Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, September 15, 1864


Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, September 15, 1864


Capers writes to Lottie that he has just received several old letters from her including one that informs him of May's illness. He tells Lottie to be strong and that it is in God's hands. He also describes a church service that he attended where the lesson was from St. John's Gospel. He ends the letter by writing a prayer.


A1961.1, Box 3, Folder 31


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Ellison Capers Collection









Date Valid


[Page 1]
Jonesboro - Georgia
Thursday, Sept. 15th/64

My precious wife

Our tardy mail brought me, on yesterday, three letters from you; but one of which was of recent date. The dates of the letters are the 19th of August, 2nd of Sept., and 5 & 6 of Sept. The last named letter brings me the unhappy intelligence of our dear little May’s sickness. God bless our darling child, & spare her to us. I will be very anxious my dear Lottie, until I hear again from you. I trust that our mails will be more useful to us hereafter. We, with our children, are in God’s Keeping, my Lottie, & if it pleases Him to afflict us, let us endeavor, by his assistance, to submit with true Christian fortitude & resignation. It will be hard to give up our darling little May; our third daughter! I will hope & pray for the best, until I hear from you again.

On yesterday I attended Service & partook of the blessed Communion, administered by Bishop Lay. It was one of the most interesting occasions of my life. A cool pine grove & a comfortable arbour, afforded comfort sufficient for the body, and the real presentation of the blessed Gospel, & the feast of our Lord’s Supper, supplied the

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soul. The lesson was from the last chapter of St. John’s Gospel; the latter part of the chapter; Our Saviour’s address to Peter. Oh! how beautifully our Lord’s reproof of Peter was set forth. The bread & fish prepared by our Lord on shore, & the multitude of fish drawn by his command, from which the disciples brought & added to our Lord’s feast. These were [illegible] of the everlasting feast! and the participation of the disciples in that glorious feast, after they had successfully thrown the Gospel out & brought souls to Christ! The address to Peter: “Lovest thou me”? thrice repeated was Christ’s reproof of him for having abandoned him before His crucifixion. How kind and gentle it is! Peter was now face to face with the Lord, whom he had shamefully denied, but Jesus offers him no stern rebuke -- no cruel scorn -- no harsh reproof. By thrice repeating the interrogation of love, He at once drives the arrow of kind but keen reproof to Peter’s heart, & satisfies Himself of Peter’s contrition & earnestness. “Feed my souls,” as if he had said: I will confide in you Peter. I won’t cast you off -- take care of my people, & you shall share with me in the everlasting feast of love. From this interesting interview of our blessed Master’s

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and His Disciples, the Bishop presented us two useful lessons: the power of gentleness & the necessity of humility, both as a test and as an evidence of our acceptance with God. Peter’s self confidence before his apostasy, & his humility before our Saviour, were touchingly and forcibly presented. Two fine looking fellows were confirmed, & the Bishop delivered them a beautiful & very appropriate address. How much more solemn and dignified the impressive ceremony of confirmation, than the irregular & irresponsible method of receiving members into the Church of Christ, practiced by other denominations. I am more & more impressed with the appropriateness & solemnity, the beauty & perfection of the forms of our Prayer Book. The conservatism of the Church to the principles & propriety of the Gospel strikes me more and more. I do not hear from the Ministers the clap trap, & careless preaching, if preaching it is at all, which I hear in many other instances. I do not see their names figuring in the public prints as political characters, or as ministers of Christ, assuming to discharge duties which do not pertain to them as such.

I love thy Kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thy abode

[Page 4]
The church of the blest Redeemer
With His own precious blood.

It is my best joy
To praise her heavenly [illegible];
Her sweet [illegible], solemn vows;
Her hymns of love & praise.

In tenderest love, my own darling wife, I commend you to God. Kiss our little ones, & may Heaven bless them & their dear mother.

Father! Whate’er of earthy bliss
They [illegible] will denies,
I Accepted at Thy throne, let this,
My humble prayer [illegible]:

Give me a calm & thankful heart,
From every [illegible words];
The blessing of Thy Grace impart,
To make me live to Thee:

Let the sweet hope that Thou art mine,
My life and death attend,
Thy presence, through my journey shine,
And crown my journey’s end.


[Page 2 – written on the side]
Today is a day of fasting & prayer, so appointed by the Governor of Georgia, & ordered to be observed by the army by Genl. Hood. I attend services at Hardee’s Quarters held by the Bishop. Mr. Auld preaches to my Regt. Ellie


Capers, Ellison, 1837-1908, “Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, September 15, 1864,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 13, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/504.