Military Monday: It Was the Worst of Times XIII

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Martha sends another letter to Francis after the Battle of the Crater July 30, 1864.  She shares exciting news that two of their children, Mary and Thomas, have “professed  Religeon.”

“Mcdowell Co August 19th 1864

Dear husband  I seat my self this evening to  write you afew lines to let you  know that we are all well at  this time ever hoping this will  Reach your kind hands and find  you in good health I thought  you would have sent me a letter by Louis  Walker but you did not and  I dident get none by Mail and  I could not help but cry I hope  Higgins will bring me one  Francis I hav some of the best news  for you there was a protracted me- ting at Trinity last week the greatest  Meeting I ever was at and Mary  and Thomas profesed Religeon  there on the 10 and will Join at  our next Meeting and be babtised  if nothing happens there was about 25 profesed Thomas  and James Cowen David James was  three of the happyest children I  ever saw I haint went to preaching  Much sens last fall sens it was sed  to me that preaching don me a heep  a good there is all ways a weight  on me when I think about going but  God made me to rejois last week  in his love God has answerd our  prayers for our dear children I  expect they will hav a protracted  meeting at the Baptis meeting house  the men says there is a great prospect  of peas now and I hope peas will be  Made so you can come home  I has a mess of simblins for supper  dont you wish you had some  they say that they went on with a row  of deserters tied two together as long  as from here to John Cowens I got a  letter from your brother Henry he  sed he wanted to see you and sed  for me to send you howdy for him he  is in 4 miles of you the Measels is  raging in this neighbourhood

“the baby has taken a start to grow  it is very pretty and smart  the children all dose very well

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

I will send you something to eat by  Jery Walker I haint got no eggs if  I had I would send you some  the two last letters you wrote  you commenced several things  and dident finish them and I  dont no what you ment  I want you to see Hamp Cowen  and rent this place for me and  let me know soon and by the  rent for me if you can Hamp told  me to write to him but you can  do better than I can I heard that  you had camp Measels  I think the crows & squirells  will eat up my corn  I looked hard for a letter by  Higgins but dident get it the  last letter I hav had was dated 25  July I know your are mad or you  would hav sent one by Louis or Higins  and I aint going to write no moor  till I do get an answer I did not  think of Making you mad  George Pinkney has had a sevear  atact of Croup this week but is  some better now I wish I had a  drink of your good coffee if any  one comes send me a letter if you  pleas and I will kiss you when  I see you oh Lord hav Mercy  on My Dear husband spare his  life to get home bless him with  health shield him from all harm  and danger I pray for you every  day and Night to be spared to  get home and I believe you  will live to come <r?>ight before  long I know that you see hard  times but put your trust in God  <???> able to save you and <he will?>  I beleive Martha Poteet to Francis Poteet farewell”

In this letter, Martha mentions that she knows Francis is mad because she has not received a letter.  From his next letter, we can guess we are missing letters in which he mentioned deserting again and she admonished him not to.  He writes that he will not desert if she doesn’t want her to but she doesn’t know how bad it is.  We cannot know what brought her to recommend against desertion when she has consistently asked him to come home unless she fears a second such act would lead to his execution.  Thank heavens he does not take the risk with the war so close to an end.

Francis does not fight in the Battle of Globe Tavern with the rest of the 49th as he explains in his next letter he is in the hospital, apparently with the Measles, which, as Martha mentioned, is also affecting McDowell County at the time.

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resourcesto Francis Poteet  farwell”

“PetersBurg Va  August 21 1864   Dear Wife and children I seat  my self this morning to Rite you  afew lines to let you now that  I am only in Comon health at  this time but I doo hope that  these few lines may Reach your  kind hands and find you all  in good health you Rote to me  to not Runaway if it is the  will of my loving Wife I wont  Runaway god nows that it tis  hard times hear I want you  to send me somthing to eat  by sumbody if Pery Walker dont  fetch it you Rote that you would  all mose be on your head till  Higgins Come back Dont bee  uneasy for if it tis the will  of you that I Should stay till  the war ends I will stay if

“I live but you dont now how  bad that I want to see you  all I dreamed about you this  morning I thought that I was at  home and as well Satsfide as  I ever was in my life but when  I waked up I was laying on my  blanket if it tis god will I  will get home some time are  other but I dont know when  if you haint Sent nothing when  this letter comes to hand if  any body will fetch me any  thing I want you to send me  sum 5 are 6 Rosenyears I haint  tasted one this year and if tha  if you have got them I would like  for you to send me sum cewcumbers  I haint drew no money yet and  I dont now when I will I have  borrowed 10 are 15 Dollars to get

“me sumthing to eat but the  time is now when we cant borrow  if I was at home I think that  I could get

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

Courtesy of NC Dept of Cultural Resources

sumthing that could  eat tha are fighting now and  I dont now how our men is fares  I can hear ther guns as plain as  if I was in amile of them you  Rote that Mr Dickson and Mrs  Dickson sent me ther love and  Respects I had lefe the horspitel  the day bee fore Mrs Dickson come  down to see grason She sent me  one union and 4 June apels I  eat them but I dont now hoo  sent them to me I thank them  to doo so again if tha please I  got 2 thirds of aplug of tobaco with  this letter <suis?> Walker will  fetch me sumthing to eat I wish  you would send alitel with him  [added at top of page] Mary I want you to Rite plainer if you  can next time you Rote that you had  Rote once be fore this time if you did I dident  git it

“PetersBurg Va August 21 1864  Dear daughter I thank you for  Riting to me you Rote your letter  5 of Aug. I want you to prepare  to meat your god in pease if you  haint and I want you to pray  for your father and pray that he  may have his life spared and live  to get home once more to see  you all Dear wife if you can send  me sum sweete potatoes Remember  me in your potisions and ask  god to have mursey on me and  help me to pray aright to my  god I dident Rite to you last  week for I could not git to pen  and ink I am in the Bigade horse- pitel now but I aint very bad of  my brest and side hurts me sum  I am thankful that I aint in this  fight I must close by saying that I Remain  your loving husband until Death god bless  F.M. Poteet to M.A.E. Poteet you is  my prayer”


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