Letter from Orlando L. French to Lydia French

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Letter written by Orlando L. French to his wife, Lydia French, during his service in the Civil War.

This is a scanned version of the original image in Special Collections and Archives at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.



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Head Quarters 74th Ills Vols Chattanooga Tenn Oct 3d 1863 Dearest Lydia Well my darling I believe I have nothing of more importance for this evening than writing a few words for you Above all things would it please me to behold the light of your countenance to take you in these arms to look into your eyes and talk to you even for one short hour would I think be the happiest hour of my life Little did I realize when we were together how much I should ever long to see you so true it is that we do not appreciate blessings while they are in our possession but I hope the lesson may be useful in after life

Last edit 11 months ago by LibrarianDiva
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My dream of happiness for the future is centered in a little quiet home of our own freed from the contentious and annoy-ances that usually embitter life and that have in a measure sound our own past life and some legitimate means of earning a livelihood other than by hard manual labor and my own cherished Lydia to love + protect Unambitious is it not yet will it be consummated I am pledged to a warfare with my kindness my trade is to kill - my duty to stand up bravely and offer my own life - it is no better than others - on every side they fall brave + good men - fond + loving hearts are torn + lie bleeding in agony - and possibly the loved one for whose eyes these lines are penned may next learn that the writer

Last edit 11 months ago by LibrarianDiva
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too has fallen but Lydia even it were thus and so vanish all dreams of happiness in this world it were better than submit to the rule of tyrants + unprincipled men- a national freedom purchased by a million such lives were cheaply bought and in these efforts sucess must attend us or else this happy dream of home with all its en-dearments is but a dream + can never be realized Our enemy fight with the utmost desperation they are terribly in earnest These thoughts are not called out because I am discouraged or have gloomy forebodings for I am cheerful + as happy as any one can be in the same kind of business and I am looking forward forward to the time when you will see

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me coming and with outstretched arms shall welcome me home- God speed the day when peace shall cover the land and we be restored to our family I have no news of importance to write except that our wounded that were left on the battle field are being brought in as fast as as they can - yesterday one thousand came in No demonstrations have been made on the line for several days and this Brigade has been moved back nearer town + within the inner line of retrenchments We have had a beautiful rain of 24 hours which has chaned everything finely but the nights are very coldWrite me good long letters + I will write often - while I remain ever your loving Husband Orlando L French Lieut [?] 75th Ill Vol

Last edit 11 months ago by LibrarianDiva
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