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In Their Own Words

April 20, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Conversing with Yankees While Preparing to Battle Them

A Georgia soldier stationed at Fredericksburg wrote home to his wife, telling her contrasting stories of friendly relations with the Yankees on the other side of the river, while preparing to do battle with them.

“…we are now in the city of Fredericksburg an have bin hear about a month. we are on the South side of the Rappahannock River an the yanks is on the north side an there is thousands of them over there but we all appear to be Friendly with each other. we nor them either is not allowed to cross the River but we stand on the River bank an talk to each other an we make Little said boats an put tobacco in them an Let Them said across the River to them an they will put Coffee an Soda an Pocket knives an many other Little things an send it back to us. They say they are tired of the war an so are we but we nor them either cant help our selves. We are expecting a fight here or near here every day but we are well fixed up hear to meet them an Ready any hour for them to attact us. I hope this war will be settled without another fight but I see no prospect of peace at all. …”

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. 78-79.