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In Their Own Words

June 16, 1862

Civil War Soldier Gave Wife Advice on Business

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, advising her on running a business, and missing his young son - who he will come see when he finishes one “minor” task.

“…You must cultivate a strong nerve and a cool and determined resolution. What I mean by a strong nerve is not to fear man, woman or the Devil, and what I mean by a cool and determined resolution is to make a cool calculation on your business and when you have decided, carry it out or burst. For the want of these qualities, men and women fail in business. I long to be with you, but it cannot be so now, and I thank God your condition is no worse. I have seen women and children here driven from their homes and such suffering as I cannot describe. I am glad to hear that Pa’s boy can almost walk and talk. You must write me how many teeth he has and all about him. Tell him Pa is coming home after he whips the Yankees, and is going to bring him a knife and some candy. …”

Source: Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (eds.), Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998), p. 14.