For Love and Liberty: The Untold Civil War Story of Major Sullivan Ballou and His Famous Love Letter
If you were among the millions who fell in love with Ken Burns's documentary The Civil War back in 1990, today there's probably only one moment you remember from it: "The Letter." Read as the music soared at the end of the first episode, the letter from unsung Rhode Island soldier Sullivan Ballou to his wife on the eve of battle—and likely death—brought a nation of viewers to tears for its eloquence and passion.This is Ballou's story. At the age of thirty-four, less than ten years after meeting the love of his life, Sarah Shumway, Ballou left his law practice and budding political career, his wife and two young sons, and took a commission as a major in the Union Army. He served in the army for almost two months but was struck down at the First Battle of Manassas-Bull Run. Civil War enthusiasts will devour the detailed depiction of the battle in which Ballou participated, and romantics will be absorbed in Sarah and Sullivan's love story.For Love and Liberty brings the war to life with startling detail, depicting not only the heroism of its soldiers, but also the courage of the families they left behind.