Letter of condolence written by H. C. Vogell to Mrs. Cady of Rome, New York, from Camp near Bealton, Virginia, August 31, 1863
Downing, D.J. (Captain)) . Letter][Written in margins:Adjt Downing (
Your kind yet sad letter reached me last eve. I was
glad to hear from you – and glad to know that amid the desolation
of your hearts and home your thoughts with your faith & hope, were
cast on “him who doeth all things well”. It is a blessed assurance
under lifes varied, and checkered scenes, we can look above the cloud,
however dark – and in Faith reach forth the sickle – reap the field
of Heaven – and pluck the clusters from the vines of God. There is
no better foundation than that which Christ has laid for the weary.
God is his own interpreter, and however mysterious – and agoni-
zing may be his Providences – he will eventual make them
plain. Cling to the anchor my friends – keep fast hold of it. Nor
let it go – though the storm beats high and the night darkness.
Above the blast and angry wave, the voice of him, who stilled
the tempest of Gallilee (Galilee, Israel) , is heard, clear as the music of Heaven
calm, and pure as the sympathy of Jesus (Jesus) – and commanding
as the authority of God. “It is I be not afraid”. You have heard
that voice in your youth. You know the peace which followed
and the calm it produced on the troubled waters of your mind.
It has not lost its power. That voice is still out on the dark
storm. “It is I be not afraid”. There is yet an other voice
not dearer – but dear from its relationship – saying in all
its practical-bearings, and God like truthfulness. “When I
am tired he will bring me forth as the gold”. and he has done
it. He will do it again. He will bring you forth from the furnace
That Saviour who has thus far been your guide and your
light, will not leave you in this time of deep trial. Having
wept himself over the grave of a friend – he does not forbid,
or disregard your tears. If we could only penetrate the
future, tear its veil aside, and peer into the workings &
accomplishments of God – we might see how his purposes
and designs ripen into the fruit of Heaven. But you know
religion is not of sight – but of Faith. Job (Job) felt as we feel,
at least as I have felt, when he said “when shall I awake and
the night be gone”, and yet Job (Job) learned the lesson, after a time
the night broke – the cloud passed – the day of prosperity dawned
and he could exclaim “I have heard of thee by the hearing of
the ear – but now mine eye seeth thee” - &c. It is no trouble
to see when there is nothing to cloud the vision – but to trust
him where we cannot trace him, embraces the power
of the religion of Faith. “The bud may have a bitter taste,
but sweet will be the flower” – is not only pure poetry but a
Threads that are golden lie thickly between
Our wearied hearts and the world unseen;
They draw us thence with a stronger power
Than the gilded charms of the passing hour.
You said rightly and truely – that my “sympathy is not mere
form’. Had I not felt it I should not have offered it or written.
I feel for you deeply. I can see and realise (realize) all you are
passing through – I have trodden the same path – am treading
it yet. Faint yet pursueing (pursuing) – I do not know that the mysteries
which have, and do still, darken my eventull (eventual) life, will ever
be solved to my satisfaction, and relief in this world – yett (yet) I
know they will be solved & made plain in the world to
come, and that every wrong will be adjusted, and the responsi-
bility of every wrong, placed where it belongs.
I should like to see you very much. To sit down with you all
and talk over those things which have passed and are passing
There is much which cannot be written. Beside that, the
presence of a friend is more suggestive. I have had many
pleasant hours in your home – and now recall them,
among the precious memories of the past.
My mode of life in the Army is by no means congenial to me
nor is it adapted to my age and infirmities. Providence
seems to have sent me here – and I must bide the time of providence
in taking me away. I try to be content.
I send you enclosed a copy of a letter written by Dock
Franklin (Franklin, Dock)
over a century since. I have carried it with
me a great while – have often read it. I do not give it
you but send it to you for your perusal – and when
you have done with it preserve it for me, or give it
to Belle (Belle) to place with my papers. I think Daniel (Cady, Daniel) will
be interested in it.
Give my love to each and all, I often think of you.
This morning our entire Corps, were ordered out on a
reconnaissance of two or three days. There seemed last
night a disturbance in our front towards Falmouth (Falmouth, Virginia) .
I have not written about matters here – you do not
want to hear – Your thoughts are elswhere.
I have siezed (seized) the moment I had to spare this morning, in
the confusion – to write you, not knowing I should find
an other, if I waited
Write me when you can I shall always be pleased
H.C. Vogell (Vogell, H.C.)
Since writing the above, and having a moment to spare, I again read
your letter, and wept over the expressions of your sorrow. I can see in it
more and more of your mental agony. Try and look beyond
He is not in the grave. He is not dead – All there was of Rush (Cady, Rush Palmer) is
imperishable – He is safe and beyond the reach of toil & pain,
to die no more. With you can say “he shall not return to me
but I shall go to him”. Yes go to him. We shall all meet him
after a time. Happy day – Happy day, when the ransomed of
Jesus meet around the throne in the City of the Great God.
It is I be not afraid.
I have written this on my knee
in the open field. God bless you all
yes I do and will pray for you.