letters from dickinson to frances and louise norcross

TO: Frances and Louise Norcross

late March 1862

Dear Children,

You have done more for me - 'tis least that I can do, to tell you of brave Frazer - "killed at Newbern," darlings. His big heart shot away by a "minie ball."

I had read of those - I didn't think that Frazer would carry one to Eden with him. Just as he fell, in his soldier's cap, with his sword at his side, Frazer rode through Amherst. Classmates to the right of him, and classmates to the left of him, to guard his narrow face! He fell by the side of Professor Clark, his superior officer - lived ten minutes in a solider's arms, asked twice for water - murmured just, "My God!" and passed! Sanderson, his classmate, made a box of boards in the night, but the brave boy in, covered with a blanket, rowed six miles to reach the boat, - so poor Frazer came. They tell that Colonel Clark cried like a little child when he missed his pet, and could hardly assume his post.

The bed on which he came was enclosed in a large casket shut entirely, and covered him from head to foot with the sweetest flowers. He went to sleep from the village church. Crowds came to tell him goodnight, choirs sang to him, pastors told how brave he was - early-soldier heart. And the family bowed their heads, as the reeds of the wind shakes.

So our part in Frazer is done, but you must come next summer, and we will mind ourselves of this young crusader - too brave that he could fear to die. We will play his tunes - maybe he can hear them; we will try to comfort his broken-hearted Ella, who, as the clergyman said, "gave him peculiar confidence." . . . Austin is stunned completely. Let us love better, child, it's most that's left to do.

     Love from

thomas johnson's note on letter 255 | index to dickinson/norcross letters

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