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In Their Own Words

June 19, 1861

Concern for Family Safety Expressed in Civil War Letter

From Wrightsville, James Hicks wrote Georgia governor Joseph E. Brown about concerns for the safety of their families after the men who had volunteered to serve in behalf of the Confederacy left for duty:

“I am requested by several citizens of this place and vicinity to inquire of Your Excellency how they are to manage a certain class of persons who are not disposed to enter the service of their country and whom it would not be safe to trust with the black population while honest men have to leave to go into the service. One person in this vicinity was heard to boast to his bacchanalian friend that he and the Negroes would have fine times with the wives of the volunteers after they, the volunteers, left for the service! Our people are law-abiding people and if, by any civil legal process, they can render themselves and families secure from the hellish designs of such characters as the above, they wish to be informed how it is to be done.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.) Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 143.