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
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.
“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
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”