July 5th 1862
Why is it that you don’t write, three weeks have lapsed since I heard from you and I am uneasy for fear there is something the matter. I have been looking with great anxiety for the last two weeks for letters and have received none. Perhaps you have no paper as you wrote to me some time since that you were out. If that be the case you are excusable otherwise I don’t think you would be. I suppose you get the news from the Richmondfight regularly terrible fighting there wasn’t it? And I am glad to know that our forces are still pushing the enemy back. The last dispatch I have seen from the battle field was up to night before last. Then the enemy was in full retreat in CharlesCitycounty and our forces in pursuit. I hope they will kill and capture the last one of them. Already we have killed and captured thousands including five Generals captured one being next in command to McClellan (Maj Gen McCall) Many wounded and dead are passing through every day; yesterday the remains of Col. Mears, of the 3rd Reg. was brought in — was killed at Richmond his body will be interred at the Cemetery to day with military honors our regiment being ordered out as an escort.
If we had gone on to Va.when we were ordered we would have been participants in that great battle; and then perhaps some of us would have breathed our last, notwithstanding all these considerations I would like to have been there to help drive back these heartless invaders from our beloved soil.
Our company left here last night at 10 for Masonboro sound eight miles distant to unload a schooner that run the blockade and is now in port safe. The reason I did not go was that it looked very much like raining and I have a cold and fearful if I got wet it would make me sick, and besides that I had a pain in my right eye, therefore I concluded it would be better for me to remain in camps. Two companies of our regiment have been for the last week unloading a valuable cargo near for Fort Fisher; the vessel was the Modern Greece ** from England, in attempting to run in the port the blockers cut her off and also got in her rear then the only chance for her to keep from falling as a prize into the hands of the Yankees was to beach her which was done in three fourths of a mile of Fort Fisher. The steamer is a total wreck and only about two thirds of the cargo (900 tons) was saved; her cargo consisted of seven thousand stand of arms, twenty seven hundred and seventy barrels of powder, gray cloth, domestic clothing, medicine, shoes, wines, brandies, salt, pepper, spice, cannon in fact every thing you could think of. There is now another steamer lying outside the blockaders watching for an opportunity to run in. What kind of a time did you have at the quarterly meeting? Did you get the paper I sent you? I will send you more before long, if I can some better than that was. I think I will go down to the sound this evening and help the boys get off that cargo if it clears off. Write often and a great deal to your kindest friend and _____
Margin note: give my respects to sister and Susan. Lt. Parks had an other chill yesterday; Port, Pink and H. Parks are well. Wm. McGimsey has been unwell but is getting better.
* See another post later today on the sinking and recovery of the Modern Greece.
Sources: Mike and Carol Lawing, eds., My Dearest Friend: The Civil War Correspondence of Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick (Durham,NC:Carolina Academic Press, 2000). Original collections of the papers are in the Laura Cornelia McGimsey Papers and the George Phifer Erwin Papers in the Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.