TO JENNIE, DELIVERED BY NATHANIEL DEARBORN
I write on this Floor of packed Earth, with little Light to see by, my Hands scratched by Brambles and Blood beneath my Fingernails and soaking through my Bandages. Oftentimes these Days I wonder, if I chanced to see you on the Street, would you even recognize me? For I hardly know my Own Reflection. Once I stuck a Man with my Bayonet so that his Blood splattered hot over my Face. He looked me square in the Eyes as he fell, and I did not flinch, and I knew in this action: this was my True Self.
These Weeks since our Capture are none but sweating Heat, days spent slapping at the Mosquitoes and Yellow-jackets. By night, our Fists pound the Flesh of Our Victims, we beat Men limp to search the Bodies. We steal from the Dead, but as Curtis says, what use has a dead Man for a Watch or a Ring or a pair of thick Boots? And therefore, I have reasoned with my unquiet Mind, it could not be a Sin. We picked the adventure knowing there’d be no end but a bloody one, but I try not to think of how my own Remains might be returned. I don’t trust—
to be taken Prisoner, which may indeed be …. though we may never again meet on Earth, I do want you to know that I always meant … not find Trouble, there are many of us in Harm’s way … one broken Neck they say will be an example to others … and I know not how to make this Confession but to write the Truth of my Love … with Hope that you might think of me a little, Jennie. For I am always thinking of you.