• Today's Daily Devotion
The Famous Letter of Sullivan Ballou
In July of 1861,General Irvin McDowell led his Union army of 28,452 men from Manassas, Virginia, to Bull Run Creek to meet 21,000 Confederates under General Beauregard.

The Famous Letter of Sullivan Ballou

In July of 1861,General Irvin McDowell led his Union army of 28,452 men from Manassas, Virginia, to Bull Run Creek to meet 21,000 Confederates under General Beauregard. Because of their inexperience the Union soldiers were stopped in their tracks by Stonewall Jackson’s armies. Even though the Union army was defeated, Northern patriotism still soared. Thirty-two-year-old Major Sullivan Ballou of the Second Rhode Island Volunteers wrote to his wife concerning his faith in God and his love for her. His letter stands as one of the most famous letters written during the Civil War.

Washington, D.C.,

14 July 1861

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.…

Not my will, but thine O God, be done. If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready … My dear wife … I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death—and I, suspicious that death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country and thee.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break … The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long …

One week after Ballou wrote this letter he died in battle at First Manassas. Sullivan Ballou and the apostle Paul were ready to meet the Lord. How about you?

Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready … to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Acts 21:13


Other Items In The Battlefields and Blessings Series

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