I love bits of good writing.

I hoard them like treasure.  (Whenever there’s a piece of paper or a keyboard handy.)

Even a few of the right words can brighten a dark day.  Ease a burden.  Outlast everything.

Amos Humiston was a soldier who fought in the Civil War.  He died at Gettysburg in July 1863, clutching an ambrotype of his three children, through which he was later identified.

An ambrotype is an early type of photograph, made by placing a glass negative against a dark background.  It was only in use for about five years.  Its name comes from the Greek ambro(tos), which means “immortal.”

We don’t have Amos’s ambrotype anymore.  It wasn’t really immortal.

But we do still have his letters from the war. This is what Amos wrote to his wife Philinda on January 2, 1863, six months before he died:

“If I ever live to get home you will not complain of being lonesome again or of sleeping cold, for I will lay as close to you as the bark to a tree.”


4 thoughts on “AMOS TO PHILINDA

  1. Thank you . It reminds me of my husband as we used to sleep spoon fashion all our married life – except when he worked away. He wasn’t a writer , but used to phone me every Wednesday evening from which ever part of the country he was in, to a call box near our home. We didn’t have a phone so it was special. Unless it was raining.


  2. Gwen Southgate

    That’s one of the things I dread most–losing forever my sleeping spoon of more than sixty years–when I let my mind stray into the dismal prospect of being the survivor.


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