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In Their Own Words

February 26, 1863

Soldier Wrote of Harsh Weather Conditions and Robert Toombs

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife; his division had been moved near Richmond in brutal weather, but the men withstood it well. He also wrote of conversing with a famous Georgian.

“…There was a very heavy fall of snow and we had no baggage whatever, except what each man bore on his person or on his horse. Wonderful to relate, very little sickness resulted from this terrible exposure. One year ago, such a march would have destroyed half the Division. … We marched through Richmond on last Saturday. The people, of whom thousands lined the streets, were wonder-stricken at the fine, vigorous, healthy appearance of the command. Nobody seemed to understand how men could march from Fredericksburg through such fierce snow storms and and yet look so well and cheerful. The boys were in the highest spirits. They did not look dainty to be sure. … I wish you knew Gen. Toombs. Cousin Carrie doesn’t like him, but there is no reason why you should not. She and I have stout quarrels about him. He is the best talker I ever saw, so luminous, pithy and humorous. It is difficult to say which predominates most in his conversation, sound comprehensive wisdom or wit. … I think I was never more amused than the other afternoon from his account of a conversation he had recently with Mrs. President Davis. You will bear in mind that the relations of himself to the President are very bitter. Notwithstanding this, Mrs Davis likes him….

Source: Anita B. Sams (ed.), With Unabated Trust: Major Henry McDaniel’s Love Letters from Confederate Battlefields as Treasured in Hester McDaniel’s Bonnet Box (The Historical Society of Walton County, Inc., 1977), pp. 133-134.