Is not this beautiful save one line
[the above line is written above the following engraving and poetry at the top of the page of stationery]
(THE SOLDIERS DREAM)
Our bugles sang truce for the night cloud had lower'd,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
and thousands had sunk on the ground overpower'd,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.
When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scarin faggot that guarded the slain;
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice e'er the morning I dreamt it again.
Methought from the battle-field's dreadful array
Far, far I had roam'd on a desolate track;
'Twas autumn--and sunshine across on the way
To the home of my fathers that welcomed me back.
I flew to the pleasant fields, travers'd so oft
In life's morning march, when my bosom was young;
I hear my own mountain goats bleating aloft,
And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung.
Then pledged we the wine-cup and fondly I swore
From my home and my weeping friend, never to part.
My little one's kiss'd me a thousand times o'er,
And my wife sobb'd aloud in her fullness of heart.
Stay, stay with us--rest, thou art weary and worn;
And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay--
But sorrow return'd with the dawning of morn,
and the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.
[underlining by Tenney]
[To the left of the poem is a vignette of the soldier dreaming of home.]
Camp Tyler, Va. Apr. 11th 1862
My dearest Addie:
Although I wrote but a day
or two since, yet I must write again.
I have just received yours, written the 23d
and yet I cannot really say that I am going
to answer it, as it does not need answering.
forgive me, my love, I did not mean to
say your letter is not worth answering, far from
it, But you know I have answered one since.
I feel lonely to=night and have for a
day or two. From what cause, did you ask?
I confess I am ignorant, unless it is because I
do not get letter from you sooner.
But I will endeavor to be more cheerful.
you have of course heard all the news
from Tennessee, so I need not say much
of it. We just heard the official account
and the camp is filled with the joyful boys.
Every victory shortens the war several months
Yet how each victory is won! 15000 killed and
wounded! yet men will cheer and exclaim
"glorious victory!" Yes, it is "glorious" to leave all
and die upon the field, victims to a traitor's toils--
"glorious," to brave all the hardships of a campaign,
and return home minus a limb! "Glorious," to
do all this, and who drops the silent tear?
Who heaves the sigh and murmurs "God preserve my
love!"? Does my Addie say I need look but once
to see "who"? I believe you have never disbe=
lieved it. But I cannot forget that scene of the
23d, and I tremble to think of worse ones; such
as the second battle must have been.
"Cheerful," am I not? I trust you have entirely
recovered from that odious cold, I am well, perfectly so
Surely, I cannot be the only one, "smitten
with love at first sight," I refer to the "Sargesisters."
I am thankful that Mollie remembered me--
do you remember what I wrote of her?
I believe you would like to hear some of the
rumors current here in camp. Well here goes.
Flying rumors X Authenticated ones *
"The Merrimac is sunk by the Monitor" * "Corinth ours" X
"McClellan defeated at Gordonsville," X "Gordonsville ours,
and Mac victorious." X "Jeff Davis has surrendered" X
"Richmond ours," X "So is New Orleans " X "Burnside
advancing on Raleigh" X "State troops ordered home" X
"Shields division ordered to Mississippi." X and scores of
others. Deafening hurrahs are everywhere to be heard.
-the air is filled with the music of National airs
from half a dozen different bands.--All is rejoie=
Sidney A. Johnston -- the best rebel general is dead
Beauregard severely wounded, and another general
with his staff captured. Secession must be
virtually dead.--a l'extremite.
If at Gordonsville McClellan is defeated, it will be a
heavy blow to the Army of the Potomac, which he
has been "organizing and perfecting in the art of
war," will it not? It would be singular if
after eight month preparation he should be defeated
while the western troops, who have successfully closed
one campaign, and are gallantly prosecuting a
second, have been victorious in nearly every
engagement--driving the rebels from Kentucky
Tennessee, and Missouri, and most likely from
Arkansas ere this time. Look at Western Virginia
Did not our western troops rescue it from the
hands of rebels. Yet, "we must be drilled."
Addie must be patient while at home, for
you know we must "tried as by fire", and
patience with a will and mind like that which
you possess, will enable you to come out as "pure gold
from the furnace," But I am preaching, am I not?
You must not cherish one thought of discontent, but
remember "God is good." Remember me to Dora & all your friends
give my love to Laurie, Papa, Auntie & all. Please say to Mollie, "If
she will return to M. after I come home, she can have a chance to be
troubled more by your correspondent," write often and direct as
usual to the valley May God preserve the my darling. C.N. Tenney
[in left hand margin of page 1]
I finds I have written as though I must write again
I love to write often to my own Addie, although I do not
consider them all answers to yours. I know it gives you
pleasure to receive letters often, and I am recompensed
a thousand times.
Charles M. Tenney, 7th Ohio Infantry
and return home