The Thought That Counts

A Mississippi soldier’s incoherent letter to his fiancée, quoted in Bell Irvin Wiley’s The Life of Johnny Reb, 1943:

I can bare the Storms of the wintery Blast for thy sake oh Miss S.J.H be thou ever Bless as Butiful as thou art and idol to my throbbing hart oh had I the mind of the poet So that I could penetrate the verry depts of my hart but I can but express my Simple thoughts I am hear but my heart is Theire, we are in four miles of the yankees … could we not enjoy ourselves better if was at home with the girles … vainley I alas thou woulds soothe the pangs I feel, fond love betrayed what hopes I can poses Death alone my greaf may heal then farewell for ever more welth I have none they Farthers care thearefore I love one on Earth that I adore my only wealth is the love I bare then farewel perhaps for ever more never forsake me I Still will faithfull be Still on thy hand every bliss I will imploy Hence duty calls me they first my only love farewell perhaps for ever more but my hopes if far different I think will again meet if nothing happens more then I expect one thought from you would cheer my dropping mind I have more in my hart then ten thousand toungs can express if I had wings of and Eagle to the I would fly me thinks I can hear in my midnight drams thy Soft and gentle voice but alas when I awake I am in a Soldier tent

He adds, “I have nothing of importance to write you at this time but I will write soon and let you know all that happens.”