1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

This Side Of Heaven, Or Not, Women Say Farewell To Soldiers

Discussion in 'The Ladies Tea' started by JPK Huson 1863, May 18, 2017.

  1. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    12,741
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    couple 3a.JPG
    couple 3.JPG

    Too easy, seeing these photos in LoC " Union Infantry and wife ". The thing is, these photographs were generally taken, a trip purposefully made to a photographer's studio for a reason. Can you imagine? He was going to war. We hear a lot of post mortum photos. These were a kind of pre-mortum, really. What if he could not come home.

    home 2.JPG
    LoC image, idealizing what lived in tormented women's minds as they read of off battlefields


    That they had to go, in time of national crisis was clear. If women had had the comfort of support groups, as they do today, would Sullivan Ballou's word's resound throughout households across the country? And as we watched husbands and fathers march with regiments out of town limits, down to ships or on to trains, would we agree?

    sold fam 1.jpg

    " I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing — perfectly willing — to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt "

    sold fam5 mom.jpg
    Their little fingers are interlocked. She looks haunted.


    Sullivan, we know did not come home. These moments of goodbye are haunting. That they were long we also know. A man would have enlisted or been drafted. From there the process took time. For the purposes of this thread I decided not to get into those. It is the wrenching away, yes, repeated through history but this is this war, the topic. Sullivan's letter gets to us, I think because we imagine his words repeated through image after image Brady and others gave us through those awful years. The Confederate soldier lying in the Sunken Road- his wife's last wave before turning to go back into her house.

    sold fam 4.jpg

    soldiers wife sb2.jpg

    leave.JPG
    Envelopes documented leave takings, making letters tougher

    sold wife 2.JPG

    sw9.jpg
    It's hard looking at wives expressions, isn't it? In an era a little famous for expressionless photographs, these are an exception

    sw8.jpg

    sw16.jpg

    leave 1861 troops 5.jpg
    Frank Leslie's Illustrated paper caught how massive an undertaking each family was swept into. Gosh.

    sw20.jpg
    In my head, all these nameless couples reunited. And maybe they did. What a uncertain, terrifying future, at each one's doorway.


    sw27.jpg
    Smitten by this couple.


    I'm sorry to make such shameless use of the Ballou's marriage. So many of them went into the war it is difficult not imagining Sullivan's words hovering over all the great battles, into prison camps, isolated pickets, ships and tents and down the long years, finally buried or hopefully, home.


    sw5.jpg

    " Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me 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 unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field. "




     

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,296
    Beautiful images, as always @JPK Huson 1863 . So many of the wives look stricken, and for good reason. The last photograph is the one that grips me...she looks so strong and determined, like nothing could shake her...makes me wonder how she came out at the other end of the war, and her husband, too. I also love the one of the wife sitting on her husband's knee. So sweet. I recently acquired this print which I am hoping to frame in the coming days:

    the farewell.jpeg It's called "The Farewell" by Don Stivers.
     
  4. kbear

    kbear Private

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    185
    Powerful - thank you.
     
    JPK Huson 1863 likes this.
  5. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,296
    18086ececd2e6a2fc78bff7c512d3db6.jpg Here's another one I love :smile:
     
  6. Jimklag

    Jimklag 2nd Lieutenant Silver Patron

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Chicagoland, Land of Lincoln
    Very powerful images, @JPK Huson 1863. I know in your mind's eye you see them all reunited, but in reality, I wonder how many were separated by death.
     
  7. captaindrew

    captaindrew Corporal

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    West Palm Beach Florida
    Great images and timeless thoughts that could be shared with todays heroes being sent into harms way.
     
  8. Blessmag

    Blessmag Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    5,505
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Photo above the envelope:
    "I will not be moved, go ahead get yourself killed" or some such
     
    JPK Huson 1863 likes this.
  9. 16thVA

    16thVA First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,139
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Different war, but it reminded me of this Youtube video.

     
  10. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 Sergeant Major Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    May 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,874
    Location:
    Upstate N.Y.
    Their stark facial expressions tell what their hearts feel. Post needs 'Ashokan Farewell" playing in background and a box of tissues.
     
  11. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,296
    Those sentiments will never change, I'm sure.
     
    16thVA likes this.
  12. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,296
    Just realized my guy isn't in uniform, but it's the same era and similar theme...lovers being photographed together.
     
    Eleanor Rose likes this.
  13. Eleanor Rose

    Eleanor Rose Sergeant

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    891
    Location:
    central NC
    Here is a story with a happy ending for @JPK Huson 1863 and all the rest of us that like to think our unidentified CW lovers lived happily ever after.

    Doctor Tarbell (given name, not job title) and Mary Lucy Conant became childhood sweethearts while attending school at Groton Academy in Groton, NY. They maintained a steady correspondence during Doctor’s service in the Civil War.

    Doctor was captured in Winchester, Virginia. His family and sweetheart, Mary, feared he was killed. They learned he had survived when a telegraph arrived informing them of his release from Libby Prison. Following his parole in February 1865, Doctor was given a 30 day leave during which he returned to Peruville, NY, to wed Mary Conant.

    Soon after the wedding, Doctor returned to his unit and served for the remainder of the war. He was eventually promoted to Brevet Major. After the war ended, he returned to Ithaca and was elected Tompkins County Clerk. Doctor became a successful local entrepreneur and worked in the life insurance business.

    Doctor and Mary Tarbell, taken between 1861-1865
    Tarbells1.jpg

    Doctor and Mary Tarbell with their children in about 1873
    Tarbels2.jpg


    A letter from Doctor to Mary a few months after their wedding
    Letter.jpg

    All images courtesy of The History Center in Tompkins County - Tarbell story shared on New York History Blog
     
  14. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    12,741
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania

    Oh Goodness, that would finish me off! A puddle! I do understand women knew the stakes. Still. as in all wars, this was the person with whom one shared the night watches, you know? There was no army without them and first, these men walked from thresholds one by one.

    Add that music and I'm going back to bed. :angel:
     
    JOHN42768 likes this.
  15. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    12,741
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania

    OH my. Yes, it's perfect, thank you. We can see our families so much more closely from that war- I can barely watch those troop trains pulling away. It got weirder, later- I'm just not sure these haunted images evoke as much compassion through Vietnam and currently. That is in no way political. I'm referring to how timeless they are, , and how unchanged the emotion. And they're out there saying goodbye exactly as they were in these American images of 150 years ago.
     
    16thVA and Cavalry Charger like this.
  16. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    12,741
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania

    Oh dear. Guessing a few, I know! We've watched Big Bang not without gaining something- Shroedinger's Cat seems to apply. Art majors rarely have useful topics slipped into the curriculum, thank goodness for Sheldon Cooper. :nerd: Also seems to me a law useful to optimists across the board and those of us unprepared to deal with reality. :angel:
     
    Jimklag likes this.
  17. Seduzal

    Seduzal 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    3,066
    Location:
    Canton, North Carolina
    What a wonderful story, yet a difficult post to comment on! Thanks for sharing.
     
  18. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    12,741
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    funeral wid2 mass produced.jpg

    These memorials, a snip from one here, were mass produced. You filled in the name! You can see the phantom army led away into an unseen distance. They could be purchased in various stores, although I'm unclear which section- next to the potatoes? There was an expectation these would be required, is the thing. Chilling, for women at home.
     
  19. LoyaltyOfDogs

    LoyaltyOfDogs Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    847
    Location:
    Gettysburg area
    In this sad scene, even the sweetheart's dog looks sorry to see her soldier leave.

    Soldier, girl and dog envelope.jpg
     
  20. Cavalry Charger

    Cavalry Charger First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,296
    I never thought about it, but I imagine quite a few pets felt the loss of their owners/masters, too. They can be very loyal, and quite lost without them. Another dimension/perspective to add to the Civil War...there are so many...
     
  21. LoyaltyOfDogs

    LoyaltyOfDogs Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    847
    Location:
    Gettysburg area
    I think today's videos of dogs greeting soldiers returning home from deployment give us a good idea of what it must have been like for dogs who missed their soldiers during the Civil War. The dogs must have been delighted if they could welcome their Civil War soldiers home again. Dogs never forget people who love them.
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Loading...

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)