In the trenches, near Petersburg
Sept 13th 1864
My dearest Corrie,
Yours of the 7th I have just received and surely there is nothing gives me more pleasure while here that to receive letters from you. After my furlough came back disapproved I intended sending up another, I went to Col. Martin and asked his advice he replied “it was useless if they would not grant the one I sent up in which he said, the appeal was as strong as could be made they would not grant any” so I declined sending any more. You have no idea how bad I want to go home but I see no chance for me unless is should be done through the Secretary of War by my relatives at home and I fear that cannot be done as one of the executors of the will is at home and the settlement of the estate can be made without me now if I was sole executor the thing might be done. I wrote to Bob to sell my stock because I had no where to keep them. I knew uncle John had as much on hand as he can keep and as I have nothing to feed them I thought it would be best to sell them, some of the hogs are very fine over two years old and would make good pork in the fall but I don’t see how or what to do with them. Oh this cruel war it keeps me nearly crazy all the time if I was at home and could get to stay here I know what to do but as it is I don’t know what is for the best.
I know if the war should end soon or end when it should we would need all of the cattle and hogs. I want you if you see any chance to keep what of them you can and let the remainder be sold. Do Corrie what you think best and it will please me. If they were sold and had the money for them it would be of little use even for the present and two years hence. I don’t believe it will be worth carrying not even after independence for there will be so much in circulation it will never be redeemed. I don’t know what advice to give you in regard to the mule. I don’t know that we could hire any body to keep it. I know that uncle John is over stocked and cant keep it. Do Corrie as I said before act on your own judgement.
Bob writes that Gaither advised him to sell all the property – fathers estate. I don’t think the negroes ought to be sold as they can be hired out in either case I want you to get one, if sold buy, if hired hire, he or she can make bread for you while I’m in the army, uncle John needs another hand anyway. There is a good many things I want you to buy at the sale, if I should not get there. Don’t want to buy anything that will eat except a negro or two as “rations” are scarce – I want as little of my part in the estate in money as possible. I suppose from what Bob writes the sale will not take place until November I would like to know the time as soon as possible. I think I had better advise Bob not to sell the negroes but hire them out. In my former letter I forgot to state that my second court-martial sentenced me to forfeit one months pay and to be publicly reprimanded, the latter I have no received and I think the time has past off so long it will never come – don’t care wether it does or not.
Bill McGimsey has returned to the company although not altogether well. I was in hopes he would get home. I don’t see how I’m to get any cloths from home as I know of no one that will be coming from there this fall. Capt & Jimmy Parks are complaining some not very sick, the other boys from our neighborhood are generally well. Billy is improving, begins to look like a man. Give rmy love to all and write soon and often and I will do the same.
As ever yours devotedly
Morning 14th I forgot to state that John Fincannon & Elijah Philips are both dead, died in Richmond.
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.