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“ [113] you have not strength to walk across the room.” “No matter,” he replied, “ I will go; God will give me strength.” Fortunately the message related to some other matter.

A short time before the battle of Fredericksburg he resumed his command. Three days before that fatal battle, while riding with a friend towards Port Royal, his friend remarked: “In the seven days fight around Richmond I fought literally over my father's grave; my gun being but a few yards from it. If I should fall in this war I should prefer to fall upon such, to me, sacred ground.” Colonel Coleman replied, “If I am killed in this war I should prefer to fall here, for hard by my father lies buried.” Three days after, not far distant, he received his mortal wound.

I am permitted to make a few extracts from letters written during his services in the army, which allow us a glance into his inner life, and reveal to us a little of his pure and loving heart.

In immediate expectation of a battle near Yorktown, April 27, 1862, he thus writes:

My, Dearest Mother: I have a little time this Sabbath afternoon, and will write a few lines to tell you how strongly, at this last moment, when no one knows what an hour may bring forth, the thought of all the love and tenderness and fostering care bestowed in my childhood comes over your loving son. If I have ever caused you needless trouble, let me now ask your forgiveness. All that I am, all the happiness I have ever enjoyed, is, I believe, due to you, and from you in great measure, under Providence, comes my hope of immortal life. I thank God that I can and do love, from my heart of hearts, all who are near to me—father, mother, grandma (God bless her), brothers, sisters, wife, children, all. . . . . .

I pray and hope that I may be spared to see you all in peace and happiness again. No one can tell what his fate may be in the bloody struggle which impends, and if I fall I want you all to know how dearly I love you, and to know further that my only hope and confidence is in God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


In writing of his beloved wife, who, while visiting her sick father, had been surprised and detained within the enemy's lines,

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