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In Their Own Words

June 06, 1864

Civil War Soldier Worried about Wife, Prepared Defenses

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, worried that he had not heard from her, and telling her of their defensive preparations.

I seat myself this evening to let you know that I am well and hoping that these few lines may find you all enjoying the same like blessing. I have been looking for a letter from you several days but I have not received one yet. Since I writ you last I fear something is the matter or you would have written, I heard bad news from Chattahoocie County a few days ago. Word came that several were wounded and that George was killed. This of course was very sad news I hope however that it may not be true. We are still here at the same place we were at when I writ to you last at which place I hope we may stay for some time to come. There has not been much fighting here lately altho we have been in hearing of the roaring of cannon almost every day since we have been here. Last Friday we heard Lee and Grant fighting nearly all day. The fight was a very bloody affair more particular on the part of the Yanks as they attacked Lee in his entrenchments. Our loss is said to be about 600 and that of the Yanks ten or twelve thousand. There has been no effective blow struck yet between Lee and Grant. The people here seem to be in tolerable good spirits in reference to the final issue. Provisions are very scarce in this country around Petersburg. I wil give you some of the prevailing prices: corn meal $45.00 per bushel. flour $2,00 per pound. bacon $6.00 per pound, small chickens $6.00 a piece grown ones $15.00. One can get a pretty good meal in Petersburg for $25.00. vegetables in proportion to everything else. The soldiers live about as plentiful as the citizens in the way of meat and bread but not in vegetables. These articles we suffer for. Also milk and butter. “We are on what is called Swift Creek just above where it empties into the Appomatox River about 3 miles from Petersburg. The Yanks are only about 2 or 3 miles below us on the river. They may advance on us but I do not think they are likely to do so. There have been thousands of soldiers transported through these lines since we have been here. This makes me hope we will not go to Richmond. Our duty is pretty heavy. We have to stand on duty 2 days and nights out of four days and nights. This is not the fighting however all day and then perhaps throwin up breast works all night or lie in the ditches with the Yanks a bangin at us.”

Source: The Letters of Edmond Hardy Jones, Private, 64th Georgia