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Record 98/294
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Letter from Mrs. C. A. Harwood concerning the death of Barnet Van Slyke, Company H, 35th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, to Mrs. Van Slyke: U.S. General Hospital Natchez, Mississippi, August 21, 1864 Mrs. Van Slyke Dear Madam A few days ago, at the request of your husband, Barnett Van Slyke, Company H, 35 Wisconsin, I wrote you a letter and sent in it $6.50 (six dollars fifty cents). At that time I knew that there was little hope of his ultimate recovery, though I did not quite think [the] time for him was so short. But he failed very rapidly. And yesterday, about one o'clock in the afternoon, the immortal was loosed from the mortal. And his spirit wafted out on the returnless waves of eternity, and he is no more among the children of men. The day I wrote that letter for him, as I was sitting by his bed, he spoke of his children. And almost instantly the tears rushed from his eyes and rolled down over his wasted cheeks and his utterance was choked. And he said, "finish the letter as you think best. I can't tell you any more" and I left him, fearing to agitate him more. A few days after, as I was again sitting by him, he said, "I am content to die if it is the Lord's will. I can leave my family comparatively comfortable and I die willingly." And said also he would like to talk with me more, but he was too weak, his breath was gone, but would I read to him from the bible. I took a bible and read the 8th chapter of Romans and the 14th of John. And fearing I might weary him, I closed the book and arranged what I could for his comfort and left him with his nurse, a kind and experienced man. And I would assure you that your husband received, while in this hospital, kind and attentive care, and that he was surrounded with every comfort, but the one great one of having his own family and friends around him. Enclosed you will find a lock of his hair, cut from his head after he was dead. As he requested, his clothes will be sent to you. And for you and all, who thus mourn, I have only this one drop of comfort. Our Father hath done it and we may not murmur, and that he may be to you and your children more than husband or father, is the prayer of Yours Respectfully Miss C. A. Harwood
Letter from Mrs. C. A. Harwood -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Van Slyke

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009