POW writing his sister about the death of his POW brother


Date Written

Oct. 22, 1864

History Referenced

Member of Series

The following was written 159 years, 1 month, 16 days ago.
It was a Saturday.

Camp Douglas Oct. 22, 1864

Dear Sister,

I wrote Pa yesterday of the death of our dear brother Gip at Rock Island on the 15th inst, after only a few days sickness of Pneumonia. Having had no intimation of his being sick, I have hardly yet been able to realize the painful fact.

We have been separated so much of the time within the last 3 years that I cannot miss his presence or feel its loss as I would have in days long gone by. But to what event can I recur in life previous to our separation with which memory of him is not connected. He is associated with nearly every recollection I am accustomed to indulge & those scenes upon which I could dwell with most pleasant emotions were those in which he was mingled.

Dear sister it is a bereavement which I know falls heavily upon us all, but to me, it is a sad one indeed. Not only is every memory embittered with a gloom of sorrow come over a once interesting past, but a vacuum is made in the structure of future hopes which seems to be filled with nothing but melancholy. Coming years, should we survive them, will doubtless wear away our sorrows to a great degree & bear them with all their connections if possible into oblivion. And how unpleasant a thought is this.

Had I never experienced similar bereavements I should say it could never be thus. But so it seems God restores the broken hearted, while they refuse to be comforted. To His wisdom, mercy, & goodness let us commit all. No human agency can await our brother, or relieve us; let us trust in God & be conformed to His will.

Dick & myself & all are well. Love to dear Pa, Sister, & the boys. Write soon to your affectionate Brother.

R. W. Taylor
Sergt. Co. E 10th Ky

Scans of Letter