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In Their Own Words

April 21, 1864

Civil War Letter Told of Poor Horses and Limited Men

A Georgia cavalryman in Virginia wrote home to his father on the poor condition of their horses and the limited number of men left in their brigade. Yet he remained confident of victory.

“…Our horses have gone down to skeletons and our whole Brigade numbers 83 serviceable horses for duty. & upwards of 1600 unserviceable horses. … I would be perfectly satisfied to do the hardest duties a soldier ever yet performed if our Regt could only put into the field 400 men well mounted so that we could add fresh laurels to our command with those nobly won on so many hard fought battle fields. But to do on duty at the opening of the campaign with 75 or an 100 men we can not do justice to ourselves or command …A great many changes are taking place that the papers will not speak off [of] and of which I will have to remain silent. When the campaign does begin though, Genl Grant will find … our noble Lee will be ready to meet him at every point yes & to attack & press him too. I regret from my heart the condition of our Brigade I hate to think we may not be in this campaign in the 1st fight upon which so much depends… You will probably have fighting in upper Georgia before long. Here we all expect Johnson will have an easy victory & recover Genl as Grant has drawn heavily on the western army for reenforcements. …”

Source: T.H. Galloway (ed.), Dear Old Roswell: Civil War Letters of the King Family of Roswell, Georgia (Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 2003), pp. 54-57.