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A Letter From Lieutenant E. F. Fletcher

(Regarding his daughter, fearing his death in upcoming battles during the Mexican-American War)


Source:  The Syracuse, New York Daily Star, August 12, 1847


Lieut. Fletcher, of the Alton (Ill.) Volunteers, was among the killed at Buena Vista. He was a widower and the father of a little girl, two years old. His remains, with others, were recently buried at Alton, and his little daughter, accompanied by her grandparents, attended the funeral. The night before the battle, Lieut. F. wrote the following letter, which presents, in a gratifying light, his paternal affections :

Camp Buena Vista, Mexico, Jan. 14, 1847

Dear Colonel:


     Tomorrow we expect to have an engagement with a superior Mexican force, and on the eve of the affair, I have believed it proper to address you a few lines. As you are well aware, the object nearest my heart is the welfare of my little child; and, so far as I have been able, I have provided for her. My wages, to the amount of two hundred and eighty dollars, are due me from the Government; besides a small sum owing me, as well as the contents of my trunk, and the books and other articles I may own, I have, in a memorandum in my trunk, left to her, and placed the whole in charge of Capt. Baker, to be forwarded to you in case I should fall - all of which I doubt not you will most religiously see appropriated to her use, as may best seem fit and proper by you and mother. And now, with respect to the child. Should I fall, I leave her entirely with you and your wife; but I have written to my brother, requesting him to throw his brotherly protection over her; and if, at any time, you think fit to send her to him, he will receive her as his own child and protect her as such. Should she remain with you, I wish that she should receive as good an education as the little means left her will afford: and above all things, teach her that truth and virtue are to woman, what the soul is to the body - the life of its life. Teach her that to be just to all - -in thought - in word - in deed, is the true - the great aim of a good mind; and those who strive to accomplish that purpose, seldom fail to live at peace with the world, and accomplish the "Great Destiny" for which they are created. I would say a thousand things more about her, and my wishes for her; but that would be superfluous - so I will revert to other subjects.

In death as in life,

Ever yours,
E. F. Fletcher

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