3 June 1862: “I hope I may be spared to see the end of the war and then you and I will marry and try to live a happy life in the future.”

Item description: Letter, dated 3 June 1862, from Private Lewis Warlick, Company B, 11th Regiment North Carolina Troops, to Laura Cornelia McGimsey.

Item citation: From the Cornelia McGimsey Papers #2680-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Camp Davis near Wilmington
June 3rd 1862

Dearest Cornelia

Yours of the 25th Inst. came to hand yesterday which is gladly received and now am about to respond but feel incapable of doing so. You say this is the first time in your life you ever experienced a sad dissappointment and was done by one who you thought would give you the least trouble, that I came off without telling you bye or even tell you I was not going back; now you seem to think that it was intentional on my part that I knew very well when I left you that I did not expect to go back home but to remain.

I did not for a moment suppose that you would even sinuate, muchless to say I had treated you badly; did I not explain to you in my last why it was that I did stay? I think I did. You say I ought to go home and hire a substitute, that I guess would be a hard job for men are so scarce at home I would not know where to get one that would be received in my place, and further more I would not get one if I could from the fact that it shall not be thrown up to my relations in future years that you had an uncle, brother, or that your father or perhaps grandfather would not go into the service when he was called to struggle for independence – was too cowardly, afraid of the Yankees & but hired a substitute to be shot at in my stead never never shall it be said of me or any descendants; death before dishonor. Dear Corrie you very well know that it is hard for me to leave you but I must consider I am doing rightly. I think my first duties are to my country and then to you. I hope I may be spared to see the end of the war and then you and I will marry and try to live a happy life in the future. I pray do not sensure me for treating you badly if I have done so it was not indented and makes me feel badly to think that you blame me for every thing I do that is not according to your views. I have wanted to go into the service ever since last winter but you have refused to let me come. I could have come against your remonstrances but did not want to do any thing to wound your feelings, which I have never done on purpose to my knowledge, but yet you say I have. Enough of that and I will write something else.

Before this reaches you you will have heard of the great slaughter at richmond Saturday & Sunday the particulars of which we have not got yet only telegrams all quiet here yesterday up to noon. We had marching orders last week but have never heard the word march. It was said by the Col. that our destination would be Weldon.

Last week the blockading squadron captured the steamer Gordon off Fort Caswell from Bermuda bound for Wilmington her cargo considered partly in five thousand stand of arms and twenty tons powder which would have been some little help to our army; we could hear the report of guns very distinctly while they were firing on her.

Last week three of the squadron engaged in the batteries at Fort Fisher. After firing over a hundred shots they withdrew, the only damage done was that of a shell killing a negro woman and a chicken the chicken being carried by the negro.

I have joined Armfields company. Last week I had a sever attack of the diarrhea, and am getting better I don’t think I’ll have any more chills. You said you wanted some paper. I have plenty such as it is but I don’t know how I will send it to you. I will send the first opportunity, in this I’ll send some stamps. Jackson has been doing good service don’t you think so? I hope he is in Baltimore this morning and then right about march and come on Washington in the rear and burn it up and captured old Abe that would be too good.

This is so badly written I don’t know whether you can read it or not. Write often to you devoted lover.


Give my kindest regards to Puss and all my friends.

This entry was posted in Southern Historical Collection. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.