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In Their Own Words

June 09, 1864

Civil War Soldier in Georgia Expected Large Battle Soon

A Georgia soldier in the Atlanta Campaign wrote to his wife, expecting a large battle soon from the preparations he was seeing.

“…we have moved our camps three miles north of Atlanta and about six miles from our old camp. This leaves me tolerable well. I feel very sore from the march yesterday. I had my blanket, canteen, cartridge box, knapsack with one day’s cooked rations in it, and my gun. I tell I could not have marched much farther. … We are camped near the railroad going to Marietta. I saw the trains all pass to and fro from Atlanta to Marietta. The train coming down from Marietta full of sick, wounded and broken down soldiers, and the train going full of soldiers going up to the front. That is the way it is every day on this road. I saw twenty-one government wagons yesterday evening going up to the front with ammunition. That looks like the big day is coming. We have not heard any guns in several days. From what I can hear the armies must be massing their strength for the bloody day…”

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), p. 299.