August 9th 1864
Having an opportunity to send a letter by Mr B F Havens to Washington, I avail myself of the chance of writing you a short letter to let you know that I am quite well. I have not had a letter from you now in a fortnight, and am uneasy for fear you are sick which may the Lord protect you from. JW Clayton arrived back here yesterday and by him I learned that your family were quite sickly. I hope ere this they are getting better. I feel very uneasy when I hear that any of our loved ones are sick and much worse so when I hear you are sick yourself. We have a good deal of sickness in garrison now and some of the cases are quite stubborn. Hardenbergh is verry unwell indeed and has been so now for 2 months or more. There is not much news stirring here now. We got the news of Genl Lees blowing up a parcel of Yankees in one of their mines before Petersburgh yesterday and also that the Yankees had blowed some of our men in the same way. There is nothing new from Georgia just now. One piece of good news I have to tell you of that took place here on Sunday night. One of the Yankee blockaders while running close to the inlet got aground and they worked all night nearly trying to get her off but finding that day would catch them right under our guns they set her on fire and left her . She burned to the waters edge and then we boarded her in boats and got a good deal of plunder. This morning we got off one of her guns a beautiful brass 12 pounder Dahlgreen gun and a parcel of shells also. There is still another 25 lb gun on board which we will try to get. She is about mille off right in front of Fort Holmes and on the outer reef. We will save a good many useful things off of her. She has a fine engine but I fear we cannot save it as it is so rough where she lays. Several blockade runners have come in with yellow fever on them but it has not been communicated to land as no one is allowed to go on board except the physician and no one is allowed to go on shore from there. I hope John Thomas carried your cotton to Washington with him. He said he would if it had come to with him and let you know about its being there so you can send for it. I hope one or the other of them will carry it down for you. Oh! How I wish I could be with you now if only for one hour just to see you and know for myself how you are, but love it cannot be so now but if we live until another year this time I hope and fully believe I shall be with you. Have all the cider made you can and have some of it made into brandy. Have some wine made too dear if nothing happens to the grapes. Put 1/5 brandy to the grape juice. I hard by John that your crop at South Creek is quite likely. Give my best respects to all the negroes and my love to Aunts Rose and Charity. Mars is very well indeed. Give my warmest paternal love to all our dear ones. Tell Josephus and Vene to write to me.
Source: William Henry Tripp and Araminta Guilford Tripp Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill. http://www2.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/t/Tripp,William_Henry_and_Araminta_Guilford.html#folder_7#2