"My Precious Loulie...":
Love letters of the Civil War-- William Henry Ruse
For let me say that your memory is ever dear to me and if we never again meet on Earth I shall ever Cherish the fond remembrance of Thee, and think of the pleasant hours passed in your society, but let me indulge the hope that we may again meet ere long.
Hospital No. 12, Nashville, Tenn.
May 7th 1863
Once more with great pleasure I embrace a few moments to write you a short letter. I wrote to you a short time since and shortly after I started mine I received a very kind letter from you. It seems that all our letters pass each other on the road. "speck" they say "How do you do" or make use of some familiar phrase.
Wish the writers could meet as often as their letters do. strange wish, "ain't" it. and not very strange neither. You know we can't refrain from wishing, but I wish that our wishes could come to pass. Oh! Maggie! I have written so often to you that I expect you are getting wearied reading my disinterested letters. but let me assure you it is not so with me. Your letters are received by me with the greatest pleasure, and a beating heart always waits a reply. I have written a good many letters to other girls. Letters of friendship, but those I write to you. I want you to receive them for more than mere friendship. For let me say that your memory is ever dear to me and if we never again meet on Earth I shall ever Cherish the fond remembrance of Thee, and think of the pleasant hours passed in your society, but let me indulge the hope that we may again meet ere long.
I cannot yet see much sign of the war Closing but I always try to hope fo the Best.
I suppose You was a thousand times glad to welcome the returns of your soldier Brothers.
I imagine I see Maggie when she first got a peep of Nixon. I want you to give me the particulars of your first meeting. I was glad to hear of Nixon getting his discharge. I received a letter from him when he was about ready to start home. I was somewhat surprised when I received the news of his going but he did his duty in the army. And I know his discharge is an honorable one. I have not yet answered his last letter. And I beleive I will wait till I get a letter from him at home if he has not yet written tell him I want him to write immediately.
A great many left no. 12 day before yesterday for Louisville. I could have gone had I so desired but I thought it not a very desirable place from Nixons description of affairs there. We have a new surgeon in Charge. He is quite a young man + I presume a very fine man + skillful Physician but I must stop. Now dont forget to write often. I will pledge myself to answer Your letters immediately on their reception if you will do the same "Aint" that fair?
Well goodbye Dear Maggie hoping to hear from you soon.
I am every Yours
farewell oh no it cannot be
Direct as before
View the original letter (105k)
Gail McMillan, Director, Digital Library and Archives