After an extraordinary life that included immigrating to the United States from Ireland, traveling to Australia and living there for four years, and then surviving four years of war, James Love married Molly Wilson on May 2, 1865, and then had an ordinary, presumably happy, life. Unfortunately, he did not leave behind any correspondence, diaries, or other papers to document the rest of his life, but city directories, the census, and other sources at least provide information on where he lived and his occupation.
Columbia S. Ca.
Dec’r 5th 1864
My Dear Mollie
Since I last wrote to you, I have been out on a trip to meet Sherman, or visit East Tenn. but I failed to do either, was recaptured and am now back at the old place. We had a hard time out, but a little exercise and starvation even is a change from the monotony of Prison life; and very few feel worse for the trip. All goes on in camp as usual. The weather is again warm and favorable.
I am in my usual health would have nothing to complain of, if I was free. I wrote to Wm. C. last week and intend to send him a parcel for safe keeping till I come myself. I suppose you are now enjoying the winter season in St. Louis; and ere you have received this will have passed the usual quiet Christmas and New Year. I did expect to show my face at the festive board about that season but I am born to dissapointment and to be a thorn in the side of all my best friends; but with your good help and prayers I hope this programme will be changed, when this cruel war is over. I must be patient! I know how long suffering you are; and think it needful to again remind you, that your imagination makes me suffer more than I do in reality, and that you are really the Martyr and hero, not I. Pray believe it! It is so I assure you! I suffer but what thousands of poor unfortunates at home and abroad suffer daily and live! And God Willing I will live and meet you in happiness yet. The sick and badly wounded are to be exchanged! Would you rather see me on that list, or in health here?
News I have much, but it is contraband. I wish to be remembered when you can kindly to all. With love dearest to yourself and every kind thought
I am as ever
James E. Love
Capt. 8th Ks. Vol.
Miss E. M. Wilson
St. Louis Mo.