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In Their Own Words

May 10, 1863

Close Call at Chancellorsville

A Georgia Civil War soldier writing to his aunt gave a detailed account of the Battle of Chancellorsville, including a very close call he had.

“…The bullets sung ‘round me as thick almost as hail. They cut bushes all ‘round me. The only thing that saved me was a little alder bush about an inch or an inch and one-half thick. It turned a ball that would have killed or wounded me perhaps seriously, as it struck about waist high. And I was standing about six spaces behind it. … I have never heard such a noise in all my life. It sounded like a large canebreak on fire and a thunder storm with repeated loud thunder claps, one clap following another. … The shrieks and groans of the wounded on the battlefield after the fight was heart-rending beyond all description. …”

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), pp. 238-240.