More Love Stories from the War Between the States

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SWMODave

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cw valentine 2.jpg

Courtesy Kansas State Historical Society
Love Story #1
In 1864 and 1865 the Macon, Ga., City Hall and the old market house were used as a hospital for wounded and sick Confederate soldiers. The ladies of the town constituted themselves nurses, and perhaps in no other hospital in the Confederacy did the patients fare so well. One day a lady went to the hospital to visit "her soldier." She was accompanied by a very handsome married lady, a refugee from New Orleans. When they reached the cot upon which the soldier lay writhing with pain, caused by the recent amputation of his left arm, they ministered to his wants and then sat by and cheered him with gentle words of comfort. As they were leaving the soldier requested the New Orleans lady to give him a small Confederate flag which she wore upon her breast. She gave him the flag, first writing her name on the white bar.

The soldier recovered, the war ended, and he returned to his home in Alabama. As something not to be forgotten, it should be mentioned that at the time he was in the hospital he was unmarried, and continued so after the war. In 1885 the soldier had occasion to visit New Orleans. He remembered the lady that gave him the flag, and made inquiries about her. He discovered that her husband died soon after the war, and that she, a widow, was still living in New Orleans. He called on her, then called again; in fact he called many times.

A few days ago there was a wedding in New Orleans, in which he and the lady figured as principals.

Campfire Sketches and Battlefield

Love Story #2
On August 22, 1862, quite a sharp artillery fight took place at Freeman's ford, with some loss to both sides. The Federal batteries succeeded in throwing a shell into the head of Elwell’s column just after it had passed Gaines’ barn, and this shell killed two men and wounded sixteen , One of the wounded I dressed and left with little hope of ever seeing him alive again. He had three holes in his right side, a portion of the liver had been torn out and one of his ribs had been broken. Besides all these wounds, the cartridge box he wore had exploded and made a large bruised and burned place on his back. His clothing was torn to shreds.

I did my best to dress his wounds and laid him tenderly under the shade of a dogwood tree by the roadside, as I believed, to die. But he did not die; he fell into the hands of some noble women, got well and went to the front again. When the war was ended he returned and married his nurse—a noble girl, who had watched and tended him through his terrible sufferings.

Campfire Sketches and Battlefield

(and a reminder that war is a lover of no person)

Tragic Love Story #3

After the first attack upon Vicksburg, in June, 1862, the Rebels strengthened the approaches in the rear of the city. They threw up, defensive works on the line of bluffs facing the Yazoo, and erected a strong fortification to prevent our boats ascending that stream. Just before General Sherman commenced his assault, the gun-boat Benton, aided by another iron-clad, attempted to silence the batteries at Haines's Bluff, but was unsuccessful. Her sides were perforated by the Rebel projectiles, and she withdrew from the attack in a disabled condition.

Captain Gwin, her commander, was mortally wounded early in the fight. Captain Gwin was married but a few weeks before this occurrence. His young wife was on her way from the East to visit him, and was met at Cairo with the news of his death.

Campfire and Cottonfields
 

DBF

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Another “love story” from Vicksburg - John Rawlins (General Grant’s aide) met a 22 year old (almost 23 year old) Connecticut lady that had been sent to Vicksburg to serve as a governess. After the surrender, she was appointed by the Lum family as the go-between between the family and would request from Union officers for supplies and good’s.

Lieutenant Colonel Rawlins was upset at seeing this young lady being escorted by “United States soldiers wearing the United States uniforms” actin as coachmen for “rebel” women.

He soon discovered she was a “northern” woman and on December 23, 1863 - they would marry.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/to-emma-with-love.156956/
 

SWMODave

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We can talk to the sweet creatures only through the dear letters exchanged; but a love letter brings a very bright smile to a warrior's face, and the sunshine that prevails in camp after the reading of the mail from home, is quite noticeable.

Dear girls, do not stop writing ; write letters that are still longer, for they are the sweetest of war's amenities, and are the only medicine that has kept life in the veins of many a homesick soldier. When the mail comes I cannot help wishing everybody may get a letter ; but alas ! some must miss hearing their names read, and oh ! the sadness that creeps over them when the last name has been called and the last letter handed out to some one else. They are sadder than if wounded by a bullet. If wounded, a surgeon may prescribe; but what prescription for the failure of a letter from home? Our mail is by no means daily, and if it comes at all, its favors are few and far between. Indeed, each time it comes we get to feeling as if it may never come again. And so it may prove, in fact. The disappointed one carries his strangled hope into the next day's fight, falls, and dies, perhaps, from some wound that otherwise might prove slight, for his heart is broken.

A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg: From the Diary of Osborn H Oldroyd
 
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SWMODave

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On August 1, 1861, 22 year old John Shafer Wilson, left his home in Iowa, crossed the border into Missouri, and joined the 21st​ Missouri Infantry in Memphis, Missouri. It would not be the first time a Memphis would become a life changing town in his life. According to a family genealogist, it would be the last time he ever saw his home state of Iowa.

We have no letters from John so we know little about his years in the 21st​, but we do know he was hospitalized in Memphis in January 1864, for smallpox. One of the nurses at that hospital was the widow of a 6th​ Tennessee Cavalry soldier by the name of John Thomas Reeves. Her name was Delila Christine Bonee Reaves and she had one son Steven Alexander “Alex”, born in August 1863.

Apparently sparks flew between the two, because on June 19, 1864, Confederate widow Delila and Union soldier John were married, in the home of the parents of Delila’s first husband.

John left the Army in December of 1864, and the two would spend the remainder of their lives together in Hardeman County, Tennessee, raising two children; one of their own, Cornelius “Neal”, born in 1869, and adopting a 2 year old orphan girl in 1880, by the name of Sarah Ida Robinson Wilson.

After living quiet lives together, John would die in 1905, and be buried in a family plot. Three years later, Delila would join them. In 1910, their oldest son would also be interred there. With no money for grave stones, the sites went unmarked, and most remain so to this day.

However, in 2001, John’s site was marked with a Union veteran’s stone and in November 2001, representatives from the Sons of Union Veterans, Sultana Camp #1, Daughters of Union Veterans, Mary Bickerdyke Camp #2, SCV, and VFW, joined family descendants to dedicate the memorial stone.

In the middle if a war, that had cost one his health, and one her husband, two people would find a love that lasted the rest of their lives.

Source
 

SWMODave

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It seems an age, my darling, since we rode away, leaving you and Mrs. Ransom' standing in that wonderful grove of maiden trees. I veil the annoying, disappointing scenes since then and see again the beautiful picture of my own bride, clothed in white, in the greenery with the "grandfather squirrels" playing all around her, climbing over her and eating from her dainty, graceful hands. "Mine—mine—all my own!" I said, invoking our Father's care of you. Oh, my love, all my happiness is in your hands, and as you love me, guard your precious self from all harm. I have you on my heart all the day.

The Heart of a Soldier: As Revealed in the Intimate Letters of Genl George Pickett
 
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