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Sept 2nd 1864

My own Dear Wife

I now sit down to write you a short letter to let you know that I am quite well and also to tell you of my prospects of getting home during this month. I made application yesterday to Genl Beauregard for a ten days leave to attend our court on the 19th of this month stating the reasons why I wished to go. The President of our court martial Col Cunning has approved it and recommended it be granted and Capt Graham who has been on Genl Beauregards staff and who is acquainted with all his officers added a note to the bottom of my application requesting them to grant my request. So you can judge for yourself darling what will be the result as well as I can. I confess that I shall be terribly disappointed if it is not granted. I have written to you now 3 or 4 times in a hurry and have not been satisfied with my own letters. They did not suit my taste and I know failed to meet your expectation. My own dear wife you must excuse those letters as I am so differently situated that I have but a sorry chance to write at all. McBryde Braddy and I are in adjoining rooms in the same house and eternally have company in the evening until night when I cant write at all. And it reduced me to write some in the morning or not at all. I struggle hard to keep up my correspondence which is a good deal and find it hard work to do so. You dearest shall not be neglected tho all the rest go to the dogs. I feel cramped up here altho Mrs. Southerland is as good and motherly a lady as I have fallen in with in a great while. The cause is this, Braddy and McBryde are close by and in direct communication with their homes and are getting fruit vegetables cider chickens &c &c from home once or twice a week and I share with them without any prospect of making any amends as my pay for a month would not pay for what they raise in a week. You can appreciate darling my feelings I know as your spirit is as proud as mine. I cannot bear to be under obligations that I see no way of paying back. With my own officers I feel at ease for I know that I do my full share. There it is different. I wrote to you of receiving the money from David. I went up to Goldsboro and Wilson last Friday night and returned on Sunday night or rather Monday morning and it cost me a great deal to do so as I had to pay full fare besides paying board for Saturday at Goldsboro at 30 dollars a day and when I came back I had less than 20 dollars left. I paid Eliza the express on the cotton which was 2 dollars a bunch making 22 dollars. So that is all paid for thank goodness. The whole bill for the cotton is 297 dollars at least a hundred less than I can buy it for anywhere in the state by the bail. It is selling here for from 45 to 50 dollars a bunch. So you see darling I have made a good trade in getting it as I did. You ask my advice about having a steer killed dear. Have anything killed you may need for your family use just suit your own judgment darling and be sure your husband will approve of anything you do, knowing you will always do what you think is for the best. Should you make a mistake in my judgment darling I shall not complain. There is but little news here now but all things seem progressing for our benefit both in Virginia and Georgia. We have no fears of either Richmond Petersburg or Atlanta falling this time. Our court has been in session here over a month and is likely to be for a month to come if nothing breaks it up. There is a good deal of sickness at the forts I hear and especially at Bald Head. The disease is mostly typhoid and ague and fever. My company is said to be the most healthy one down there but it is suffering a good deal. The news has gone out that yellow fever is at this place. Smithville and Bald head but there is not a word of truth in the report. Everything is very high here and still going up  a store rents for 20,000 dollars a year quick and I know of one store with a warf that rented for 80,000 for the next year beginning on the first of October this year. The first of Oct is the genl renting and moving day in this place. I am paying 90 dollars room rent a month 10 for cooking and 8 dollars a dozen for washing and if it all had to come out of my pocket I should break right off. As it is I shall not be able to save a cent. The government pays for my room and fewel and I pay all other expences. I buy tobacco and have paid for 6 drinks of spirits since I have been here and hardly can live at that, tho I am still fatning. I think of you my own sweet wife all the time I am not compelled to be thinking of something else and I cannot enjoy going to see other ladies altho I am often invited because I have no interest in them. I cannot help suffering often when I see other officers with their wives to think I am almost cut off from my wife who is worth them all. I almost go mad some times thinking of the enjoyment I am deprived of and you too darling and our dear little ones also. We could be a happy family were we permitted to be together. This town is a perfect sink of iniquity (so I am told) of nimphs of the [illeg]. I have been told that there is 1800 publick prostitutes here and 9 out of 10 who pass for virtuous women take it on the sly. Is not this a fearful state of morals.

Evening. Well dearest I have just got a very precious letter from you written on the 28th of August just 5 days ago. In fact it was finished on the 29th which makes it only 4 days since it left your precious hands. I am truly glad to hear you have enjoyed yourself so well last week. You had better go visiting oftener than you have been doing as I have do doubt it will make you feel better all the time when you go home. The wish you express my dear of being in my arms with your lips pressed to mine is seconded with my whole heart and soul for darling it seems I have never wished to see you half as much as I have since I left you last. My whole heart pants to be with you love and to enjoy the luxury of seeing the happiness burning out of those pretty blue eyes of yours on meeting me. Now darling I can see you as plain as if I were with you. Oh! Wife of my choice it seems as if could I be with you I could be happy any where. When I recall the love and entire confidence you have by your acts often expressedin me I feel that I cannot love you half enough. Love begets love and could I have the eloquence…. [next page missing]

 

*** Note:  William Henry Tripp and his wife Araminta Guillford Tripp lived at Mount Hope farm on the Pamlico River near Durham’s Creek (sometimes called New Durham’s Creek) in Beaufort County.  William served in the Confederate Army as captain and commander of Company B of the 40th North Carolina Regiment. He and his men were first stationed at Fort Fisher, outside Wilmington, N.C., April 1862-January 1865; and then at Fort Holmes on Smith Island, N.C., February 1865

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

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August 9th [1864]

Mrs. Charley Cook died Aug. 5th. She leaves three children, one infant of a few weeks. Her funeral took place from the Methodist church Sunday morning. Marion Jones Sandford died Sunday 7th. She was buried yesterday afternoon. Her death was a great shock to the community a great grief to her mother. She was only sick a week or two with typhoid fever. Aged 19. She had been sick for several weeks. Tommy Hubert died Sept 16th at Smithville. He was with the 17 year old boys – the Junior Reserves. His mother was with him during his illness and brought his body home.

 

 

Source: Malinda Ray Diary, 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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Thursday 14th [July 1864]

I finished Pinck’s pants & began his coat. Mr. Henry & Pinck went down on the creek yesterday evening & gathered a pan full of nice raspberries. We had two pies for dinner & will have enough for two tomorrow. Jinnie baked them this evening & some molasses bread. I sent Lonzo to town this evening after the sley. Mrs. Fanning warped the thread Tuesday. Tena spooled it Tuesday & cleaned the flax. ‘Tis only ten yds. to be filled with flax & five tow for Mr. Henry’s pants & coat. Atheline seems to be sinking very fast. She is very feeble, can’t sit up any at all. She seems perfectly resigned to die. Jim Henry, Joe Russell & jims orderly staid here tonight. A very hard rain this evening & ‘tis reported that Gen. Early has burned Washington City & had captured Harpers Ferry. I hope ‘tis so.

 

Friday 15th [July 1864]

I sewed some on Pinck’s coat today, would have finished it but went up to sit with Atheline a while. She is still in her right mind. She told me this evening she was going to di. I hate to think she will soon be gone but ‘tis best. He doeth all things well. Mrs. Fanning got the cloth tied in this evening. Sister Jane sent a seven hundred sley instead of a six after she had put it in she had to take it out. I borrowed a seven of Mrs. A.B. Jones. No further news of the burning of Washington City. There is a great deal of sickness in the country & town too. Typhoid fever. Edom Cole & four of his children have died in a month. Lord bless us with health & guard us from our enemies. May we not fall in their hands I pray.

 

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Tuesday 12th [July 1864]

I spent the day at Mr. R.L. Jones’. Mrs. Jones is very low. Her & two daughters are also down with typhoid fever & some of the negroes are sick. She sent me word to come. They have but little company. Till Morris is staying there now. Every one is affraid of the fever. Mrs. Willey Jones has a little daughter very low with the flux. I got a little damp as I came back this evening, at least my skirt did. I had my parasol & Laura Jones loaned me her shawl. Mr. Henry went to town today but no news.

 

Wednesday 13th [July 1864]

I mended some this morning & then cut Pinck’s pants of the cloth Dora gave him. Did not finish the pants. They are open in front, his first pair made that way. Anon Jones spent the day here. Tom Tidwell came up this evening from the camps. Some of the 14th Batt. called here last nighta bout 9 o’clock to get some bread & milk. We were abed & asleep. He got up & had them some bread baked. There was ten, only two staid all night. Dr. Baker staid here Monday night.

 

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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Death of Captain Muse

On Friday morning Capt. W.T. Muse, commander of the Confederate iron-clad gun boat North Carolina, died in this town of typhoid fever. Capt. Muse was a gallant and meritorious officer, a noble and high toned gentleman. When the present war broke out he promptly resigned his position in the US Navy and tendered his services to North Carolina, his native State, serving in the State navy until that was incorporated in the navy of the Confederate States. Few men made more sacrifices for the cause than Capt Muse, as his property was situated near Alexandria, and has been, almost from the first, in possession of the enemy; and none made them more cheerfully or were more devoted to the cause or more confident of its final success.

On Saturday his remains were escorted to the Depot of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad with naval and military honors. They were there placed on board the cars to be carried to Warren county for internment. Capt. Muse was in the 52d year of his age.

Wilmington Journal

Source: Fayetteville Observer, April 14, 1864 as found on www.ncecho.org

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Tuesday 16th [February 1864]

I spent the day at Capt. Moore’s. Daniel Moore has been very low with typhoid fever but some better now. I wrote to Mr. Henry from there by request of Dr. Neilson as he wanted Mr. Henry to bring up a horse his brother Charlie has at Pa’s. I would be so glad to see Pinck & Zona & Willie would be delighted. Zona & I were very cold this evening when we got home as the wind was very high. There has been some drunken soldiers here today, vomited on the floor in my room & stole Matt’s comb. She just got it yesterday by Vic. He got in Greenville at four dollars.

Source: Diary of Cornelia Henry in Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journal and Letters of the Henry Family. Clinard, Karen L. and Russell, Richard, eds. (Asheville, NC: Reminiscing Books, 2008).

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