Prophetic Concerns of a Southern Soldier

I am 82 years of age. My grandfather served the Confederacy under North
Carolina Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew. He died at the Battle of Gettysburg. I
will allow his thoughts, written to my grandmother just a couple of weeks
prior to that battle, to speak for themselves.

“My lovely wife. I do so miss you, and the life we have there on the small
plot of land God has given us. More and more, it seems that my thoughts are
drifting back there to reside with you. Yet, as badly as I desire to be back
home, it is for home for which I deem it best for my presence here with
these other men. The proclamation by the Lincoln administration six months
prior may appear noble. Were I here in these conditions, simply to keep
another man in bondage, I would most certainly walk away into the night and
return unto you. God knows my heart, and the hearts of others here amongst
me. We know what is at stake here, and the true reason for this contest that
requires the spilling of the blood of fellow citizens. Our collective fear
is nearly universal. This war, if it is lost, will see ripples carry forward
for five, six, seven or more generations. I scruple not to believe, as do
the others, that the very nature of this country will be forever
disspirited. That one day, our great great grandchildren will be bridled
with a federal bit, that will deem how and if they may apply the gospel of
Christ to themselves, their families and their communities. Whether or not
the land of their forefathers may be deceitfully taken from them through
taxation and coercion. A day where only the interests of the northern
wealthy will be shouldered by the broken and destitute bodies of the
southern poor. This my darling wife, is what keeps me here in this arena of
destruction and death.”

Jefferson Smith
Charlottesville

1 thought on “Prophetic Concerns of a Southern Soldier

  1. Jefferson, you’d have been better off if you’d left that battlefield and spent your time under psychiatric care for your paranoia. Why else would a man of your intelligence & writing ability fear being “bridled with a federal bit”?

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