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In Their Own Words

March 24, 1862

Civil War Soldier Wrote Wife from Camp

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, telling her of the situation in his camp, and mentioning the commander of his army. He also guessed that the army would be concentrated near a site where a major battle would take place later in this year.

“…The weather is rather cold for the season. No buds even are visible on the trees. There is an occasional fall of sleet or snow. I feel the weather more keenly than before I went to Georgia. My system, however, will soon become braced as heretofore. Our diet is scant with little variation. The change of camp has not yet been followed by a corresponding change in the movements of market-wagons. By and by the hucksters of the neighborhood and adjacent counties will find us. … Of the movements of our army, I can little, knowing little myself. I forbear to repeat the many rumors and surmises that amuse the camp from day to day. All I can say is, ‘Wait and trust in Johnston.’ My confidence in him remains unshaken, as does that of the entire army, so far as I am informed. Our Brigade is on the extreme left of the army. A mountain, or rather range of mountains, the name of which I do not know, lies to the North and Northwest. Look at your map and see where the Orange and Alexandria R.R. crosses the Rappahannock. You will see Orange C.H., and 3 miles to the West of the village is our camp. I cannot say where the other Divisions and Brigades of the army now lie. The impression is gaining ground that the heaviest portion of the army will be concentrated at Fredericksburg. …”

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), p. 55.