Wednesday, December 10, 2014

John Adams: Where No Sorrows Come


Charles McDougall (father-in-law of John Adams)

       I know I've already written at least one blog on Confederate Brigadier General John Adams. He happens to be one of my favorite Confederate generals. I recently bought a book at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee entitled Where No Sorrows Come: The Life and Death of Confederate Brigadier General John Adams by Bryan Lane. This book is a must have. I finished it in two days, despite having a severe migraine on the last day during the last one hundred pages. The book is well researched and well written. My hat is off to Mr. Lane. This blog consists of a letter quoted in Mr. Lane's book from John Adams's father-in-law (who happened to be strongly pro-Union) to John Adams's sister. The letter is extremely touching. 

       "We are a thousand times obliged for your last favor. The sad detail of my dear son's (John Adams, his actual son-in-law) fate with its sorrows had much of comfort. Long before I dreamed of any nearer situation between John and myself we were mess mates on an Indian campaign, and on which begun our friendship.

       Our relation of father and son were those of very tender and strong attachment - in him was all a father could wish - We loved him as we did our own children who all loved him as their own dear brother, and in all our intercourse as with every member of my family, not a word or look or thought to mar our happiness.

       He loved Georgie as he did his life, even more, and not a wish had she but it was always anticipated. At one time Georgie was suddenly very ill. I despaired of her life and I thought it advisable to tell him. When I did so he fell as if shot in overpowering grief - and when the crisis was past and announced, his joy knew no bounds - the happiest man I ever saw.

       He was fun, without guile, chivalrous, affectionate and all that relatives or friends could wish him. He leaves in his example a rich legacy to his children - God bless them. 

       How much we have desired to see you all and mix our griefs and tears with yours, to unburden our hearts as cannot be done by writing. Tell my darling daughter that she and her dear ones are never out of our thoughts - that although she has kind and loving friends, who will do everything for her, yet her fathers home is where she ought and must come to. What little of life which is left to her parents will be devoted to her and the children, and we pray our Heavenly Father that we may live for their sakes. 

       Please mention to Georgie to notify me that she will come and when, so that I can prepare. Her mother and myself will meet her wherever she may indicate. Early information will govern the time I shall her rent her a house which now are hard to procure. 

       And now dear sister of my beloved son (now in Heaven) accept from us our deep and sincere condolence and we pray God to sustain you in your affliction and that we may all meet where no sorrows come."

       C. McDougall

Only known photograph of John and Georgiana Adams together


  1. This letter touched me. His sorrow was evident and his memories have given us who follow a picture of friendship, love, and loss. I must read this book.

  2. You have to go to Franklin with me some day, Shirley. I will give you the tour. Its a very sad place.