This was featured on Fox news a few days ago and as a result has been circulating around the internet. I was lucky enough to have it emailed to me and it literally had tears rolling down my cheeks. This is an authentic letter that was written by Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife Sarah during the Civil War. It is literally the most beautiful thing I have ever read in my life.
He starts the letter of feeling some dread and premonition that death may be around the corner for him. And he talks at great length about the conflict he has had in his head about how much he loves his wife and sons at home, but how much he loves his Country and the ideals it was founded on too. He grapples with the fact that his love for one, could cost him love for the other, and rob them of their future together and her happiness. But in the end, LIKE EVERY BRAVE SOLDIER who enters our military, he feels that it is a risk worth taking to protect his Country, and he felt a calling. You can read the entire letter here . But I am copying and pasting below the section of the letter that took my breath away and had tears rolling down my cheeks in Dunkin' Donuts this morning.
We should all aspire to love this much and BE loved this much. Enjoy. Grab a kleenex!
"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.
The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And 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 sons grow up to honorable manhood around us.
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. 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.
Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have oftentimes been!
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. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.
But, O Sarah! 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.
Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.
As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father's love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood.
Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters.
Tell my two mothers his and hers I call God's blessing upon them.
O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children."
Major Ballou died about 2 weeks after writing this letter to Sarah.