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In Their Own Words

February 09, 1863

Letter Home Mentioned Smallpox

A Georgia soldier writing home to his mother spoke of a dreaded disease, both in camp and at home, and briefly mentioned the Union having a new commander.

“…I directed it to Yellow River and I understand that it is suspended on account of smallpox. …I would not be surprised if we dont have some very hard fighting before long for the Yankeys has got a new commander and he will want to do something extra. … The smallpox is broke out among us again. W.M Huneycutt of our company was sent to the hospital with them. I have been vaccinated the 2nd time and my front teeth was decaying so fast that I had four of them plugged…”

Source: Elizabeth Whitley Roberson, In Care of Yellow River: The Complete Civil War Letters of Pvt. Eli Pinson Landers to His Mother (Gretna: Pelican Publishing Company, 1997), p. 115.