Letter from William H. Lunn of the 50th New York Engineers, Company E

Letter from William H. Lunn of the 50th New York Engineers, Company E, composed shortly before the disastrous Battle of the Crater.

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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.


The explosion did take place on the 30th.



William H. Lunn mustered into the 50th New York on 4 January 1864 and mustered out on 13 June 1865 at Fort Barry, Virginia. During his service, the regiment saw action at Mine Run, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse, North Ana, Cold Harbor, Jerusalem Plank Road and Hatcher’s Run.

Source: Nate Sanders auction

One comment

  1. I have the letter he wrote from just after the explosion…not a lot of info in it, but pretty fascinating. Thanks so much for posting this! If you’d like scans of the letter and a transcription please email me. Thanks 😉

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