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I WISH, my darling, you could see this wonderfully rich and prosperous country, abounding in plenty, with its great, strong, vigorous horses and oxen, its cows and crops and verdantly thriving vegetation none of the ravages of war, no signs of devastation all in woeful contrast to the land where we lay dreaming. All the time I break the law "Thou shalt not covet," for every fine horse or cow I see I want for my darling, and all the pretty things I see besides. Never mind, she shall have everything some day, and I shall have the universe and heaven's choicest gift when she is my wife all my very own. At Chambersburg, Marse Robert preached us a sermon, first instructing us in the meaning of "meum" and "teum," and then taking as his text, "Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord." I observed that the mourners bench was not overcrowded with seekers for conversion.
The poor fellows were thinking of their own despoiled homes, looted of everything, and were not wildly enthusiastic as they acquiesced obediently to our beloved Commander's order. The Yanks have taken into the mountains and across the Susquehanna all the supplies they could, and we pay liberally for those which we are compelled to take, paying for them in money which is paid to us, our own Confederate script. Some of us have a few pieces of gold with which to purchase some keepsake or token for the dear ones at home. Alas, my little one, how many of us will be blessed with the giving of them? God in His mercy be our Commander-in-Chief!
We have not a wide field for selection here, as we once had at Price's dry goods store or John Tyler's jewelry establishment in Richmond; but it seems quite magnificent to us now, since the Richmond counters are so bare as to offer not even a wedding ring or a yard of calico. We are guying General who, after long and grave deliberation, bought three hoop skirts as a present for his betrothed. All that makes life dear is the thought of seeing you and being with you. And oh, what an eternity it seems since I said good night! Oh, my darling, love me, pray for me, hold me in your thoughts, keep me in your heart!
Our whole army is now in Pennsylvania, north of the river. There were rumors that Richmond was threatened from all sides Dix from Old Point, Getty from Hanover, Keyes from Bottom's Bridge, and so on and that we might be recalled. It turned out to be Munchausen, and we are still to march forward. Every tramp tramp tramp is a thought thought thought of my darling, every halt a blessing invoked, every command a loving caress; and the thought of you and prayer for you make me strong, make me better, give me courage, give me faith. Now, my dearest, let my soul speak to yours. Listen listen listen! You hear I am answered.
Forever and ever,
- George Pickett
- Heart of a Soldier the as revealed in the Intimate Letters of Gnl George E. Pickett CSA, 1908