Catching up with two of our entertaining writers…. Cornelia McGimsey and Lewis Warlick
We haven’t heard from these two wartime love birds in a while. This quick post will catch you up on their story, or fill you in on the details if you’re new to this blog. Cornelia McGimsey was 21 at the start of the Civil War and as the war began she cultivated relationships with several soldiers who marched off to war after NC seceded from the Union in May 1861. Both from Burke County in western NC, Lewis and Cornelia (aka Neal) knew each other prior to the war and he quickly became her “best beau.”
By August 1861 Lewis had proposed to Cornelia by mail “What do you say to a matrimonial union next fall?” http://wp.me/p1qIB8-g8 Lewis obviously hoped that when his 6 month enlistment was over, they would marry. Cornelia never answered directly in her letters throughout the rest of 1861 but the tone had changed. Lewis’ term of service was over in November 1861 and he returned home and apparently re-stated his request for marriage. By the time Lewis marched off for his second round of service to the Confederacy in April 1862, the pair was still not married. Lewis joined Company B of the 11th Regiment and began his letter writing campaign to Cornelia. For those of us eager to step into their lives and re-live their relationship, we will have to console ourselves to reading only Lewis’ letters from here on out. For some reason, Cornelia’s letters to Lewis did not survive the war. I have some ideas as to why that happened, but we will have to leave that speculation for another post.
Lewis’ first letter since re-enlistment will be posted later today.
There have been 20 exchanges between Lewis and Cornelia to date. To read these letters, filter my posts by category “Cornelia McGimsey.”