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In Their Own Words

March 22, 1864

Civil War Soldiers Loved Getting Items from Home

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote his fiance, telling her of how the soldiers love having even trifles from home as mementos.

“…Although a tobacco pouch may seem an insignificant present; yet when they are received with a little card bearing the name of some fair lady, they are most dearly cherished, and never fail to awaken the liveliest emotions. Almost every soldier returning from home, has some such remembrance dangling from his coat button. If we ask him who gave it to him, he will tell a long, but to us interesting, story of some fair one at home. Such little souvenirs are always thankfully received, and never fail to cheer the way worn soldier, and he knows too that he is not entirely forgotten by those who are so far away. …”

Source: Clyde G. Wiggins III (ed.), My Dear Friend: The Civil War Letters of Alva Benjamin Spencer, 3rd Georgia Regiment, Company C (Macon, Mercer University Press, 2007), p. 101.