Prior to Valentine's Day 2001 I happened to tune into a radio program on Canada's public broadaster CBC.
One Valentine item was a reading of a letter written during the U.S. Civil War by one Sullivan Ballou (Ballew?) who was telling his newly-married wife how much he loved her, and for her to remember him if he did not return home. Less than a week later, he was killed at the (first) Battle of Bull Run. I am guessing he and his wife were in their 20's, so were likely b. 1835-1840.
There was no other information given since the intent of the program was to read letters related to feelings of love. It is difficult to describe the details of his letter, but his expressions of eternal love and devotion for his young wife were truly touching.
Does anyone posting here know anything more about Sullivan Ballou/Ballew, victim of the war between the States in the 1860's ? Do we know if his wife (not named) remarried, or perhaps was carrying their first and only child when Sullivan was killed ? Did he have any siblings, and who were his parents ?
Did he perhaps get his first name of Sullivan from the surname of his mother or grandmother ? Anyone with SULLIVAN connections out there ?