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In Their Own Words

April 01, 1864

Tough March, Bad Weather, Little to Eat for Civil War Soldier

A Georgia soldier in Tennessee wrote his wife that he was on a difficult march through bad weather, with little to eat - not unusual for Civil War soldiers.

“…My Dear we have had a hard march. we left Greenville last Monday an got here last night. it is about sixty miles an it has bin snowing all the time an the weather very cold an the roads was in the worst fix you ever saw. it has bin mud and water to our knees nearly all the way. we are now in about one mile of the line of Virginia…My Dear we are getting almost nothing to eat now we draw what they call three days rations out at a time…an then eat at one time an we then have to do without the remainder of those three days unless we steal it from a citizen which we do to keep from starving. bread is the worst to get. we kill a hog whenever we can find one but we have to be very sly with it for if it is found out on us we are punished very much for it. I flanked a bass yesterday an beged some flour an I have got it a cooking. it will soon be done. my dumplings is now in the pot an what I stew I will have in a few minutes. …”

Source: Katherine S. Holland (ed.), Keep All My Letters: The Civil War Letters of Richard Henry Brooks, 51st Georgia Infantry (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2003), pp. 117-118.