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Archive for the ‘Cornelia McGimsey’ Category

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

Lewis

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.

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Near Petersburg

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

Devotedly yours

Lewis

 

** 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.

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July 1864

My dearest Cornelia,

Yesterday I was the happy recipient of yours of the 20th ult. Which was the first from you for nearly a month, and today one of the 5th inst. came in giving a detailed account of the raid. I was sorry to hear the militia acted so badly in defending their homes and property. I wish I could have been there with 200 men, under Col. Martin from our regiment, I dare say they never would have left with their prizes and the glory of whipping the Burke militia, we would have given them such a blow as they never would have forgotten and never would they put their feet again on the soil of Burke. To commit such depredations as they and all other Tory and Yankee raiders been doing.

Billy is sick yet, this morning he had some fever. The doctor came to see him awhile ago. I asked him if he had or was taking the fever, he replied he didn’t think he was but that he was bilious which caused the slight fever this morning, he said he thought he would get well in a few days, if he should get worse I will write again in a few days. I think in all probability he will be well in a few days. Think, exposure brought on his sickness; he eats tolerably well [torn page] a pretty good appetite. He walks about occasionally when he gets tired lying on the hard ground is no worse than he was two or three days ago I don’t think he is going to have an attack of typhoid fever.

I think Puss’ beau a right clever fellow  he seems to be right friendly with me so from that I calculate he is going to be my brother. I would like to hear the good joke you spoke of. Cant you write it? I will never mention it to him. I haven’t seen Susan’s lover in a month don’t know where he is I heard, but don’t know how true, that brigade had gone to Chaffins Bluff.

I was sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Corpening. I also was sorry to hear of the death of Capt. Frank Alexander who it was supposed was engaged to Laura, if she was will it not be hard for Laura and Harriet both to lose their intended comforters. This was together all the distress this cruel was has caused, surely it is a severe chastisement for our sins. May God in his flavorful mercy pardon us from further bloodshed and destruction of mind and body. I was so sorry to hear of the death of Jim Conly. I have seen several of Perkins Co.

 

Love to all

Lewis

 

Note: Say to Uncle John Tom Moore paid me ten dollars… I wrote to Harriet yesterday. We heard good news from our army in Md.

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.

 

 

 

 

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Petersburg

July 8th 1864

My dearest Corrie

Again with a sad heart I have to inform you of the death of another dear brother, my much loved brother Pink died at Richmond hospital 28th June of measles. ‘Tis hard, to part with those we love. Within six months to a day we have had to mourn the loss of three brothers. O cruel war when shall we be relieved of its dreadful consequences. May God spare us of any more bloodshed or suffering of mind and body. Of five brotehrs only two remain and how long will we be spared; no one knows but I pray god we may be blessed with health and protected from the enemys balls through out the entire struggle. I was uneasy about Pink as the measles had broken out on him before he was sent off and I learned by one of our men who returned from the hospital yesterday that he was poorly attended. Poor brother if I could only have been with him to wait on him in his sickness I would not be so much troubled about it, but here he had to lie and suffer with no kind sister or loving brother to administer to his wants among strangers who care but very little more for a mans life than they would for a dogs. Bill is well. Yesterday was the first I heard of Pinks death. The mail went out this morning for the first time since the road was cut – would have written by it but was not aware it was going out till the carrier came round. My love to all

As every your devoted

Lewis

 

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.

 

 

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Frasers Farm

June 16th 1864

Dearest Corrie

Yours of the 7th came in a few days since and found me well and enjoying the rest that had been a strangerto us for more than a month.

Pink was sent to a hospital a few days since with measles  they had broken out on him before he left, haven’t heard from him since.

Bill and the other boys are well. We are in the suburbs of the bloody field of ’62 – we are in line of battle but no enemy nigh, has fallen back, was skirmishing in our front yesterday saw a good many prisoners coming in   don’t think we will remain here long.

I think we will keep on to the right till we reach the Southside; the impression in camp is Grant is going to try Richmond from that side, he’ll not find it any easier than he did on this. I think we will have some hard fighting yet but not as hard as Grant has done for I don’t think he can this summer bring his men up to the strencth as well as he has on former fields – think they begin to see the folly of charging works protected by Rebs, and otherwise I don’t think we ought to fight them while our Capitol is threatened. Already we have saved thousands of lives by sticking to the works and letting the enemy do the charging. May God spare us to meet again is my prayer. Give me love to all and excuse this short uninteresting leaf.

Your ever loving

Lewis

 

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.

 

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Near Hanover Junction Va

May 25th 1864

My dearest Corrie

I have written you often since the fighting commenced but I have fear that you did not get them in time as the railroads have been torn up by the enemy in so many places.

We arrived here day before yesterday leaving Spotsylvania on the evening of the 21st, didn’t leave until the enemy had disappeared from our front trying to make his way by our right flank.

There has been not casualties in the company since I last wrote. Parks, Galloway and others have come in. Tom brought my pants but left them with the wagon train so I haven’t seen them.

We boys are all well. Billie seems to take every thing quite easy. I fear exposure will bring back Rheumatism on him.

We have good earthworks here and I very much fear the enemy will not attack us, now don’t think I’m anxious to fight, not so  but this I do know, we have Grant to fight again somewhere and knowing such I’d rather he would attack us while in a strong position as at another time we might not get it. The enemy is out front, there was considerable artillery firing yesterday and this morning we were looking for an attack but as yet everything is quiet. If the enemy continues to assault our lines we will weaken his ranks so after a while we will be able to drive him across the river.

Picket’s Hoke’s and Breckinridge’s divisions have joined us since we left Spotsylvania. You will see by the papers the enemy admits a tremendous slaughter in the former fights. We are all getting lousy.

Give me love to all. I hope I may be spared through these trying times.

As ever

Devotedly

Lewis

 

I received a letter from you yesterday. Please write often.

 

 

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.

 

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Spotsylvania CH Va

May 19th 1864

My dearest Corrie,

As there is an opportunity or soon will be of sending a letter I will write to you again.

I wrote two or three days since but being aware that you will be very anxious to hear from me frequently during these fighting times I will endeavor to write as often as an opportunity affords.

We had a mail to-day the first in nearly two weeks, none from you. Our command has not been engaged since I last wrote but expecting every night and day to be attacked: the enemies line of battle is in full view, about a thousand yards in our front but I think it very probable he will never attack us in our strong position, if he should he will be repulsed as heretofore. We were under a terrific shelling yesterday for two hours with very little damage. Ewell repulsed the enemy yesterday three times making great slaughter in his (the enemy) ranks. To-day so far everything is quiet the skirmishers don’t ever fire at each other but seem to be quite friendly, meet each other and exchange papers and have a talk over the times; one came and met Capt Brown of the 44th and after having a chat he, the Yankee, told Brown that Lee had destroyed half their army; there has no doubt been an awful slaughter in their ranks as, men who have fought over many bloody fields in Va. say they never saw dead Yankees lie so thick on the ground as they do in front of the works where they charged. Their dead lie unburied from the Wilderness, well I wish they could all the time have such victories I consider when an army is driven back leaving their dead and wounded both in the field and hospitals that they have been badly whipped, don’t you? That is the kind of a victory they gained at the Wilderness for I was there and know it to be so, we remained on the field till Sunday evening of the 8th and not an enemy could be found in front by our scouts.

We have to mourn the loss of many good officers and solider since the fight began. From all quarters we have good news, every where our arms have been victorious – Butler driven back, Grant checked, Steele captured with his command and many other places we have been successful for which we ought to give God the praise. In my last I wrote to you of the death of brother Logan   I also wrote to his wife. Bill McGimsey had an attack of cramp yesterday is nearly well to-day.  Aus P. has been a little unwell but improving. Pink and I are very well. I am very thankful that we have come out through so many dangers as well as we have, nothing but the hand of an Allwise providence has protected us thus far, for which we ought to be very humble and give him all the praise for his goodness. My wound is not well but does not hurt me. I saw Sam Tate when we were coming down here – haven’t seen or heard from him since. We have had a hard time since we left camp, have been marching, lying in line of battle and fighting all the time, are now in the works not allowed to leave any distance as Grant is a sly fellow and has to be watched closely.

Grant is twice as badly whipped now as was Burnside or Hooker but he is so determined he will not acknowledge it, but I think before he gets through with Lee he will have to own up.

I haven’t had an clean cloths since I left camps  the wagons are in the rear and we can not leave to go where they are to get our cloths, all the officers are in the same fix, so you may well suppose we are somewhat dirty.

Give my love to uncle John, Puss and Sue. Do you get your papers?

Your devoted

Lewis

 

 

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.

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