Friday, August 9, 2013

August 2, 1863

August 2, 1863

---The State Legislature of Missouri makes preparations to emancipate all slaves in the state.

---Captain Charles Francis Adams, Jr., a cavalry officer in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment, writes to his brother Henry, at the U.S. Embassy in London, remarking upon the crucial importance to soldiers of getting letters from home:

Of course I well know that writing to me now is a labor of love and a decidedly unequal bargain, for I have neither time nor conveniences to do my share in a correspondence; but on the other hand letters are more than ever before prized by me, for now they constitute absolutely my only link with the world and my own past, and moreover my only pleasure. After long marches and great exposure, when you have been forced to drag your tired body up onto your tired horse day after day; when you have been hungry, thirsty and tired, and after breakfasting before sunrise have gone supperless to sleep in a rain storm long after night; when you have gone through all that man can go through, except the worst of all sufferings — cold —then to get into camp at last and hear that a mail has come! People at home don’t know what it is. You should see the news fly round the camp and the men’s faces light up, and how duty, discipline, everything, at once gives way to the reading of the letters. It’s like fresh water in an August noon. . . .

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