Joseph L. Perkins to Brother
I have just recd. and perused your truly welcomed letter
I will reply as well as my exhausted powers will permit. I have had but little sleep for severall nights on account of the excitement and my making preperation for war. Nearly all are drilling.
Now my brother allow me to speak plain that you may truly judge my motives. I
believe tis no common tie that binds our hearts togather - my feelings being the
criterion. When this great national crisis came - when I felt
that I must go to my country's rescue, among my first thots were we would go togather, side by side, and if needs be die in each other's defence.
Would it not be much easier to die in the arms of one we loved? Would not the death struggle be mitigated if we felt a heart near our own that shared all our joy and sorrows?
Forgive me my brother if when I learned of your endeavors to enlist and no
invitation to go along with you, forgive the pang of jealousy that shot through
my heart. It was uncalled for, but by it I was the better enabled to realise the
depth of that friendship. Since learning of your rejection I have nearly ceased
hoping that we might go togather and half an hour since I pledged my word with a
classmate that I would go with him tis not certain yet on his part as his
friends are all strongly opposed to it. he is of the right mettle - is true.
If we can get probably wait awhile. Now if he does not go can I get into the Bradford Guards, how many more will they take. I of writing to Blodgett but shall not til this is decided.
I will not go without one friend. I am acquainted with some of the Bradford company and would feel more at home there than here.
In reply to your question - yes, I have well considered this step thru days and
nights of sad, sober . I am aware that my constitution will not
endure much hardship and as you say I might be a burden rather than a help. I
hope that my life is of too much value to throw away
for nought. In answer to whether it is dear to me I would refer you to my hopes
of the future - to the love I bear her whose life is two fold dearer than my
and perhaps that stimulates me to action - What would be the pleasure of homes without Liberty? Twould not be home - we were born free let us die freemen. Shall we hold back the good we might do because we cannot do more? Tis a foolish war truly, I think we'd better ask the heathen to pray for us - to send us missionaries &c. Well let the cause be what it may we have a Constitution - laws. We have elected a president Shall we support him in doing his duty - in executing the laws or desert him? We the light of the world toward which all nations are gazing shall we allow it to be extinguished demons prefer No! So long as there courses [in our] veins a drop of American blood so long the Palmetto flag cannot cast its damnable shadow ore New England homes.
Can there be found a man so depraved with soul so small that there cannot be
arroused a spirit of self defence or that will not raise an arm to save a
countrys fall-. This stirs my whole soul to action - My life is at my countrys
disposal and if possible should be given ten thousand times ere I'd be ruled by
tyrants and much less traitors I didn't know before what
it was to feel patriotic - like the electric shock it
goes through ought my whole system absorbing all things else - no I cannot say
all things I must make one exception It has been said
that man rules the world and woman rules man I never knew the philosophy of that
but it has just come into my head how it is and it can be clearly demonstrated -
Woman is equal with man yet is termed the weaker vessel - well she is physically therefore she must possess some other quality in greater digree to keep the ballance - We will go back a little now, we say knowledge is power, well Eve first bit the Apple of Knowledge then Adam but Eve took the largest mouthful concequently was wiser and most powerful So they do to this day possess a power which we have no means of overcoming
I dont wish to be rash in this but I want to find the right place and do the
right thing. I dont know but it would be better for us who are not accustomed to
severe exercise and labor to drill here awhile ere we join a company We have a
drill master. I mean to pursue the right course I could but weep when I read
your letter. My noble hearted brother! If every nothern man but possessed that
Spirit this war
would soon end for want of traitors with whoom to fight a week's time would give them each a hemp neck tie or, if not a blue pill one that would make them feel blue When you spoke of another's tears - had I been suddenly immerced in ice water the chill would not have been more apparent. Womens tears conquer me.
Will you reply by return mail please write a long letter and tell me of our folks - love ot them.
Your brotherJ. L. Perkins
P.S. I made a mistake in the date. the 24th came in nearly three hours ago - we have to carry our letters the night before as the mail goes early and the P.O. is not open til after the mail goes-