“Day dreams are . . . the amusement of boys”

I mentioned a few days ago a letter written by Confederate Lt. William Drenner, trapped in Vicksburg by the besieging Federal army. A letter to his wife turned into a running account of his time trapped in the beleaguered city.

155 years ago today, he wrote an entry I found especially poignant: 

June 20th

Day dreams are said to be the amusement of boys—yet I cannot at this time keep from indulging in them. I think of the exquisite happiness I will have, surrounding your and Gertie [his daughter]—when we are listening to her prattle and learning her ideas—and developing her little innocent mind of the long winter nights in our comfortable room—with a cheerful fir and good books—of the bright spring days—with your flowers—and garden—with the growing corn and nice stock—of the summer with its luscious fruits and harvest—I think of quiet Sabbaths at home and at church—of pleasant evenings when I am through the business of the day and contact with coarse vulgar men—that I will be with you and our sweet darling child—and call it—foolish—sentimental—dreaming—call it what you will—yet I indulge in such thoughts—so often and never more so than just at this time when my only communication with you can be in thought. Oh! my dear wife—should that time ever come—I will care little for the world or its surroundings—and in the bosom of my family I will find happiness. Every day’s contact with me only adds to my dislike of the association and the hurry and bustle of the world has no charms for me.

You can read his full letter online and follow his experience in the siege day by day.

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3 Responses to “Day dreams are . . . the amusement of boys”

  1. Meg Groeling says:

    Lovely. Thank you.

  2. Did he return to his family?

  3. Glad to see that he survived the war. Other than his brief continued service as judge, Is anything known of his later life with his wife and daughter?

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