This is a copy of a letter my Great Grandfather James M. Brockway gave his son George A, Brockway when he left home to serve in the Civil War. George served in Co. B of the 35th Infantry Regiment. James son Emmitte A Brockway also served in the 35th Infantry Regiment. I wonder if Father James gave Emmitte the same kind of letter?

The note or letter was written in the back of the 1864 journal by Gorge's father, James Brockway, on January 3, 1864

   John H. Brockway

My Dear Son George.

As you are about to leave the paternal home for a new scene of life I will pen a few lines for you to look at when you are far from home & friends. The Camp will be your home & this discipline of arms & war your employment. On whatever condition or place the vicissitudes of war may place you, let patriotism & love of country be your rule of action & union & liberty be your rallying watch word & down with the traitors & up with the Stars your battle cry. Learn a soldiers duty & unhesitatingly perform it, and let me rest with the fullest confidence & assurance, that I have not placed my Sons on the alter of our Country's Liberty in vain or if it should be your lot to participate in scenes of the gory battlefield where Death, carnage & suffering meet the eye on every side, then in mercy spare the prostrate helpless & suffocating foe. Never flinch from duty, let the peril be ever so great. Let me sooner learn of your Death than your cowardice. True & noble traits of character can be displayed in camp as well as in private life, therefore, in every condition in which you may be placed, strive to cultivate, exhibit and maintain a high tone of character. Never associate with profane, lewd, or obscene characters. A man. is judged by the company he keeps, therefore never associate with any but those whose character is above calumny and reproach. Be careful of your health & not expose it unnecessarily. Be just to others, to yourself & to God. And if through a blessing of a kind Providence you are permitted to return to us and our country saved, Our Union & peace restored, I shall then have abundant cause to thank God for the Mighty Blessing.
Farewell my Dear Son.

Your Father Ever solicitous for your Welfare January 3rd 1864

James M. Brockway

 

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