July 28, 1861: Death of Sullivan Ballou

Thursday, July 28, AD 2011

Thirty-two years old in 1861, Sullivan Ballou was already well-established in life.  Married with two sons, he was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, and had served as speaker of that body.  When Lincoln called for volunteers, he did not hesitate, and enlisted as a Major with the Second Rhode Island infantry.  At the battle of Bull Run he received what would prove to be a mortal wound.  His right leg was amputated and he succumbed to his wounds on July 28, 1861.  Before the battle of Bull Run he wrote to his wife a timeless letter of love and hope for the future beyond the grave:

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One Response to July 28, 1861: Death of Sullivan Ballou

  • Beautiful letter. I saw a comedian do a routine about the quality of writing from the Civil War soldiers compared to those of Desert Storm. It was a bit profane, but funny (and accurate).