went past in good style. We came home tired. I am none the worse for the fatigue of yesterday. I’m improving all the time and perhaps as well as I have been for most of the time for the past two years. Were it not for a dull feeling a weight, I should be real well. Perhaps it’s old age or increased responsibilities. What think you? But truly darling, I am quite well & real strong. Wish that you were half so well. I have not yet seen any of those obstacles which some of our friends have fought would be in our half of life. The uncertain future seems the brighter ever the rough life I am now leading seems pleasant, knowing for a certainty that I am living for you. I can but be proud of you when you gave up many of the enjoyments of society – as of course you have done, to be mine. I do appreciate your deep earnest love & that I may prove every worthy of it, is my endeavor ever. I am sure we are much better married. We can indulge in correspondence to a degree highly improper for only engaged persons to do. By the way, do I write you often enough? You asked me if you write long enough letters, I suppose I must say yes, if there are only plenty of them. You are not bound to blush every time you hear my name. You are free from being “tired” of me. You can give me your whole life, its joys & its sorrows knowing that I have full rights to appreciation or enjoy it with you. Tell me everything of yourself. Do you not think it best for me to remain in the army? To be sure there is much of danger & of trial in this life but He who has kept me safe thus far, I am not afraid to trust. I cannot see how the rebellion is to be sustained longer than the present summer. As I feel now I am willing to stay until the 1st Sept., provided we do during that time. But if I stay so long I shall think it my duty to quit. 2 1/2 years of one’s life in active service is enough to give an ungrateful republic. Write me just how you feel on the subject. I think it will be better for me to stay if my health continues to improve. I kiss your picture very often, but I would like a better. Remember me to Carrie & write when you can. A month tonight since we were given to each other. Not a short month has it been, nor has it been an unhappy one. I have felt sad sometimes because of your illness, but glad all the time you were gaining. I think you are writing me tonight at least thinking of & praying for me. I am sure you will not say it has been a dark month, though you have been down at “deaths door” during the time. Tell me you love me I am the stronger than. Surely two are better than one & I bless the day when we two were united to be separated no more on earth. Will you visit Sarah soon? I have not heard from them since I returned. Do not fear of worrying me with your letters – though of late I have had the thought that if you read all I wrote you would scarcely recover your health. I only am happy when they come often & am in dread when the days pass & bring no word from my darling. God bless you dear Florence. Yours, Wm. Byrns