“Therefore we prefer bad weather at this time”

In the spirit of the holiday I thought I would highlight a curious item that a soldier in the trenches at Petersburg was thankful for. “We have had some very cold weather, the ground has been frozen hard but now the weather is more mild and cloudy, threatening rain,” wrote Lieutenant John Lewis Warlick of the 11th North Carolina in a letter on November 27, 1864, in what first appears to be a complaint to his sweetheart. Instead the embattled Tarheel viewed the pending downpour as “a blessing to us no doubt as the enemy can not make any move while the ground remains soft; therefore we prefer bad weather at this time.”

Warlick does include a more traditional holiday wish at the end of his letter, writing: “I wish we could get some nice things from home for Christmas, couldn’t some man in Burke volunteer a week before that time to come through with some boxes & I would be well pleased to have some spareribs and sausages for breakfast on that morning.”

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