I couldn’t let Valentine’s Day approach and not write something on the art of letter writing, which was so important during the Civil War.

Eloquently written love letters were part of Victorian era courtship and continued through a couple’s marriage. Today, no form of communication is more important, more romantic – and more in danger of being lost – than the written word. In a time when text-messaging rules, you may not feel up to writing a full blown love letter to your dearest – but you can certainly write a heartfelt note that your sweetheart will find when he or she least expects it.

I ‘ll even give you an example of a beautifully written love letter to make finding just the right words a little easier:

Now, I go; but remember always that I love you with all my heart and soul, with every fiber of my being; that now and forever I am yours – yours, my beloved. It is almost three o’clock. My soul reaches out to yours – my prayers. I’ll keep up a skookum tumtum [Chinook for strong heart] for Virginia and for you, my darling.
– Your Soldier
July 3, 1863 Gettysburg

Note: This was written by Confederate General George Pickett to his wife. You may recognize the date—the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, and the time—shortly before his ill-fated Pickett’s Charge. The artillery bombardment, the largest in North American history, began at 1 p.m. and was still taking place as he wrote. Now if he can find time to write a love letter to his wife, what’s your excuse?

The Contest

In honor of the ‘Month of Love,’ I’ve decided to give away a signed copy of my historical fiction novel Shades of Gray, which, for those who are not familiar, is an epic love story that takes place during the War Between the States.

All you have to do to be entered is send me the title and author of your favorite romantic or poignant love story, so that I can list them in a future post (and, no doubt, put them on my TBR list). The winner will be chosen on Feb. 14 so enter today! (writefromthepast (at) yahoo.com). Please put CONTEST in the subject line.


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