Letter. "Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Lima, New York, to "Friend [Oliver Waldo] West", Suffolk, Virginia
Stilson discusses the enclosed poem, John Greenleaf Whittier's "The Battle Autumn of 1862"; she also discusses a poem of her own entitled "Twenty-One", which is included in the letter and which was written for West's 21st birthday, 4 January 1863; she comments on receiving letters ("Oh! I enjoy getting letters. What a strange throb there is to an unread letter! Get a letter just as you are going into battle—put it into your vest pocket with the seal unbroken—and go and fight—how you'll hear its heart beat! What if such a letter should be found with a dead soldier, wouldn't the unbroken seal have a kind of mysterious signification?"). Stilson goes on to speak of Tennyson, and describes a recent dream.