LETTER FROM HOME
by Mort Kunstler
Overall Print Size: 25" x 20¼"
Edition Size: 1150
"O, if this war was over, you and all the soldiers could come home and stay home in peace." So read a letter from home received by a soldier in Robert E. Lee’s army in 1863. It was a typical sentiment expressed in letters sent to soldiers of both the North and the South. Among the hardest burdens borne by troops in this bloodiest of all American wars was the separation from loved ones. Receiving a letter from home was a heart-stirring event for war-weary troops yearning for the simple pleasures of peace. News from the family, bits of gossip, words of encouragement from parents and siblings, endearing sentiments from wives or sweethearts - all provided welcome diversion from dull duties and battlefield dangers. "Mother give me her little sheep, and I will have the wool to make you some stockings," wrote a young son to a soldier father in the Army of Northern Virginia. "Mother says I am a good boy and smart too...." Such poignant reminders of home could refresh tender memories in a soldier, but could also rekindle the pain of separation. "There ain’t a day, no hardly an hour, but what I am thinking of you and the children," a dutiful Johnny Reb replied to the wife he left behind. "I look at your photograph and fear it is the last I shall see of you." For most soldiers, however, the pleasures afforded by mail far outweighed the pain. Letters were read and read again - repeatedly. "Please rite me agin soon," one Southern soldier asked the folks back home, "for I am mity sad and lonesom." In the lull between battles, even amid the ruckus of a bustling nighttime camp, a letter from home was a priceless treasure of hope.
In Mort Kunstler’s "LETTER FROM HOME" a Confederate soldier reads a letter by the light of a lantern hanging from some stacked arms, tripod style, as two others play checkers on a makeshift checkerboard painted on the inside of a blanket. Other camp activities in the background illustrate an observation of a Civil War soldier that the war was interminable boredom interspersed with sheer moments of terror. Games and duties provided much-needed distractions from the hardships of war, but nothing provided more relief than a letter from home.
Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.