30 March 1865: “Oh Darling my heart yearns after you by day and night and if U could only look into it and see how it is filled with love”

Item Description: Letter from Edward Porter Alexander to his wife.  He writes about how much he misses her and the children.


Item Citation: Folder 22a, in the Edward Porter Alexander Papers, #7, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Camp Same Place March 30th 1865

Thursday P.M.

I wrote U last my Darling wife night before last about the letter in yesterday to Hill, and I would have written again last night but I did not get home until very late and having to get up at daylight this morning to ride across the river to Rice’s Turnout on the Railroad to meet Gen Pendleton. I was afraid of oversleeping myself if I sat up to write to you. This morning I got up at day and rode over without breakfast in a pouring rain to meet Gen. P. He did not come himself owing to affairs at Petersburg where there is considerable stir but sent one of his staff with whom I had a three hour talk on business matters and then came back and have just finished my breakfast. I wish so much Darling that U could have taken breakfast with me for I know U wd have enjoyed it mightily. Gibbes gave me a shad yesterday- a fine fat fellow and I had a piece of him and plenty of splendid cornbread and being hungry I appreciated it highly. I did want to help my Darling Little Woman, tho, to a piece of shad very, very much and wouldnt have begrudged her the whole breakfast. Oh Darling my heart yearns after you by day and night and if U could only look into it and see how it is filled with love of my own Benie I know you could but feel happy in it. I love to think too my Dearest that your heart is equally devoted to me for U have showing it not only in words but in many an hour of suffering for my sake. It is not thrown away upon an ungrateful heart Darling Wife for altho I may not be the best of husbands, I certainly love as warmly as ever one did. Oh if I could only see U and be with you to watch and comfort U in your suffering and on your sick bed I know it would be a relief to you- even if I could do no more than to hold your poor little hand. When I think of your trial I long so to be with U just to do that. I know it would link our souls to each other more closely than ever. I can love U however, Darling, as devotedly when away from from you and when with U, so take comfort from that thought wh. greatly comforts me. I long to see the children too very very much and I often try to imagine what they are doing and how they are looking. There will be a great change in them all before I see them again. You don’t know the love I bear your sweet little namesake, our eldest born, whom you brought to me at Gainesville that cold night all wrapped up in a bundle and in whom our earliest and fondest parental affections are centred. Her place in my heart is second to but one and that one is the place held by the Dear Woman whose hand I took one night long ago in a far country and told my dearest “secret” to. Oh Darling what happy hour have resulted from that night and tho. our present status seems a hard one yest when we think we can only be grateful for our lot- I took dinner- yesterday with Jennie who has returned from Petersburg. She sent U a great deal of love and sympathy. Augustin is moving Mary to Fredbg, Richd being too expensive.  Mrs. Jeff Davis and various high official ladies have gone south and I expect Lou and Sallie will start today also. I heard from Dudley yesterday or day before all right. I would have gone in to see them this afternoon but for the hard rain wh. has been falling all day. It will probably stop the operations commenced on the night. It is rumored that Sheridan has started on another raid. Last night there was a heavy cannonade at Petersburg and we could see from my tent the shells bursting in the air and the sky constantly lit by the flashes of the guns. Kiss all the dear little ones for me and give my love to all. May God ever bless and keep U all Dear wife and children and soon restore us to each other ever prays. Your loving husband.

I wrote to Aunt Susan yesterday by Nummie.

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