John and Eliza: A Civil War love story – Get your quote online

This is the story of John and Eliza. It's a civil war love story. It is also a story of war, death, disease and battle. But above all, it is a story of trials, triumphs and tribulations of life.
John and Eliza were both born in 1843, just two months apart as if they were destined to meet and marry. But she grew up near Boston, he was on a farm in western Pennsylvania. War would bring them together. John's younger brother Clinton introduces us to John in his memoirs.
“As a young man, John was robust, strong, with square shoulders and capable of great endurance. When he was fourteen, he took his place in the field with men. It wouldn't allow any man to do more work than he does. "
When John turned 18, he enrolled at nearby Waynesburg College. Years later, Clinton described the circumstances that would soon wipe John out of his studies: "The election of Abraham Lincoln – the gathering of the clouds of war – the storm broke out in all its fury."
John and his fellow students, also their professors, soon formed the core of the 140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment. The events moved quickly. Clinton's memories bring us to Gettysburg.
“John celebrated his 20th birthday on July 2, 1863, in the terrible battle of Gettysburg. It was in the wheat field where men were mowed down by the thousand. Of the 500 men in his regiment, 367 were killed or injured. His general, the colonel, the captain and the lieutenant were all killed or seriously injured. So my brother John left the battle in charge of his company. "
In Gettysburg there was no more courage or carnage than in the cornfield and a slope studded with rocks on the western edge. The cornfield turned red with blood as Union and Confederate forces pushed back and forth in battle, bodies of both armies scattered across the field and on the rocky slope beyond. The darkness of the late afternoon and the thick black smoke from the cannon fire reduced visibility to almost zero, sometimes men fired blindly. An astronomy professor who became a soldier, realizing that he was in charge of John's regiment by default, gave the command to retreat when the Confederate reinforcements arrived making their way up the ridge and down the slope.
“One of the last to withdraw was the sergeant. It has been burning since it has not heard the order to relapse. Retracing the tangled grain and bullets whistling beside him, he heard a Confederate soldier shout "Halt you danned Yank". The trampled grain would stumble and fall, but on and on. Eventually, he was exhausted and, with shortness of breath, fell again and was unable to get up. But looking through the ripening wheat, he saw the Union battle line a few meters in front of him. Returning his breath, he got up and dived forward, falling exhausted just behind the battle line. "(History of the regiment)
Six months later, Clinton's memoirs: "John was detached from his company to secure the recruits. Crossing Baltimore, he missed the train and was forced to lie down, using the extra day to visit one of his men in a field hospital. . A box was distributed to the men of the Christian Women's Commission in Quincy, Massachusetts. "
“A letter accompanying the treatment package was shown to my brother. It was written beautifully, in the calligraphy, in the style of the composition and in the thoughts it contained. "
John, on behalf of the army, replied to the letter. He too was struck by the tenderness of the word of words and thoughts, and a correspondence courtship followed the young woman who had written the letter: Eliza Hardwick of Quincy, music teacher and milliner who lived with her parents and a bachelor brother.
John was a man changed after the war. Clinton wrote: “The war had made a profound impression on John. The terrible wickedness he had seen every day awakened the deepest religious sentiments of his soul, and decided to enter the Christian ministry to teach men the gospel of peace and goodwill. "
The religious attraction to John now coexisted with his feelings for Eliza, a woman who had yet to meet face to face and who knew only by the tenderness, eloquence and content of his writings. Their correspondence courtship continued for the next six years when John resumed his studies at Waynesburg College and then moved to Monmouth College in Illinois to finish his degree and enroll in the seminar.
Captain John Burns and Eliza Hardwick married in Quincy in September 1871. They took the train from Boston to Chicago and then to Monmouth for his final year of seminary, after which he became minister of a small church in rural rural areas of & # 39; Iowa. This congregation described John as "a young man who had been captain of his company during the war, but gave up his commission and sword to take up the banner of his Savior."
In 1872, John and Eliza had a daughter, naming his Bessie Lincoln Burns. In 1876, John became minister of a much larger church in Lawrence, Massachusetts. But unfortunately, two years later he contracted Bright's disease, a deadly kidney disease, and died in 1878 at the age of 34. Few men have led more admirable lives.
Eliiza and Bessie returned to her childhood home on 45 Granite Street in Quincy. Bessie went to college, got married and moved on. Eliza died in the house on Granite Street in 1928, at the age of 85. His love for John never wavered.

James F. Burns is a retired professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville.