May 17, 1864
My Dear Aunt Mary,
Your beautiful and touching letter reached me two days ago., returning from preaching in the adjoining block, with a heart softened by the eloquent sermon and fervent prayers of the “man of God,” whose voice evoked gratitude to God for all the Goodness, strength in hope and confidence in the Lord of hosts to whom all times are alike and to whom the turmoil and sorrow of years is but a moment.
I found your letter in my bed and read it with fast flowing tears. How tenderly and yet with what lofty triumph, what sublime hope! It told of your precious child’s departure from this troubled world to the land of the next. My eyes now are so full at the rememberence of it that I can scarcely see to write. And your soldier boy who “leaving in battle no blot on his name, Looks proudly to heaven from the death-bed of fame.”
How touchingly, how proudly, how softly & yet hopefully the mother’s heart remembers him, mourns over him, exults in him & looks forward to the day of reunion with both her lost loved ones. I too hope that he and his sister have joined hands in that fair land whither God the merciful and good calleth his own & that together they await our coming & watch to welcome our first footsteps on the flowery shore of paradise. There too, I trust, stand my dear brothers Ed & Will, the pain of whose loss will never leave my heart & all our loved dead.
Nay! They are not dead, but have awakened out of a heavy and uneasy sleep into life. The life for which this life was made. And when our restless and fitful slumber shall end and our eyes open on the light of another world may they rest first on this our dear ones so earnestly looking & longing for us! The morning will yet dawn; the night is passing, and the clever light of the eternal day will be long forever despite the darkness that now enwraps us! My love to all.
Henry T. Jordan
Source: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1 and Satterfield-Merritt Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.