One more time I take pen in hand
To write a few lines to my devoted wife,
But, oh! dear 'Becka they've taken my legs
And told me I'm no more for this life.
So while blood still runs within me
There's a few things you should know,
I haven't much time so please forgive me
Writing in such haste my love to show.
It was the biggest battle this continent has known
Here at Shiloh and far away from you,
I shouldered my rifle and followed our flag
'Til the blue coats were no longer in view.
But in our last charge the cannon balls came
Hot and screaming and cut up our ranks,
Down I went and such pain I've never felt
Now spared a moment and I've given thanks.
With little hope of getting back to ol' Miss'ippi.
The boys have vowed they'll bring me home
and place my name on a cold piece of stone,
'Midst others who now rest alone
If they ever reach home
Of my old comrades who'll know where I lay,
So you can fetch me and bring me home to rest
Oh! dear 'Becka my soul will long for that day.
You must get the seeds planted in spring
And the hog fattened up in time for the fall,
That old milk cow, is she doing all right?
I'm sorry I couldn't finish the horse's stall.
But, 'Becka you're strong and you should know
I'm honored you chose to carry my name,
And be the mother of our two little ones
More dear to me than all the riches and fame.
Tell my son Billy I died like a man
And now can't show him all those little boy things,
Ain't much to leave him 'cept the name he now has
And maybe that old bird gun and some fishing strings.
And Betsy our angel - such a father's delight
With dancing blue eyes and so full of love,
Tell her don't worry - she'll be a big girl soon
Her dad'll watch over her high from above.
But, 'Becka it's you I'd give anything to see
For just one hour before I would depart,
To hear your voice and touch your face
You're the best there is and so pure in heart.
I'll take with me that day not long ago
When I first saw you and knew right away,
That you were the one for this rebel boy
A moment I've cherished even to this day.
'Becka, I'm weak now and can't see too well
Breathin's hard and it's time for me to go,
If only you were here to ease the pain
Then it wouldn't be so hard for me, you know?
In these last few moments before I go to sleep
Always know that I loved you more than life,
All that's left in me can only whisper your name
'Becka, dear 'Becka, my sweetheart, my wife.