Aug 8th 1864
My dearest Corrie
Yours last I have not answered which outght have been done last week, but being sick was the cause of my silence so long. I have had diarrhea for a week with but little improvement. I’m going to the field hospital today where I can be more quiet. I think in a few days I will be able for duty again. If I should not get better pretty soon after I get to the hospital I think there will be some chance for me to be furloughed. Our present position is not very safe, well I don’t that it is anything like dangerous but then a fellow can be frightened so and so… all by one mortar shell.
We are lying in reserve say a mile from the Yanks (our advance being close up) rather gone into camps, but when the mortar and picket firing gets warm we lie low. The mine explosion of Grants was a terrible affair. It was set for us but caught more blue birds than gray. I will write in a few days again – will quit and try and eat some breakfast.
Give my love to all
** Lewis is discussing the battle at Petersburg in which Federal troops dug a tunnel under Confederate positions and then filled the tunnel with explosives, which created a larger crater. Federal troops then poured into the crater area, only to be fired down upon by Confederates who lined the top of the mound. Killed and wounded totals equal about 4,000 Federals and 1,500 Confederates.
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.