Calendar
Jan January
Feb February
Mar March
Apr April
May May
Jun June
Jul July
Aug August
Sep September
Oct October
Nov November
Dec December

In Their Own Words

March 12, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote on Birthday, Still Hoping for Southern Independence

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife on his birthday, still hoping the South could achieve its independence.

“…Today I am twenty-four years old. I am growing old fast. I am spending what under different circumstances might be the most pleasant portion of my life in the army, where anyone knows there is but little pleasure. Such a state of affairs is sad and heart-rending to contemplate. But when we consider the great duty we owe our country in the struggle for independence, I cannot be but content with my fate, although it be, indeed, a cruel one. I am determined to do anything and everything I can for my country. Should we be so fortunate as to gain our independence, and I am sure we will, and a kind Providence permits me to see it, I shall, of course, expect to enjoy it. And should I fail to do my duty I shall feel that I am not entitled to be a free man. If it should be my misfortune to fall in the glorious struggle, I hope that I shall go believing that I have contributed my mite and that you and my little boy will be entitled to the great boon of freedom. …”

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), pp. 282-283.