All who have gone before

War-time letters throughout our nation’s history can offer us a window into the personal sacrifices of our fighting men and women. Perhaps one of the most famous was by Major Sullivan Ballou of the Second Rhode Island Infantry, written just before the First Battle of Manassas in the Civil War.

In it, he talks of his love for his wife, Sarah, and his deep devotion to the cause for which he is fighting. He also expresses his worries and fears over the coming engagement and his sorrow that, were he not to return home, he will miss his sons growing up to “honorable manhood.”

“I have so...

 
 
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