Editor’s Note: The Soldier Studies web site (http://www.soldierstudies.org) collects and publishes letters written during the Civil War. Owner/editor Chris Wehner was kind enough to grant me written permission to publish a selection of letters from his site which focus on the Siege of Petersburg. Look for letters to appear here during the 150th anniversary of the Siege of Petersburg and beyond. These letters may not be reused without the express written consent of Chris Wehner. All rights reserved.
After a weeks delay I take my pen in hand to write you again. I might have written sooner but thought you would see Effies letter and therefore defered until the present time. I was in hopes to get home this month but now I see very plainly that I shall not be able, but if there is any chance shall try to come next month, but that is very doubtful as the season is so far advanced that military movements must commence very soon, but perhaps not until Gen. Sherman comes Which will not be long as he is within two or three weeks march of this place, provided he is not delayed by the enemy if he has a fight with them he has a force large enough to whip them but if they fall back upon Richmond then their doom is sealed and, I think a few weeks or months at most will finish up this unnatural rebellion. Some are of the opinion that there will not be another battle but they think different than I do for it is my opinion that there may be one or two very great battles yet, the enemy has over one hundred thousand men yet and that is enough to make a strong fight—, if they feel so disposed, and very likely they will, but it will do no good—
I believe I wrote you once before that we had to man four batteries with our company, well this Redoubt1 is one of them therefore you will direct your letters to me the same as before.
I am very sorry to hear that Austin is so headstrong, if I come home and find he is such a bad boy I shall have to see that he is properly taken care of, I had hoped that he was a good boy doing all he could to help you and make your duties lighter, but I fear I was mistaken.
If Edward is in the land of the living he now has another chance to return to his regiment and be pardoned, the chance is open until the 10th of May—
Hoping to see you soon with Love to you all I close affectionately
James2e, Va.” Letter to “Dear Mother” 24 Mar. 1865. MS. Redoubt McConi[h]e, Va. This letter appears here due to the express written consent of Chris Wehner, owner of SoldierStudies.org and may not be used without his permission. All rights reserved.]