I asked him. He closed his eyes and was silent a moment; then came that passionate exclamation which I have heard so often-“ My mother!
Oh, my mother!”
And to the last, though I believe God gave him strength to trust in Christ, and willingness to die, he longed for his mother.
I had to leave him, and, not long after, he sent for me to come, that he was dying, and wanted me to sing to him. He prayed for himself in the most touching words; he confessed that he had been a wicked boy, and then, with one last message for that dear mother, turned his face to the pillow, and died.
And so, one by one, we saw them pass away, and all the little keepsakes and treasures they had loved and kept about them, laid away to be sent home to those they should never see again.
Oh, it was heart-breaking to see that!
After the “sad freight” had reached its destination, and the care and responsibility are over, true woman that she is, she breaks down, and cries over it all, but brightens up, and looking back upon it, declares: “I certainly never had so much comfort and satisfaction in any thing in all my life, and the tearful thanks of those who thought in their gratitude that they owed a great deal more to us than they did, the blessings breathed from dying lips, and the comfort it has been to friends at home to hear all about the last sad hours of those they love, and know their dying messages, all this is a rich and full and overflowing reward for any labor and for ‘any sacrifice.’
” And again, she says,
There is a soldier's song of which they are very fond, one verse of which often comes back to me: