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In Their Own Words

June 01, 1863

Disappointment over Friend’s Desertion

A Georgia Civil War soldier wrote home to his wife, first regarding a friend who had apparently deserted or gone over to the Union, then about the conditions under which he was writing, and finally wondering where he might be going next.

“…I cannot believe that Atkins has acted the traitor’s part. It were unlike him to do such a foul thing. I know absolutely nothing of the circumstances. If he is still living, I shall withhold my condemnation until I have heard his version of the story. Meantime, I think others would do well to do likewise. … Don’t laugh at this scrawl. Attempt once to write upon your knee in the open air during a high wind and you will realize my embarrassments. … Please don’t quit writing, if my letters grow irregular. I know not how rapid our movements will be for the next few weeks. …”

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), pp. 167-168.