Sunday, April 20, 2014

Martha Deed

Mustering Out 5 June 1865

I wrote a letter some time ago. . . I have had no response to it. . . I lost a son in the Army & he was buried at Portsmouth Grove, R.I. The government as I notice has been moving some of the bodies. . . If you will be kind enough to inform me whether they have moved all or intend to move all & break up the cemetery there, I will be truly obliged to you. My sons name was Luther M. Loper.
– Isaac Loper, June 23/68

It is Spring now – finally
and I am writing my last letter to you –
from the South

A private letter – like
all the others I have written –
to you – and I have burned

Your letters – to keep
them private, too –
except in memory

I long to be free again –
Soon I will – I think –
My hand shakes

as I pen this to you –
I may be sick –
But I don’t tell you this

The War –
All that stood between you
and me – is over now

“I shall be joyful
beyond measure
when I can feel

and know
that no human being
has the right
to say to me
'You must do this'
'You must do that'

Time drags heavily to me now
but I think I shall survive
so don’t be alarmed.”

Based on a letter from Luther Milton Loper to his cousin, Juliett Loper from Raleigh, North Carolina,

5 June 1865.

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