I dont know how much pleasure it affords you to go over these days of the past, but to me they will ever be remembered as days of felicity. And how happy the thought that years increase the affection & esteem we have for each other to love & be loved. May it ever be so, and may I ever be a husband worthy of your warmest affections. May I make you happy and in so doing be made happy in return. A sweet kiss and embrace to your greeting.

But maybe you will say it looks ridiculous to see a man getting grayhaired to be writing love letters, so I will use the remnant of my paper otherwise…
Yours affectionately H Black

Harvey Black (1827-1888) was a physician in Southwest Virginia. When the Civil War broke out, he was attached to the 4th Virginia, 1st Brigade, known as the Stonewall Brigade. In 1863, he wrote a love letter to his wife Mary (who he affectionately called “Mollie”)  in Blacksburg, recalling their courtship. The quote above comes from the last few lines. You can see a transcript of the letter online, and you can read more about the Black family and their papers at Special Collections here.

Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!


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