Camp Alcorn, Hopkinsville, Ky., }
January 4th, 1862. }
Miss Pattie: It is with the purest of motives that we write you these lines. We are now in the army of our country, deprived of the enjoyment of the society of loved friends at home, and the greatest satisfaction we have is in communicating with those we have left behind, in whose company we once took delight. And though our acquaintance with you is limited, yet it is nothing but truth to say that the impression you have made upon our mind to desire to place you in the catalogue of absent friends, and to communicate with you as such.
It is true that the impression you have made upon us must last while memory exists, and though we should fall before the enemies of our country amid the smoke of battle and the clangor of arms, the last recollection of our mortal existence will be of our native Southern land and the fair and beautiful ladies that inhabit the same.
Since we have left our friends and peaceful homes we have learned by experience what we knew from reason before, that is, that the soldier’s life is very hard. But who with one drop of patriotic blood in his veins could refuse to respond to the call of his invaded country? Our once happy country is now bleeding at every pore. A mighty host of vandals and infidels have seized the reins of Government and trampled under their unhallowed feet the Constitution of our fathers, and in their madness have set at defiance the holy edict of sacred write, and declare that there is a higher law that must govern the actions of the free people of America. A tyrant more odious than ever reigned in the kingdoms and empires of Europe, is now enthroned in the cerulean chair of state, and his anathematical denunciation (that the South must submit to him) has gone forth and is irrevocable. And now to carry out his nefarious designs, he has called out the largest armies ever drilled in modern times, and has sent them forth, for our subjugation and everlasting ruin as a people, and they are pouring down upon us like mighty gathering avalanches, and threatening to overwhelm us in one grand destructive wreck. Under these circumstances I would ask again, what patriotic Southern son could refuse to go and drive away the invaders of his country’s liberty? Our country called us to leave our homes to defend and preserve untarnished and untouched by the hand of the invader, her fair escutcheon. Our duty said to us, go, young soldiers, and prove yourselves to be the sons of immortal sires. Nature, with all her ten thousand tongues, seemed to say to all the brave of Southern climes, go to the field of battle and preserve for yourselves and future generations, political and religious liberty. So we have determined that come what may, weal or woe, death or prosperity, our country must be free. That the South will prevail, that her arms will prove invincible, and that the enemy will fly before them like chaff before the wind of heaven.
And in conclusion, fair Miss Cone, permit us to say that we scarcely hope that after the smoke of battle and the noise of war shall have passed away; that when peace shall have hovered over our fertile land, like ministering angels over the returning prodigal, to see you and enjoy your company and society again.
There is no rest or enjoyment for us until the land we love the most is cleared of our enemies. But our hopes and prayers now are, that the God that holds the sceptre and controls the destiny of the vast universe, will bring this war to a speedy and peaceful termination, and that we may yet live to see all our friends again in a state of happiness and prosperity; and that universal peace, like a mighty river, pure as the fountain that was opened in the House of David may spread over the plains of earth and that the rider of the white horse may again pass over this war distracted continent, followed by the Angel that has the everlasting gospel to preach to the fallen of Adam’s race.
He was wounded at Fort Donelson and died at the hospital at Mound City, Illinois, February 3d, 1862.