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"I am Communing with God, my Country and Thee."

"I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country and thee."

Written by 32-year-old Major Sullivan Ballou, a successful attorney from Providence, Rhode Island, to his 24-year-old wife, Sarah, this letter proved to be as prophetic as it was universal and poetic. Written just a week before his death in the First Battle of Bull Run on the plains of Manassas, Sullivan leaves behind a touchingly eloquent legacy and stark reminder of all the casualties of war, which are not limited to the fallen soldiers on the battlefield, but extend to the families and loved ones who will never see them or feel their influence again.

The full performance of our Letter of Sullivan Ballou with music by John Kander will come in the next episode!

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