The army correspondent of the Atalanta (sic) "Intelligencer," relates the following incident to show how welcome a letter from home was to the soldier, and how depressing it was when those at home neglected to write to him:
“I witnessed an incident yesterday which goes far to show how welcome a letter is to the soldier, and how sad he feels, when those at home neglect to write to him. As I was riding to town I heard a man on horseback hail another in a wagon, and, going up, handed him a letter. Another man in the same wagon inquired if there was no letter for him, and the reply was 'none.' It was at that moment I noted the feeling between the two men by their changed countenances. The features of one lit up with pleasure, as he perused the epistle in his hand, — doubtless the letter of some dear wife or mother, —and ay ho read it, a smile of joy would illuminate his weather-beaten face. This was happiness. It was an oasis on the desert of his rough life of danger and suffering, and no doubt was welcomed by him as the dearest gift a relative could send. With the other the opposite effect was observed; as soon as the word 'none' had passed the lips of the man addressed, the look of anxiety with which the question was put faded away, and an appearance of extreme sorrow could have been seen plainly stamped on his features, while a feeling of envy at his fortunate comrade was very apparent. This was unhappiness. The song of hope that had illuminated his heart when he inquired if there was any letter for him had died away, and a feeling of loneliness and regret at the neglect of those at home took possession of him. Happy are they who have homes and loved ones to hear from! While it is the cruelest of all neglect not to write to those relatives in the army ; if it makes them sad and unhappy, how much more must those feel whose homes are in possession of the enemy, and they cannot hear from their relatives."
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