August 6, 1864Dear Sister
I tak my pen to let you know that I got your letter last night and I was glad to hear from you. You wanted to know if I got my hat. I did. Ther hant no knews her to rite. Our men blod up a fort for the rebs and killed about 300 rebs. Well I worked last night and I gess you will think so when you see this. George is well. I can’t think of any thing to write. We can hear the cannons all the time but that don’t hurt us. You sed you was coming to Washington. I don’t believe I would if I was in your place.
I will write soon.
W H Lunn
This is a short letter home by Private William H. Lunn of the 50th New York Engineers. Lunn was 18 and from Bradford County, PA. He was serving in the 50th NY Engineers with his 28 year old brother George. They had enlisted in January of '64. By the time young Lunn had written this letter he had been through the worst of the Overland Campaign and the start of the Siege of Petersburg. The 50th was primarily involved in building bridges and constructing fortifications, in many cases exposed to enemy fire. This letter refers to the fact that Lunn had just finished an overnight job and you can clearly see that in his writing (he mentions this to his sister). He also mentions the explosion of the Petersburg Mine, or, The Crater. His count of dead Confederates is fairly accurate as well.
Lunn would serve out the war with his brother, being discharged in June of 1865. He returned to Windham, Bradford County, PA and eventually married and had at least three children. He farmed for most of his life and died in 1919. He is buried at Valley Home Cemetery in Windham, PA