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A Soldier and Responsible Dad
William Bradbury, a Union soldier and a devoted husband and father, had a keen interest in the affairs of his family in Illinois. His letters revealed that he was a loving ...

A Soldier and Responsible Dad

William Bradbury, a Union soldier and a devoted husband and father, had a keen interest in the affairs of his family in Illinois. His letters revealed that he was a loving and protective father and desired to remain active in parenting.

Knoxville, Tenn.

February 17, 1864

My Dear Daughter Jane:

I received your letter which you sent me last December. I mean the one in which you made the letters of the alphabet. I thought they were very well done for a little girl who had not been learning to write very long … Now I want you to try and earn the 5 cents a week by behaving prettily & keeping yourself neat and tidy about the hair and face and dress and shoes and everywhere as a young lady should do. Everybody likes to see neat and graceful little girls. You know what I mean. When I come home next fall, I shall be so pleased to find my daughter Jane not only a good girl and a good scholar (which she is now) but a nice, neat, and graceful girl, and then there is no telling what Father will think of her and do for her.

Now I tell you what you must do besides. You must do just what you know is right and what your mother and teacher tell you and never mind what any of your school-mates or anybody else says … kiss … all for me & tell Mother that you should all be vaccinated for the smallpox. Don’t lose any time.

Your affectionate father

God commands the fathers to lead by example and seek to train and nurture their children in God’s instructions. Bradbury did not shirk his fatherly duties even though he was fighting in the Civil War.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4


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