14 September 1863: “The letter came to your mother by flag of truce, and brought the heartrending news that another one of my children had fallen victim to this cruel war.”

Item Description: Letter, dated 14 September 1863, from William H. Battle to his son Kemp Plummer Battle, in which William discusses the death of his son, Wesley Lewis Battle.



Item Citation:  Letter dated 14 September 1863, from folder 49 in the Battle Family Papers #3223, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Item Transcription:

Chapel Hill Sept. 14th 1863

My Dear Kemp

I received your letter yesterday morning. It brought the pleasing intelligence that Patty and the children had borne the ride well, and that Raleigh was once more quiet. Along with your letter came another of a very different import. The letter came to your mother by flag of truce, and brought the heartrending news that another one of my children had fallen victim to this cruel war. You can well imagine what a terrible blow it is to us all. Your mother is nearly heartbroken, but she will bear it like a Christian as she is. Time and the consolation of religion will, I trust and believe, soften while it sanctifies the affliction, but the bright smile which in your childhood, you so often see on her face, will, I fear, never be seen there again. I send you a full copy of the letter as I know every word will be deeply interesting to you. We do not know the writer, but his letter bespeaks him a good Christian.
We shall ask Mrs. Spencer to write a suitable obituary. She loved Lewis and no doubt will do justice to the subject.

Mrs. W.H. Battle

General Hospital
Gettysburg Penn. Aug. 30th

Dear Madame

Your’s to your son is to hand. I attempt an answer which will necessarily be much abridged, but when I read our lines, I will write you a lazy letter, as I was with your son soon after he was wounded and after he was transferred to this Hospital. It is my painful duty to inform you that your dear son has been taken by our Lord Jesus Christ to himself. He died in peace Aug. 22nd, 9 o clock P.M. He had excellent attention. Miss Mary Weimar was a sister to him, and nursed him devotedly. Of her I will write more in the future. He delighted in religious services. He recvd. the communion Aug. 19th at the hand of Rev. Mr. Williams an Episcopal minister. He had no fear of death. He said just before he died “Jesus has taken all the fear of death away.” The Rev. Mr. Colton wrote to your son, who is an acquaintance concerning the Lieutenant’s death. My regards to the Judge and the family. I deeply sympathize with you. Blessed Savior give you sanctifying grace. Respectfully yours, W. Burton Owen Chaplain 17 Miss. Regt.

P.S. I have a lock of hair for you.
“My grace is sufficient for you.” Blessed words of our Savior

Best love to Patty + the children –Affectionately yours,
Will H. Battle

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