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|Ok this next one is from Christmas Day and December 26, 1862. It's a letter that appears in James McIvor's God Rest Ye Merry, Soldiers written by an Edward P. Norman of the 28th Alabama. He started it on December 25th and added onto the next day. I'm going to break I into two quotes, the second being the added on stuff. From pages 85 and 86:
My dear and Affectionate Wife and Little Children:
I for the last time seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know the I have heard my sentence and it is death. I am to be shot tomorrow the 26th. Dear wife and children, I see that I must die and I never on earth can meet you more, but thank God I have faith to believe will meet you in a better world....
Dear wife, I want you to get along the best you can and not grieve for me for we all have got to die sooner or later. This world is a world of trials and tribulations, our pleasures are now done on this earth but I hop we will meet in heaven where parting will be no more. Dear wife, I want you to try to raise my children right, treat them as well as you can and teach them to put their trust in God who is able to save them.... The time is fast approaching. It looks hard after going through the fatigue that I have and exposure trying to defend the rights of my country and after all I must now be put t death for going home to make some necessary preparations for my little family while others that left at the same time are not even arrested.
I have given my pocket book to James M. Tidwell with $2.25 in it to send to you and two small pieces of tobacco, my pocket knife an my clothes, all but these I have on. Give my knife to little Stephen and dear son, it's the best thing your papa ever expects to give you and I want y to keep it in remembrance of me. I want you all to be good children ad mind your mother and try to conduct yourselves here on earth so when you come to die you will be prepared to met God in peace.... Dear wife the time has arrived when I must go to the place of execution.... So good bye for awhile, E. P. Norman
What was written on the 26th was obviously written just before Norman's execution.
Staying in the same source but going from Western Theater to Eastern Theater, from Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Fredericksburg, Virginia. This next one is from a Tally Simpson of the 3rd South Carolina. The date is Christmas, 1862. Pages 24 and 25:
My dear Sister,
This is Christmas Day. The sun shines feebly through a thin cloud, the air is mild and pleasant, a gentle breeze is making music through the leaves of the lofty pines that stand near our bivouac. All I quiet and still, and that very stillness recalls some sad and painful thoughts.
This day, one year ago, how many thousand families, gay and joyous, celebrating Merry Christmas, drinking health to absent members of their family, and sending upon the wings of love and affection long, deep, and sincere wishes for their safe return to the loving ones at home, but today are clad in the deepest mourning in memory to some lost and loved member of their circle. If all the dead (those killed since the war began) could be heaped in one pile and all the wounded be gathered together in one group, the pale faces of the dead and the groans of the wounded would send such a thrill of horror trough the hearts of the originators of this war that their very souls would rack with such pain that they would prefer being dead and in torment than to stand before God with such terrible crimes blackening their characters. Add to tis the cries and wailings of the mourners--mothers and fathers weeping for their sons, sisters for their brothers, wives for their husbands, and daughters for their fathers--how deep would be the convictions of their consciences.
Yet they do not seem to think of the affliction and distress they are scattering broadcast over the land. When will this war end?