Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Times XI

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Since Francis’ last letter May 31, Francis’s regiment has become embroiled in the Siege of Petersburg which will last ten long months.  The First Battle of Petersburg took place June 9 and little did she know, Francis was engaged in the Second Battle as Martha sat to write the following letters.  This battle took place June 15-18, 1864.

In these letters, Martha seeks Francis’s guidance regarding the wheat harvest, suggesting Francis seek a furlough to come home to harvest.  She writes that 15-year-old Thomas has plowed the corn.  She mentions their new daughter, born May 21, and asks what Francis wants to name her.  She mentions Francis’s mother, Susannah, and sister, Jemima (my third great-grandmother) had been to visit.  She also mentions that Governor Vance is scheduled to be in the nearby town of Marion to speak the following week, but that she wants her husband to vote for Holden of North Carolina’s newly formed “Peace Party”, not Vance.  This must have been due to a great desire to see the war end and her husband and many others come home so life could return to some semblance of normalcy.  (Holden won only 3 counties in the 1864 election-Johnston, Randolph, and Wilkes.  However, he was appointed governor after the war ended.)

“June the 16 1864

“Dear husband I cant get no  person to cut my wheat the  men says that they dont know  what will be don with the  wheat for there aint men to  cut it and if I dont get Mine  cut me and the children  will be bound to suffer I would  like for you to show this to your  Capt and tell him if he pleases  to let you come home a few  days the first of July to take  Care of it for me I have about 8  bushels sowed and no person  to cut a straw of it it rains  so much that we cant get  to work the corn scearsley and  the Mare has had the distemper  and scurvey but is better now  I had her bled and I want to  know what to do with hink

“M.A.E. Poteet to F.M. Poteet god bless you  [Postmark and addresses on page 2]  Privit F.M. Poteet Co.  A 49 Redgment N C   to M.A.E. Poteet  Dysartsville Po  McDowell County  N C  [Up-side down at top of page 2]  Remember me in love and I  will you Farewell dear Francis”

“June the 16 1864

“My Dear husband   I seat My self this evening  to write you a few lines to let  you know how we are Some  of us is not well me and Thomas  Francis Emer Susannah Amy Jane  has the bowell complaint I aint  Much sick but I do hope these few  lines May Reach your kind hands  and find you in good

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

health  My corn looks very well Thomas  will finish plowing it the second  time today we hav this side the  Creek to hoe My Neighbours says  that if nothing happens I will  Make a heap of Corn the sweet  potatoes is very prety and the  irish potatoes is the pretyest I ever  seen I hav a mess today I wish you  was hear to eat some with me I would  be so glad I would not know how  to behave I hav to live very hard  I haint nothing Much to eat but bread  and not Much of that if you was hear  I would not hav to live so hard nor  I woudent hav to work when I was not  able My baby will be 4 weeks old Saturday  Night she was born the 21 of May  write to Me what to name her  I had the best time I ever had and  I hav bin the stoutest ever sens I  haint lay in bed in day time in  two Weeks today I thank the Lord  that he has answerd your prayers  and mine beyon what I could expected  but he has all power I feel very  thankfull that it is as well with  you as what it is I hope that God will  bless us to be spared to rais our children  your Mother is well her and Jemima  Come to see me yesterday Grason  Dickson run away and got to Camp  Vance and had to go back I dont  want you to vote for vance vote

“for Holden vance is to be in  Marion next Monday to speak  James Neal has bought 500 bushels  of corn for this County but it haint  come yet and he says that when they  eat it they may die and go to hell  Louis Walker and Tery Walker is at  home wounded your Mother says tell you  howdy for her and the children sends you  howdy and tell you that they hav to  work very hard and wishes you was  hear to help them <??????????????????????>  this evening I would like to hear  from you to know if you hav got  hurt I am very uneasy about you  I do hope and pray that God will shield  you from all harm

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

and danger and  spar your life to come home to me and  your little children I know that you  want to see your sweet little baby  I would be very glad to see you if  I could but I cant nor I dont know  whether I ever will or not God knows  I dont you dont know what a hard  time I hav I am ruined if you dont never  come home I cant work another year  as hard as I hav this if the children  was not as good as they are I dont know  what I would do the Lord has blessed  us and I hope he will continue to bless  us while we are separated and bring  us together agin in this life  pray for us my Dear that we dont  perish thread is 100 dollars Cotten is  two dollars apound I dont know what  I am to do but I will do the best I can  and trust in God for help all of our  help comes from him  write to me soon wen I can hear fom you  and hear that you are well it dos me  a heap of good May the lord bless and  save you is the prayer of your desolate  Wife farwell my Dear husband

“M. A. E. Poteet to her loving husband  F. M. Poteet God bless and save you”

“the sise  of the babys hand”  [Transcribers Note: The image is significantly larger than the actual cutout of the baby’s hand.]

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy NC Dept of Cultural Resources

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