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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

August 12, 1864

Union Soldier Worked Hard, Pestered by Flies

A Wisconsin soldier in Georgia wrote home to his wife, telling her of his hard work and of being pestered by flies.

“I was out all last night superintending the construction of a new line of works. I went on duty yesterday at noon and continued until daylight today. It was rather a hard tour and I cannot get a moment’s rest by day, on account of the flies. Not until night can we get the benefit of night’s sweet restorer. There is nothing new today. We keep digging, getting up closer and closer to the rebels and bringing new and heavy pieces of artillery into advantageous positions. Both armies use their artillery to a considerable extent. The enemy has nothing but our thin lines to fire at and do little damage; our artillery is certainty superior to theirs and plays into their forts and the city. There is constant firing along the picket line too, and every now and then a bullet flies into camp. Still we are enjoying a comparative rest. I rather think the plan is to keep the rebels constantly engaged and to hold them here, rather than to push vigorously for the possession of Atlanta, for upon the evacuation of Atlanta, it will be rather difficult to follow up the rebel army, and still it would hardly do to let it slip away from us elsewhere… .” Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page