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[133] now give us peace. My best love to sister, Willie and the children.

Your affectionate brother,


Writing from Centreville to his mother, he says: “How much I would give to be permitted to spend the Sabbath day in Lexington. We have no house of worship here, and are thus deprived of the delights of the sanctuary. One day of sacred rest, like hundreds which have passed away, uncared for and unimproved, would be at this time a feast of fat things to my soul. We are almost entirely cut off here from the reviving influences of social worship. A prayer-meeting every night is in part a substitute. Mother, in your anxiety for my bodily comfort and welfare, I hope you will not forget my soul. The atmosphere surrounding that is as cold as that which surrounds my body. How much I wish that the power of Divine grace was more at work within me. But though cast down, I will not despair, but still trust in God.”

Of the death of a fellow-soldier, another of the “more than brave” Liberty Hall Volunteers—a native and resident of Rockbridge, he says: “You have doubtless heard before this of the death of another of our company; I refer to W. J. Thompson. His body, I suppose, passed through Lexington this morning, to reach his widowed mother to-day. He was cut down almost in a day. No one here was aware of his danger until the night before he was taken to the Junction. The next news from him told us of his death. He died of typhoid fever, rendered more incurable by some disease of the stomach. He was a professing Christian, honoring the name by a character which was above reproach, and by a conduct which evinced the sincerity of his profession. He was delirious much of the time after he became ill, but was permitted to enjoy an hour or two of consciousness a short time before he died. These hours he spent in making some necessary arrangements of a secular nature, and in reading his Bible, accompanied by audible prayer. We have therefore good grounds to hope that he has entered his home in heaven, though his remains may now cast sorrow over his home on earth. He is the tenth of our company who has fallen. Surely the hand of the Lord is heavy upon us. But how little apparent good results. I greatly fear that, as His chastisements have not softened our hearts and thus been made a savor of life unto life, ”

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