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In Their Own Words

April 04, 1864

Bad Weather Allowed More Rest

A Georgia Civil War soldier in Virginia wrote home to his fiance, telling her of the bad weather there, but he actually liked it because it meant more rest. He remained confident that the Confederate army would see success in the spring campaign. He was correct in his estimation that the war would be over in about one year, but wrong in how it would end.

“…The weather for the past week has been extremely bad and disagreeable, causing us to remain in our houses the greater part of the time; consequently there remained nothing for us to do, but to think, think of the loved ones far away. Day before yesterday morning, I arose from my ‘feather bed all bustin with straw’ to again see everything covered with, to us, the beautiful white of snow. …but soon the rains came and it all melted away like beautiful frost work before a summer’s sun. It continued to rain throughout the entire day. … Yesterday the sun shone out occasionally; but the broken clouds were flying across the heavens in almost every direction, and the wind blowing a perfect gale… As I anticipated, it is again raining, and I do feel so thankful; for the old proverb ‘more rain more rest’ is certainly true in our situation. So long as it continues bad weather we are sure to remain in our present quarters. I know it will not be long before we have to commence anew our marches; but I want to postpone the evil day as long as possible. … We all look forward to the approaching campaign with great interest; for we are confident that if successful, twelve months from today, we can see a termination of hostilities between the North and South. All are confident of success, and await only the approach of Grant to show their renewed determination to be free. Don’t despond; but have a brave heart, and encourage the soldiers all you can, and I believe you will soon see a free and happy people. …”

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), pp. 103-104.