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In Their Own Words

May 18, 1865

Captured Georgia Soldier Desperately Wanted to See Wife

A Georgia soldier wounded and captured in the Gettysburg campaign wrote his wife a brief letter - desperately wanting to see her again.

“…I can write but a line. Until a few minutes ago I expected to have written a long letter, but will not have time. Letters could not be sent South by paroled prisoners, wherefore I could only send messages to my friends. Expecting daily until the fall of Richmond to be forwarded for exchange I did not write by mail, and since that time there has been no mail by Flag of Truce. A friend who leaves today by special arrangement has promised that he will deliver letters for me, and I accordingly write. I desire to reiterate my oft declared attachment and to assure you that painful separation has effected no change whatever in my feelings. For years you have been first in my regard and the constant object of my thoughts. Heaven grant that I may soon see you! Rest assured that I will do so as soon as I can do so with honour. …”

Source: Anita B. Sams (ed.), With Unabated Trust: Major Henry McDaniel’s Love Letters from Confederate Battlefields as Treasured in Hester McDaniel’s Bonnet Box (The Historical Society of Walton County, Inc., 1977), p. 220.

The soldier who wrote this letter was finally released in July, 1865.