“I shall have the satisfaction of knowing that you have laboured for the benefit of peace”
It’s all about garnering of letters and tangibility of emotions of a soldier towards their family in form of letters. This article is a tribute to all soldiers’ on the earth who fights and goes down in glory and their silence sings our national anthem.
“Silent Roars of the Great War”.
As this letter will be used only after eternal rest, it may seem somewhat morbid document, but I do not want you to peek on it in that way. I always had a feeling that our stay on earth, that thing which we call “life” is but a temporal stage in our evolution and that the cringe monosyllable “death” needs not to indicate anything to be feared. I have had my heave and must now pass on to the next stage, the wrap-up of all earthly experience. So don’t worry about me. I shall be alright.
I would like to pay laudation to the lion-heartedness which you and mother have shown, and will continue to show in these grievous times. It is easy to meet an enemy face to face and to laugh him to derision, but the unseen enemies Hardship, Anxiety and Despair are very different problem. You have held the family together as few could have done, and I take off my hat to you.
This has been indeed a fearful day, and it is by God’s kindness alone that I am here to write this. I wish that I was home today; I have got a very mean job. I daily confront the possibility of death and when I look forward to the next few months this possibility becomes a probability. Leaving you all was the hardest thing for me. Growing up hearing about your aura, dedication sincerity and inspirational grit to be the best and achieve the most always made me wish I was present witness it all. Through all that you have done in your life, you have made me the proudest son in the world and I love you so much mom.
The war is a calamity on three worlds and has caused me to cross the seas and live here. The cold is so great that it cannot be described. Thus we are sacrificed. I have neither slept by night and ease by day. In a world there could never have been such a war before, nor will there be again. It is sad that God who has so much power should have brought such a day to pass. He has given the enemies such a spirit that it cannot be described. He has made them fowls of the air, dragons of the earth and poisonous crocodiles of the sea. And he has given them such skill that, when we encounter their deceitful bayonets. How can I describe this? If God enables me to see my people again, I shall look upon it as a new life.
This is what happened to me in the battle, my ramrod is twisted from my grasp as I am about to return it to its socket after loading. I look for it behind me, and the Lieutenant passes me another, pointing to my own, which lies bent and unfit for use across the face of a dead man. A bullet enters my knapsack just under my left arm while I am taking aim. Another passes through my haversack, which hangs upon my left hip. Still another cuts both strings of my canteen, and that useful article joins the debris now thickly covering the ground. Having lost all natural feeling I laugh at these mishaps as though they were huge jokes, and remark to my nearest neighbour that I shall soon be relieved of all my trappings. A man but a few paces from me are struck squarely in the face by a solid shot. Fragments of the poor fellow’s head came crashing into my face and fill me with disgust. I grumble about it as though it was something that might have been avoided. At the Battle, as one of the regiments was for the second time going into the conflict, a soldier staggered. It was from no wound, but in the group of dying and dead through which they were passing, he saw his father, of another regiment, lying dead. A wounded man, who knew them both, pointed to the father’s corpse, and then upwards, saying only, ‘It is all right with him.’ Onward went the son, by his father’s corpse, to do his duly in the line, which, with bayonets fixed, advanced upon the enemy. When the battle was over, he came back and with other help buried his father. From this person he took the only thing he had a Bible, given to the father years before, when he was an apprentice. It was no longer alone the boom of the batteries, but a rattle of musketry–at first like pattering drops upon a roof; then a roll, crash, roar, and rush, like a mighty ocean billow upon the shore, chafing the pebbles, wave on wave, with deep and heavy explosions of the batteries, like the crashing of the thunderbolts. Sometimes a shell would burst just over our heads, scattering the fragments among us. The days after the battle are a thousand times worse than the day of the battle – and the physical pain is not the greatest pain suffered. The dead appear sickening but they suffer no pain. But the poor wounded mutilated soldiers that yet have life and sensation make a most horrid picture.
I have been inquiring and hunting for my other comrade ever since he was lost. I can hear nothing from him. I feel that he was slain although I cannot give up on him yet. There is some chance for him to be alive. He may have been badly wounded and still in the hands of the enemy. There has been some of my boys sent back to the states that I thought was killed. They saw nothing of him but say he may be there somewhere as our boys were scattered all over. I hope he may turn up yet someday.
I dreamed of home last night. I love to dream of home it seems so much like really being there. I have got the suit that you sent me dad. They came in good time. I like them very well. I had a good pair of shoes; I was the best clothed man in the regiment.
Dear Brother, it’s good to know you are ok in health and spirit. I am almost frozen lately. By the way I hope you are behaving with the girls and became matured enough to hold on to one girl. When you hold the flag-wrapped coffin of your soldier brother, crying my name. I feel your pain deep inside me; you were revolting with the pain of having lost your brother. Do you remember when we used to play hide and seek and you hide under the bed and I pretend that I can’t find you and switch off the room lights so that you come out and hug me. I want you to hug me like that now, so that i am assured that this is not real. I remember all those summer nights when we both used to talk ourselves to sleep. But brother, this time you cannot hide from me or talk to me because I am already gone, instead this time you will be called a brother of a martyr. I want you to take care of parents and I will take care of you from above. I have stopped celebrating my birthdays here because all I can remember was you giving me gifts of your benefit and not mine. I wish next time I could celebrate it with you. All I want to say that you are my good brother and brave one too and yes one more thing you are not adopted (hahaha) you were born because I wanted a brother, you are my need my want my love and my life and would do anything to protect you. I love you. If I ever live to get home, I won’t be another I can tell you, but I suppose that you are making some Chinese cuisine. Tell my friends not to cry because I am a soldier, I fight where I am told.
From Your Son
Story contains the excerpts from the book “The west point hisory of civil war”