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In Their Own Words

January 27, 1864

Confederate Soldier Arrested

From Dalton, Ga., Oliver Strickland wrote to his mother with distressing news. He had been arrested for falling asleep on guard duty and now feared being executed:

“Mother, I am sorry [to] write to you my condition. But I reckoned that you want to hear the truth about me. I am under guard for going to sleep on my post night before last. I don’t know what they will do with me, that I don’t know. I want you to come and see me once more. They may shoot me and if they do I want to see you and all the children once. I want you to come as soon as you get this and maybe you can do me some good by coming. Mother, they haven’t tried me yet and by that reason why I want you to come… . I hope and trust in God that I will get out of here alive once more. I think that I would be a different man to what I am… .”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 281.