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Sullivan Ballou

Major Sullivan Ballou
Major Sullivan Ballou
Civil War Display
Civil War Display

The Story of Sullivan Ballou begins not with his famous letter, which grew fame from being featured on Ken Burns' documentary, The Civil War, or that of Ballou Post #3 which was named after him for his sacrifice and service, and was located in the Children's Room of the Adams Public Library. The tale of this young Patriotic Union Soldier begins with a life of outstanding service to his community. A loyal, patriotic and intellectual man with a deep passion, for love, state, and country.

On July 21, 1861, Sullivan Ballou was fatally injured by a cannon ball that struck his leg in the Battle of Bull Run. He would stay alive as a prisoner of war until his untimely demise. One week prior, he wrote the famous Sullivan Ballou Letter.

In it he carefully expressed the love of his wife, Sarah Hart Ballou, and his love of the nation. His finely expressed words showed that even in fear of death, he would march forward to this battle, for to leave and to betray his comrades would be a disdain upon his core beliefs. These soft, yet strong spoken words will leave an impact upon any who reads the letter, and shall give you much to ponder, a finality of grandness. The final part of his letter “I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children” accompany his grave at Swan Point Cemetery.

The Sullivan Ballou Letter and a unique collection of Civil War Books are on display in the Reading Room at Adams Public Library.

A high quality print of the letter is for sale at the circulation desk at the library for $10. All proceeds benefit the Library.

Sarah Hart Ballou
Sarah Hart Ballou
Sullivan Ballou Letter
Sullivan Ballou Letter