[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]
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 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.”
[Reblogged from December 11, 2013]