Dear Alexa, my beloved wife
I have just finished my first battle in the war and may I say, our troops did a hell of a job. Our army was able to withstand the attacks from the Northerners and even push them back to the point of where they had to retreat. The North thought they were just going to skip away with this battle but it is proving to be more difficult for them than expected. This is a very bloody war and I have seen many of my brethren die in action. If I don't ever see you again then tell the children I love them. Half the slaves go to you and half go to them. If I don't speak to you again, know it was because I died for my country and my state of Tennessee.
P.S. Make sure those slaves take good care of our children.
Sincerely, Major Steven B. Madden