The weather outside the post office was grim and utterly devoid of recognition that Valentine’s Day was fast approaching.
Each day more and more enlisted men stopped in hoping to find something waiting for them. Anything from a sweetheart, a long lost love, a family member, a stranger, it didn’t matter; they just wanted to know someone out there cared about them.
Unfortunately, the bag of mail was more often than not devoid of perfumed letters, and many more soldiers went back out in the mire with the hearts depressed rather than uplifted.
It was the postmaster who resolved to change this sorry state of affairs. To him, it just wasn’t right to let these men suffer so on Saint Valentine’s Day. Better to have them dodging a hail of Cupid’s arrows than Confederate bullets, he told his subordinates.
So, under the cloak of darkness, the men of the post office went to work. The postmaster supplied the perfume, stolen from his wife, while everyone else did their best to mask their penmanship as not overtly masculine.
Sure enough, come the morning of Valentine’s Day, there was a letter waiting for every Union man.
Absent a return address, of course.
The Union troops who were stationed in Memphis during the Civil War swarmed the post office every year at Valentine’s Day, with the postmaster giving out any undeliverable Valentines to anyone who wanted them, trying to keep the troops happy. I think the solution presented in this story is a better one, don’t you?