Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Times VII

Courtesty of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesty of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

I have to say, of all the letters I’ve read between Francis and Martha, this one strikes me as the saddest.  I don’t know what it is.  It must be the tone of his letter.  Perhaps because his son has died.  Perhaps because he’s in prison.  Perhaps because he’s had a headache for 18 days.  Francis says he is relying on God to get them both through these terrible times, but it just sounds as if he has given up, as though he is resigned to whatever will come and perhaps a bit withdrawn as well.  Maybe this is just a defense mechanism  to get himself and his wife through these difficult times.

“Weldon NC  February 8th 1864

“My Dear Wife and [little children?] I [part of page missing at fold]  have had the head ache about 18  days and nights I have got better  I Received your kind letter and was  glad to hear from you I Received the box  you sent but all the pies and custerds  was spoilt I never tasted them I was  sory of that for I would Rather had  them than any thing that you sent me  but I was glad to git the other I hope  that you can git aplase that you can make  your suport on I dont think that the  lord will not let you parish hope that you  can git sumthing to live on while others  has it tis hard times every where but  cant help the hard times I was glad  of the tobaco that you sent me but tho  I cant Rite mutch I [torn] hear  tha is so mutch [torn] think  of any thing but I am in hops that  you can Read it you dident Rite  any thing about the baby I hope that  she is well I am glad that you sent  me sum paper to Rite you a letter I hope  that the agrd [guard] will let this letter come  to you and my littel Children I hope  and pray to god that tha will let this  letter come I hope these lines may

“I have Received 4 letters from you  I hant Rote you two [hope?] ping you all well it tis with God  that we [torn] live and breath when  he [torn] things will be done  I have to pray to my god every day  that tha will be peace in this land  once more I want you to Rite to me  about Henry and Sydney my brothers  whether tha are well are not are whether  tha got wounded are not I seen  Henry when I was at the head of the  Road he looked very bad and he  looked like he was very near don for  this world I hant heard from them  sence I have bin hear you Rote that  Will Cowen would not let you have the  land I

Courtesty of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesty of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

dont now what to think of  him only that he is one of the worst  spelator in this world may god bless and  save you and my littel Children god is  abel [torn] thing but we have  to [torn] is Redy when every thing  gits Right them he will deliver us and  not before I must close by saying that  I Remain your loving husband until death

“F. M. Poteet to his loving Wife M. A. E. Poteet   gard please send this to my Wife  if you pleas”

For Martha’s part, her letter is quite sad too.  She fluctuates between worry over not hearing from Francis and telling him she is praying for him and a bit of anger that it has been so long between letters, it sounds like.  If not anger, at least frustration that she is still there alone having to make the daily decisions she always counted on Francis to make.

“N C Mcdowell Co 1864  Feb thursday the 18

“My Dear husband I seat my self  to write you afew lines to let you  know that we are only tolerable  well I am a little better than I  hav bin My baby dont see a well day  but I do hope and pray that these few  lines may reach your kind hands and  find you in good health for I am uneasy  about you I haint heard from you in  most four Weeks and it [line obscured by fold]  a year hav you forgot me or cant you  write I would like to know what is  the reason you dont write the last I  heard fom you you was sick I would  be very glad to hear from you  I feel very lonly and troubled to think  I cant hear fom you  I want you to tell me what to do  about giving apart of the crop to  Henrietta she says she is going to  take the sow and pigs I want to  know if they aint yours and write  to me what to do about it she  said that you was not to hav her  for the one that you killed last  winter I think she is acting very  mean to do as she is

Courtesty of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesty of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

doing to try to  sell the sow and tell a lie and say  they are hers she sed she would  hav them or kill them in the woods  write what for me to do about  them I want your word to show  Joseph Landis was Married last  Saturday Night to Jeanna Coopper  a daughter of Bill Coopper what  kin is he to Susy Coopper

“we hav had the prettyest weather  for the last five or six weeks it was  like corn planting time but it is  very Cold now I think it will snow  we had snow last Monday but it  Melted off they are furlowing fom  the 22 regiment E. Neal Barny Brackett  and son Hufstuttle Overton West  Grason Dickson has all bin home lately  and John Cowen and Johnathan Taylor  is at home half of there times if you  could get to come as they do it would  be a great help to Me the yankeys  got Soloman Barns they say that this  state will go in to the union and South  Carolina is going as soon this state dos  the quarter Marsters is to be round next  week to get all the dry Cattle  I dont see what on Earth we will do  there aint corn to do till Harvest and  Wheat dont look like it will be any  acount for My part I dont know what I  am to do I do wish and pray peace would  be Made so that you could come home to  help Me Make support for our little  children I want you to get a furlow by the  12th of May and Come Home to take care of me  I want you to do the best you can and serve  the Lord and pray for me and I will for you  My heart and eyes is so full I cant hardly  write write soon and often I want to know  if you got the box of things I sent by Marion  Higgins May the Lord bless and save you  is the prayer of your disolate Wife farwell  dear

“Martha A. E. Poteet to her loving  husband Francis M. Poteet remember  me god bless you My dear husband”

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources


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