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In Their Own Words

April 05, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Eating Crawfish

A Georgia soldier writing to his wife from Mississippi told her first of some recent skirmishes along the river near Vicksburg, then related one tiring and one amusing personal experience.

“…I have been on duty of two nights and days as commissary of our regiment (Captain Davis still being unwell) without any rest or sleep. Last night I rode all night. Yet I am not complaining of this hardship, for I am willing to endure any hardship or any toil that our army may be victorious. Well, darling, I have something funny to relate. Captain Carter and myself have just finished eating a hearty dinner of crawfish (the first I ever tried). It is considered quite a dainty dish among the Mississippians. Captain Carter ate them with more zest than I ever saw a man eat anything. I think in a few days we will see him crawling on his knees in the branches hunting the delicious fish! Tell Miss Mollie that she need not think [it] strange if Captain Carter is so much engrossed in his new recreation as to be entirely forgetful of home and friends and neglect to correspond with them as regularly. …”

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), p. 224.