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Freedom is not free. It is paid with every drop of blood, sweat, and tears of our men and women who serve or has served in the armed forces.

Patriots in History

Letter From Civil War General Pickett

Three hours before the Civil War southern General Lee surrendered, one of his generals, George Edward Pickett, wrote a letter to his wife. Below are a few lines from this letter that depicts his thoughts about the war and it's end.

"Lee's surrender is imminent. It is finished. Through the suggestions of their commanding officers as many of the men as desire are permitted to cut through and join Johnston's army. The cloud of despair settled over all on the third, when the tidings came to us of the evacuation of Richmond and its partial loss by fire. The homes and families of many of my men were there, and all knew too well that the fall of our Capital the last hope of success was over. And yet....these men as resolutely obeyed the orders of their commanding officers as if we had captured and burned the Federal Capital. The horrors of the march from Five Forks to Amelia Court House and thence to Sailor's Creek beggars all description. For forty-eight hours, the man or officer who had a handful of parched corn in his pocket was most fortunate. We reached Sailor's Creek on the morning of sixth, weary, starving, despairing. Sheridan was in our front, delaying us with his cavalry (as was his custom) until the infantry should come up. ...Ah, my beloved division! Thousands of them have gone to their eternal home, having given up their lives for the cause they knew to be just. The others, alas, heartbroken, crushed in spirit, are left to mourn its loss....We have poured out our blood and suffered untold hardships and privations all in vain. And now, well, I must not forget, either, that God reigns. Life is given us for the performance of duty, and duty performed is happiness. It is finished -- the sufferings, the horrors, the anguish of these last hours of struggle."

The losses of both sides of the war were great and General Pickett's letter represents the losses that our country faced during this war. May we never forget that there is a price to peace, that sacrifices must be made to achieve freedom. May we never take it for granted and continually fight for its existence.

Sacrifice for free is not duty but an honor.

 

 

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