It’s hard for people to not feel disillusioned about romance as they age. Their experience with breakups and disappointing dates can eventually wear down a person’s dynamic. But sometimes, certain soulmates arise who perform acts of such deep devotion towards one another, that it’s nearly impossible to deny the existence of love. War is hell and brings out the worst in humanity, but it does miraculously show signs of hope when you look in the right places. Love letters written in times of war are examples that proving love is capable of surviving anything… even hell. These letters date back to some of the worlds worst wars are so powerful that they can restore the faith of even the worst of cynics.
Writer: William F. Testerman
Recipient: Miss Jane Davis
Gallotin, Tennessee July 25, 1864
This letter is more charming than anything, and seems to from the beginning of the relationship and initially appears to be simply a letter between acquaintances. The soldier, Testerman starts his letter with borderline formal dialogue such as, “take the opportunity to drop you a few lines in answer to your kind letters.” But as he progresses, he picks up the sentimental momentum with bolder and more direct remarks such as, “when travelling the lonesome roads in the middle of Tenn the thought of your sweet smiles is all the company I have I trust,” as well as, “your sparkling blue eyes and rosy red cheeks has gained my whole affections,” making his romantic intentions far more obvious. The he, rather adorably, closes his letter asking her to forgive his bad penmanship, which is something you would expect in a love letter from an adolescent.
Writer: Unnamed Lieutenant From the 34th Bomb Squadron, 17th Group
Recipient: His Wife
July 19, 1944
This letter makes for a pleasant read due to the fact that it’s between an already married and established couple. It’s not over saturated with epic love declarations to one another because it doesn’t need to be. It’s casual nature and attempt at maintaining a healthy marriage during hard times says way more than love vows. His message is short and cute and is conversational. It’s a husband taking the time to tell his wife about his day simply because he wants her to know, and to help her feel calm. He uses pet names and humor in his writing, without ever for one second sounding over the top or melodramatic.
Writer: Union Soldier, Name Unknown
Camp of the 11th NY Battery February 9, 1864
These two had never met in person at the time that the letter was written. Hattie had responded to a Lonely Hearts ad that the soldier had placed in a magazine…and apparently her response definitely caught his attention. The dialogue is chipper and excited, and it’s apparent that this was the beginnings of one of the best kinds of relationships…the ones filled with laughter. Numerous jokes are made throughout the impressively long letter. The one thing that’s frustrating about it is how much you wish you could see what she wrote first.