Freedom Is Not Free – Earn It

Carrollton, Near New Orleans, LA – September 26, 1863

Friend Charlotte,

Your favor of August 2nd which came to hand during my absence has been handed to me and I shall proceed to answer your questions with pleasure.

The “Confederate Script” of which you spoke is worth nothing here – is not passable.

The letter you referred to has either fallen into the hands of someone or been lost. Captain Patterson of the Pioneer Corps says the letter never came to his office.You spoke about William having twenty- two dollars standing out among the boys, I have endeavored to ascertain who was owing him but as yet have not found a single one.

There are any number of men in the army who, for a paltry sum, are ever ready to deny their indebtedness provided they can do so without being detected. Transactions among soldiers, as a general thing, are simply verbal and unless the men who owe your husband are honest enough to forward you the money – you can set it down as lost.

In answer to the interrogatory whether William ever complained of being neglected or mistreated by you, I am happy to say that I never heard him speak of his wife except in terms of endearment. Have often heard him regret his inability to make you more comfortable pecuniarily as well as sorrow at the deprivation or loss of your society and that of his children.

Absence, you know, serves to strengthen our affection. It also makes us appreciate better, the blessings of home. Speaking of home reminds me of having just returned from its fond endearments. Was on a brief visit to see my family (who by the way live five miles East of Wooster) I had intended to give you a call but my furlough being so very brief I was unable to do so.

While in Wooster, I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. McCormick, (William’s father) to whom I related the circumstances connected with William’s death.  I have nothing more of special note to add everything being quiet in our department, I therefore beg leave to close,

Yours respectfully, 
C. B. Anderson

P.S. Andrew Sprowl from your vicinity is well, the 16th Regiment is now at Brashin (Brashear) City – I will rejoin it tomorrow.

You see, we are the products of those who have gone before us.  It is up to us to decide if we will be the sum of their positive attributes or of their negative attributes. It is up to us to honor and preserve their memories by doing as William stated in his last letter, “If God spares me to get home, I shall try to live to his Honor & Glory and lead a consistent life.”

When I reflect and empathize with these people I want to honor his words and shout out, in this era, “Give my best wishes to all the friends and let them know that I am for God and my Country, for Truth, Justice and Right, in all things pertaining to this glorious Union!”

And when my time comes and I leave this life, how honored I would be to have said of me, “As a person, Joni was always punctual and faithful in the discharge of her duties. As an associate, she was respected and beloved by all who knew her. In her death her comrades loose a cheerful, kind-hearted messmate – her Country, a brave and true Patriot – her comrade, a noble wife – and her children, a fond and indulgent mother.”

This is why patriotic buntings surround Joni’s Front Porch and why I love all things fair and just.  You may think I’m crazy but I get that from some of my other ancestors I haven’t told you about…

Thank you to all of you who have followed my tribute, I hope it has touched your heart and lit a fire for liberty in your soul.

(In honor of those who shaped me, and in conjunction with the 2012 Republican National Convention which I am fortunate enough to be able to attend, each evening I will post a blog about my convention experiences, and each morning I will post a personal family document or historical story which will help you understand what makes me tick.  If you read all the historical posts, the last day, I promise you, you will feel the gratitude I do for our patriots who sacrificed their lives and fortunes for our freedoms.)

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