YOUR CART 0 items - $0.00
Roll over image to enlarge (scroll to zoom)

118th Ohio Infantry - Killed at Resaca

Item LTR-6190
June 11, 1863 Pembroke S. Scott
Price: $265.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages written in period ink.

Cynthiana, KY
June 11, 1863

Dear Mother,

I am very happy to inform you that I am well and I hope these few lines may find you all quite well. Good health is a great blessing and we ought to be grateful to the Great Jehovah for good things for such unwarranted favors. Life is still a much greater blessing and the greatest that God wishes to man. Why? Because it embraces all other blessings. To embrace the power to think, to will, and to act. Hence, is the grandest principle in existence and the greatest among all blessings. But when the greatest curse, sin, lays hold upon this greatest blessing, life, what a fearful battle takes place and how many fall in the dreadful struggle in the slough of despondence. The backwater as well of sin, too far from land for us to hear his dying groans, but I ask you, could he reasonable and conscientiously say “Rejoice O! mine enemy, if I fall I shall rise again.” Sin sets a snare, we bite eagerly at the bait, swallow the poison. It infects the whole of our system, we struggle on a few short years, leaving to wash? Our memory nothing but the path marked by “blood and thunder,” tumble into the earth from whence we were taken and are forgotten before the seeds sprout on the ground that covers our toothless forms. “If we sow to the wind, we shall reap the whirlwind,” and “If we sow to the flesh we shall of the flesh reap corruption, but if we sow to the spirit we shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.” This is an unchangeable and universal law. What sower a man sows, that also shall he reap. Willing or unwilling that shall, that must he reap. How beautiful then in early life to sow the seeds of honesty, piety and purity and in the golden harvest of old age reap in the well ripened field of life the fruit of sowing for honesty, we shall reap honor from piety, we shall reap plenty and from purity, power to enter in through the gates into the city, for tis written “blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Let me contrast those two principles further or characters rather. I stood near the waters edge this morning sheltered from the rain by the dense foliage and outstretched of this white armed sycamore, right across the river on the opposite side stood another and it was a beautiful symmetrical tree. It evidently had been well proportioned and been freely visited with genial influence and at the same time it has been exposed to many hardships to parching droughts and furious storms, but these seem not to have harmed it. But seem rather to have cooperated it making it what it is, a thing of beauty and of strength. But as felt I own the river stands another, its trunk is gnarled and hollow, while its limbs are short and distorted and why this difference I would ask. They both commenced existence together, their limbs are fanned by the same genial atmosphere, the refreshing showers of heaven fall equally upon each, their roots are stuck in the same rich soil, the bird of the air are not upon which they perch to sing, flowers of equal beauty and sweetness grow up in the shadow of each, not one single cause unfavorably connected with it can I find in the surrounding circumstances and yet it droops, withers and dies. And why this difference. I will tell you. Some secret fool has been doing there. Some cause has interfered with its natural growth and death. While yet a mere germ some insinuating worm crawled near its roots, invading its sacred precincts, commences its insidious attack, gnawing its roots and sucking the very essence of life, the once thrifty plant commences shedding its graces, its once green leaves become yellow. Its outspread branches become contracted and droop. Its top pointing to the bright beautiful skies above soon becomes dead and gray and the wood chuck lighting upon it sounds the widespread desolations. And all this from this little cause. Yes, all from the simple gnawing of a worm. Little cause did I say. Ah, how fatally deceived. “Little cause!!!!” Rather how terribly great as the fearful effect doth show. Let us apply this picture to the race of which we constitute “a small past.” Who denies it being an applicable one? And note the vast difference of development in the same dear little branches. If the change is very plain to be seen and the difference anything serious, is it not wisdom for us to conclude some foe has been there? And is right or wrong to look around for it and find it and finding it what shall be done with it. I can tell what to do with it. Kill it by enforcing obedience to law for “Sin is the transgression of the law.” Indeed we learned something of life since we have been in the army. It’s made up of many constituents. A very curious compound indeed. It lets a druggist’s shop all to sticks. For whereas one is a combination of almost all that is good and bad, the other is a complete conglomeration of so many disgusting things that it is almost utterly contemptible. Don’t understand me to say that I have any notion to stop or shrink from action, but rather let my motions be accelerated from beholding. Things as they are and seeing the want of a revised edition. How foolish to hid behind the door when the floor is covered with dust and litter and needs sweeping. Now let me not flinch from donating my might in this modern coffer for the world’s formation. By the way, I would say have little faith in many of the modern schemes and new fangled notions, but have the strongest faith in the reformative power of the ancient laws given to us through inspiration and hence are infallible to guide us safe through this fearful wearing world and to point us onward and upward to the heavenly country where war is unknown. “The law of the Lord is power and converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simples.” O bless the Lord, my soul, all that is within. Praise his holy name and thou God strengthen me to obey thy holy word.

Write without delay. Adieu to all.


P. S. S. Scott “Mother”