Finally, after over a month of silence, Francis responds.
“PetersBurg Va July 5th 1864
“Dear Wife and Children I Seat my Self this evning to Rite you a few lines to let you now that I am well at this time hoping that these lines may Reach your kind hands and fine you injoying the same blessing you Rote to that you would like to hear from me and now whether I was killed are not I can in form you that I am spared yet by the good will of god we have bin in the brest works about one Month we are in them yet and I dont now when we will git out soon are not tha are fighting every day we have lost killed and “wounded in this Company 6 men 2 killed 4 wounded it Seems like god is on our Side the balls tha whistle by our eares you Rote that it Rained Somutch that you Could not git to work your corn it haint Rained to say Rain in 6 weeks hear & gardens is Runing hear it tis mighty hot hear if this fight Comes of Soon and this Company lives and dont git wounded nor killed tha are coming home you Rote to me to Come home and save the wheat I cant Come I would like to Come home and See you all once more in this life and See my Sweete littel baby I doo hope and pray to god to live to
“git home to See it it seemes like god has blessed every thing that I have prayed for and I doo hope that he will bless me to live to git home to See that littel <Babe?> when I think of hit it seems like it will kill me are Brake my hart you Rote to me that you had a mess of potatoes the Sixteenth I want you to tell mother houdy for me and tell her that I am well I have to Rite so fast that I dont now whether you can Read this litter are not I haint Slep one good night Sleepe in two month I have to work are Stand gard are picket every night I am very nigh “broken down it Seems like god has bin with me are I could not Stoo up to hit I want you to pray for me and tell all of my friends to pray for me I pray for you and my littel Children to Spare your lives and Sustain you and thim in this life I want you to Rite as soon as this Comes to hand and Rite me all of the newse I have Seen Corn as high as I could Reach you Rote that your Corn looked very well and your sweete potatoes looked very well you dident Rite whether you had planted any tobaco are not fare well Dear wife F.M. Poteet to his loving Wife M.A.E. Poteet god bless you is my prayer”
Francis’ second letter:
“PetersBurg Va July 11th 1864
Dear wife and children I seat my Self this morning to Rite you afew lines to let you now that I am well at this time hoping that these lines may Reach your kind hands and find you all injoy ing the same blessings I haint Recieved no letter from you since the one that you Rote in June it was dated the 16 it gave me grate Satsfaction to hear that you was as well as what you was you Rote that three are fore of you had the bowel complaint and you Rote that you had a mes of potatoes I would like to bin thare to eat with you but I could not I think that if god spares my life that I will eat with you all once more I have Rote every week sence I hav bin with the company I dont now whether you git them are not but I do hope and pray to god that you git them so you can hear from me and hear how I am gitting along I would like to git your letters so I could hear from you and my littel children and hear how you are gitting “along I want you Rite to me whether you got your wheat cut are not I could not come if I could have come I would you now I have bin in the intrenchments about two month I haint bin Releaved In 12 days we git very Durty in the intrenchments we cant git to wash our clothes I saw Bill West he come to our company and staid there two are three hours he is well he Said that Wm
Walker was well but he could not see in the night I want you to pray for me and all of the people to spear my life to git home I think that god has heard your prayers and I hope and pray to god that he will continu hearing and ancern your prayers I pray day and night that god will spear my life and yours and our littel Children grate god hear my friends prayers and ancer them may the god of heaven bless you all I heard that the Yankeys had tuck camp vance and Robed the Bank and kiled Avry F.M. Poteet to his lovin Wife Martha A.E. Poteet god bless and save you all is the prayer of your unworthy <????????>”
The Battle of the Crater lies ahead.