In Their Own Words
April 06, 1865
Wife Learned of Husband’s Death in Civil War
Marion Hill Fitzpatrick was wounded April 2 at the Battle of Petersburg; he died on this day - a mere three days before the surrender at Appomattox. A man who had been with him wrote his wife with the sad news.
“…As you in all probability have not heard of the death of your husband and as I was a witness to his death I consider it my duty to write to you allthough I am a stranger to you. But your husband and myself have share the same dangers under the same army for the past four years, allthough I did not get acquainted with him until he was wounded. Him and myself was wounded the same day the second of April and were brought to Richmond that night layed in the cars that night and Richmond was evacuated the next day and we fell into enemy hands, but that morning before the Yankees got into Richmond we wer carried back on the other side of the river to Manchester wher the ladies dressed our wounds and had us moved to a house and all the attention was paid that could be given both by the ladies and private physicians of Manchester but it availed nothing in regards to your husband. He died on the 6th of April, but I am happy to say he died happy and I certainly think that he is now better off. A few minutes before he breathed his last he sang Jesus can make a dying bed as soft as downy pillows are & he said he would of liked to of seen you before he died. He said that the Lord’s will be done and for you to meet him in heaven. …”
Source: Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (eds.), Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998), p. 209.