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In Their Own Words

June 03, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Hard March, Remembering Dead

A Georgia soldier with the army in Georgia wrote to his mother, describing a short, but very hard march, then remembering the dead that had been left on earlier battlefields.

“…Though our march was short, being only five or six miles, still I think it was more fatiguing than any former one, being made immediately after a very hard rain and over a military road. The mud in many places was over our boots. And after it became dark, we could not see the logs and rails over the swollen creeks, consequently [we] had to go in beast fashion. … We will leave walls of stone and earth which will be gazed upon by generations to come, as the earth which protected father or grandfather. … they will accidentally stumble upon a small mound of red earth which was raised to mark the resting place of some veteran of ‘64. I would say to all who should visit the works from Rocky Face Mountain near Dalton to Paulding County: Treat lightly, for this is sacred ground, made so from the many gallons of Southern blood it has drunk and the many mangled bodies it contains. …”

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. 295-296.