Sunday, September 30, 2012

1862 September 30 Richmond, Va.

                                              Richmond 30 Sept 1862

My dear Madam,
                              Of the many friends of you lamented
husband none mourn his loss with a deeper grief
than my self.   Bound together from our boyhood by
a friendship which grew and strengthened with our
years and never knew a cloud.  I loved him as a
brother and feel that I have almost a right to
mingle my tears with yours over his grave.
     It is needless for me to speak of his virtues his
talents and standing  His fall sent not only a thrill
of sorrow to his family and friends but to the
country--it was not a domestic grief alone but
a public calamity.
     I rejoiced to hear that you do not sorrow without
hope but that my dear friend as the last and
crowning grace of his character had given his
soul to God, and in his death exchanged the toils
and troubles of life for the blessings of immortality
    How priceless the consolation in your sad bereave:
:ment is the thought that your separation is but
temporary and that you can bless God that though
he cannot come to you you can go to him.
    If it is in my power before leaving home
to rejoin the army I shall call in person to see you

[page 2]
To day I met with your brother Capt. Jas. C Riddle from
whom I had previously recd. a letter requesting my pres:
:ence at Oak Hill on Tuesday next where I hope you
may there be as I shall certainly go up if practicable
    For yourself & your children my time & my services
can always be commanded and shall ever regard
any assistance or aid I can render to you not only
a duty but as a pleasure
     With the fervent prayer that God will
comfort you in you affliction and will watch
over and protect both yourself & children
                                    Your affectionate friend
                                                   F D Irving

Mrs. John T. Thornton

Letter on the death of Lieutenant Colonel John Thruston Thornton, 34d Virginia Cavalry, and father of University of Virginia professor William Mynn Thornton.  F.D. Irving may possibly be Captain Francis D. Irving, 1826-1891, of the 21st Virginia.

MSS 4021

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