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In Their Own Words

April 22, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote Fiance a “Book”

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote his fiance a very long letter - actually called it a “book” - telling her how loved getting letters from her, of the events in camp, and of reinforcements arriving as the spring campaign approached.

“…Mag, you’ve spoiled me writing to me so often, and if you don’t continue I am afraid I will go cra_ing you to please write to me oftener, for awhile, at least until the coming campaign commences. … I wish I could write you an entire letter without a single reference to military affairs; but being directly in the war, how can I do otherwise… The day appointed by Pres. Davis and recommended by our beloved commander, Genl. Lee, for fasting and prayer, was, I am proud to say, properly observed in our brigade. Prayer meeting was held twice, and two excellent sermons delivered on that day. … Since that time I have seen Mr. Hyman, a baptist minister of Thomas Ga. Brig., baptize and receive into the baptist church, nine of our best soldiers. … On the night of the same day, quite a number were sprinkled into the Methodist Church. … we were to be reinforced from some point. Subsequent events have proven that we were right in our conjectures. From all accounts Longstreet’s corps is undoubtedly at Charlottesville, about twenty-five miles from this place. … There is no doubt now that our brigade will in a few days be reinforced by the addition of the sixty third Georgia Regiment, for some time stationed in Savannah, and the tenth Georgia Battalion. …”

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. 107-111.