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LT: July 21, 1864 William H. Lunn (50th NY Engineers)

Editor’s Note: This item is part of a collection of letters from New York engineers written while their units were at the Siege of Petersburg.  Researcher and Engineer enthusiast Dan O’Connell generously donated all of the items in this collection for use at The Siege of Petersburg Online.  These transcriptions are copyrighted by Brett Schulte and may not be used without my express written consent.  I do not have images of these letters so some errors could be from transcription or in the original.

Camp near Petersburgh Va / July 21st 1864

letter reads in part:

Dear Sister Huldah

I do most hartily wish I could be at home with you to help pass some of your lonesome moments away. you must keep up good courage. things looks encouraging at the present.

Our Company are buisey evry day. we are expecting some big fighting here before many days. They are about readey now to open the seage of Petersburgh They are agoing to blow up one of the Johnies forts We have got a tunnel dug under it now and the powder is being put in to blow it up I think the Johnies will think there is agoing to be a small earth quake in thear parts.1

Wm. Lunn
Co. E 50th New York Engineers2


  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: I’m  not sure how involved William Lunn was involved with the mining operations which led up to the Battle of the Crater, but the way he writes in this letter it seems he knows more than just rumors about Henry Pleasants’ mine under Elliott’s Salient.  This mine would, of course, be used to blow Elliott’s Salient sky high as the opening act in the famous Battle of the Crater.
  2. Lunn, William H. “Camp near Petersburgh Va.” Letter to Sister Huldah. 21 Jul. 1864. MS. Near Petersburg, Va. This letter, which looks like it was copied out of a newspaper, appears here courtesy of Dan O’Connell, who has a large collection of letters from Union Engineers during the Civil War.
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