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Hopewell Museum

Love At a Distance: The Courtship, Marriage and Love Match of John Brennan and Emma Hickman 1864-1876


By Nancy O’Malley

3 in stock



Kentucky and the nation are in the throes of a Civil War when John Brennan, Union Army major, attends a dance in Frankfort, Kentucky. There he meets Emma Hickman, the woman who will change his life. In his first letter to Emma, John confesses, “All that I had fancied you to be has been more than realized after personally knowing you and I will with all sincerity say that the heart which has been partially yours for some time is now entirely yours.” Emma responded, “You have forgotten I see what I told about soldiers, that I would not have a Soldier lover.” Undaunted, John continued writing, launching a three year, long distance courtship that finally culminated in marriage. In the letters of John and Emma, we are privileged to witness a deep and abiding love that sustained the two lovers through war, separation, loss and tragedy.