I. R. Trimble



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"This sad war should never have been." His nephew's life spared by the president - intercession of prisoners who had been under him at Andersonville.




letter, Trimble, McIlvaine, Civil War, nephew


Ft. [?] Feby 22nd 65

Rt Revd Chas. P. M. McIlvaine

Bishop of Ohio

Dear Sir:

Your favour of 15th just recd yesterday. I am gratified to find by your earnest Christian response to my request, that the favourable opinion I have long entertained for one whose excellent services in the Church, have deserved general regard, was not misplaced. Allen was to thank you for your prayers and good wishes and specially to inform you that my nephew’s sentence to death has been mercifully commuted to imprisonment.

For thus mercifully sparing life, I am grateful to the President, but more grateful to the God “whose property is always to their mercy” - who influenced the decision of the Prest. such acts of clemency are victories more glorious than those seen on “crimson fields.” For xxx [sic] “To dry a single tear has more of honest fame than shedding seas of gore.” I respond truly + sincerely to your prayer for peace + union among Christians + for mere Christian influence in the land. This sad war should never have been - never should cause been given for it; nor offence taken to begin it; nor forbearance withheld to stop it. That it did occur is a humiliating evidence that God’s work has not been done- that hearts have not been changed by Christ’s teachings, as they should have been. No! We have wickedly and stupidly- with equal faults on both sides, set at naught the wisdom taught by HIstory & the charity taught by Christ, and wallowed asinine in the blood & filth of wickedness. I have been sick of it from the first and sicker now and can see no case, not even in submission, subjugation as in restored rights, until the Kingdom of Christ constrains all to the sentiments + practices of His teachings.

For your personal good & kind wishes + prayers for me, allow me, dear Bishop, to render you deep, heartfelt thanks and to pray that God may spare you [good] many years for usefulness.

Sincerely your friend + brother in Christ

I.R. Trimble

Maj. Genl. P.A.C.S.

P.S. I am told Davis’ life was spared by the intercession of prisoners who had been under him at Andersonville. A most gratifying fact indeed, who have ever shown mercy + taught those to show it, whose acts would be influenced by my precepts + example.

Letter to Charles P. McIlvaine



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