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In Their Own Words

June 03, 1864

Rain Described in Civil War Letter

Among the Union troops in General William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign was the 26th Wisconsin Infantry. This unit fought at the Battle of Dallas on May 28 and then marched east to the Western & Atlantic Railroad - which served as the Federal supply line from Chattanooga. En route, Maj. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin wrote his wife:

“June 3rd, 1864. We have changed our position. Our corps was relieved in the position we held by the 15th Corps, about noon day before yesterday. We marched towards the left some miles and went into a dense wood, where we bivouacked until a little past noon yesterday, when amid torrents of rain, such rain as you have scarcely ever known in Wisconsin, we continued our march toward the left of the army. We halted, then marching slowly arrived a little before sunset in this place, in the extreme left of the army, in a reserve position-the 23rd Corps in our front. It seems that we are pushing our army towards the left, probably to get to the railroad. Orders have just come to be ready to march at a moment’s notice… . There has been slow skirmishing in front ever since we came here, accompanied by occasional shelling. One shell came right into the regiment last night, grazing one man’s leg.”

Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page