Camp 11th NC near Orange CH, VA
April 11, 1864
My dearest Friend,
Every evening I’m disappointed in not getting any letters, not one have I received yet and this being the fifth I have written you since my return, surely my first did not reach you. I will wait as patiently as possible for the welcome message. Recently by an underground passage I have ascertained that Puss has a new correspondent in the 11th, doubtless the trip to Raleigh was not altogether spent in idle chit chat, but the conversation turned on a more serious affair, perhaps on love matters – don’t know only guessing at any rate you must tease Puss about it. I’ll lay a wager that you will never see the contents of the missive she will get about the time or a few days previous of your getting this.
I’m not a prophet nor the son of a prophet but sometimes my predictions turn out even so.
We are looking for marching orders every day as orders have been issued for all baggage, supplies baggage, with all visitors to be sent to the rear; the general impression is that Lee is going to Culpepper as hurriedly as possible after starting, to pounce down on Grants right flank while he is reorganizing his army and give him battle before he will be able to concentrate his troops; thereby breaking and confusing his plans for an onward movement to Richmond. I think it altogether probable, if this should be the plan, that we will be able to drive the enemy in his strong holds around Centerville before he will be able to give us battle with his whole force. I think it very likely the inclemency of the weather will postpone active operations a few days for it has rained nearly every day for a week. Morgan starts home tomorrow by him I send the “raids,” to be left at Mr. Duval’s – think you will be mighty pleased with it, especially with the characters, “Lu” “Mary” & “Evangeline,” they were great heroines. I haven’t read “No Name” yet – will send it ito you the first opportunity after I shall have read it.
I would like very much to go home on furlough this Spring but that is impossible for an order from Genl. Lee has put an end to them. You told me before I left home there was some things you needed and wanted me to get in Richmond, but when I left I never thought a word about it, write me what you want and I will try and get them and send to you. The boys are generally well but badly clothed, we have had a requisition out for some time for clothing, not yet have we been able to get them and I don’t see why it is as there is plenty in NC for the troops and now is the time the soldiers ought to have them as an active campaign is right on hand. Tuesday Morning This morning we have nothing but corn bread for breakfast, we ought have drawn last evening, we draw the same amount of rations as the men free of charge and buying for the commissary is entirely cut of from the officers, all fare alike from private to Genl.
When I draw I will send you some money if an opportunity affords and I would like if you can, by some cotton yarn to make me some shirts would rather have small checks for I see no change of getting from the Government. My kindest regards to all. As ever your devoted husband.
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 Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill.