While building my novel, Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War, I was constantly struck by the myriad letters that were so eloquent in style and tone.
The women and men who wrote the letters did so with such passion and remorse and hope, sorrow and joy. Their words felt they were delved from the deepest recesses of their hearts. One could almost see the tear stains upon the parchment. Perhaps they wrote with a stubbed pencil, maybe with a sharpened feather quill, maybe with little more than a chunk of charcoal. Sometimes I believe they understood the value of life and its fleeting nature far better than we do today.
This picture is of Mary Chestnut, who lived in Charleston and wrote an eloquent diary I which she described the horrors of war blended with hope.