He Never Came Home
“He Never Came Home, and I Never Knew Where He Died, or Where He Was Buried.”—When this cruelest of cruel wars is over; when the white-robed angel of Peace spreads a sheltering wing over our blood-stained land, and thousands and tens of thousands of anxious families are made happy by the safe return of loved ones to the security and quiet felicities of “Home, Sweet Home,” how many other thousands of broken-hearted widows and parents will utter, in tones of anguish and despair, the words, “he never came home, and I never knew where he died, or where he was buried.” Oh, the unknown and [un]recorded dead!
Near the town of Marietta is the grave of a dead soldier. A rude head board tells all that is known of him now, perhaps forever. It bears this inscription—“Unknown—killed by Railroad accident, Sept. 14, 1863.” How many such known graves billow our land from Gettysburg to the Rio Grande ! How many thousands of our brave boys have not even a rude head board to mark their place of rest. Peace will, no doubt, create sunshine in many shady nooks and corners of the heart, but peace can never restore sunshine and smiles to hearts and homes made desolate by the absence of the loved and lost. Poor, heart-broken fathers, mothers, wives, sisters—earth has no balm to heal your wounds. Heaven alone can comfort and console you. The Past is black with despair—the Present is clouded by affliction—the Future is cheerless and hopeless; but beyond the narrow bounds of Time, brightly beams the star of Hope. Over the river of Death, there is another home, where the weary, fainting soul may throw its burden off, and lie down in green pastures beside the still waters, never more to know a human sorrow, or hear a human sight.
God comfort and strengthen the broken-hearted fathers, mothers, wives, and sisters, all over our unhappy land, and keep perpetually green in the hearts of our people the memory of the unknown and unrecorded dead.
SWR's (CulpeppersLightArtillery) Richard