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In Their Own Words

April 14, 1865

Civil War Soldier Wrote Mother on Being Captured

A Georgia soldier wrote to his mother from Petersburg, VA with the sad story of his capture.

“…On our way, a sad train of captives from the unfortunate field of Sayler’s Creek of April 6th, I know not whither, I seize an opportunity to let you know what has befallen me. I lost everything, the most common necessities. As soon as I am sure of a permanent place of confinement I will draw on you for a little money. I know how embarrassed you all are in that way, but I will make the draft as small as possible. I cannot think of the splendid conduct of the losses of my noble little command without mingled emotions of admiration and grief. Of 85 engaged, I lost 24 killed, 28 wounded and the rest prisoners. … I escape[d] with a slight wound, but was grazed many times. My coat was pierced, my sword belt struck, my pistol shattered in one hand, my sword in another. …”

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. 351.