William Henry Harrison Beadle

The Diary of General Beadle: Part 3

This entry separates itself from many of the ones that we’ve already sifted through in that it contains a date (quite a bit farther down the road than the last one, I might add). Many of the entries before it were short and either illegible, nonsensical, or completely scratched out.

Though more coherent than the last couple we’ve posted, this entry confuses us in more ways than one. Why is General Beadle speaking of Ellen—a name that we know belongs to his wife? At this point in time, she would have been dead for a while. Similarly, he talks about wandering around campus, and yet this is dated in June…

10 June 1903

Ellen has been trying to comfort me, but she does not understand. She merely sits and nods wordlessly as I blubber about trying – in vain – to describe all that is happening. I do not pretend to fathom anything myself…

A couple scribbles and then:

I am naught more than a man… among monsters… and powers far greater than my own soul can mimic. Still, I search for words and demand explanations.

There is a break here where a few pages appear viciously torn out, before legible text continues:

Globes of light illuminate my peripherals as I wander round campus deep in the night. I have chosen to ignore them – they are

It is impossible to decipher what one word was written after “are”. It continues:

A black calm sets over my fluttering heart and I am reminded of time spent with the corpse of the late Abraham Lincoln. Death…

There are more crossed out bits, though less sloppily and more completely than before, as if he’s deciding how to correctly articulate his next sentence:

has always eluded me… I have seen so much… yet less and less am I able to comprehend… Ellen instructs me to move on… I think of deceased companions… long buried by war… I know that I must live so they did not perish in vein.

Here there are a couple of blank pages before he writes a final thought:

Only in my wildest dreams do I imagine, they will let me.

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