In Their Own Words
June 20, 1864
Confederate Disillusionment Expressed
On the Confederate side, Bolton Thurmond picked up a letter he had written the previous day to sweetheart Frances Porterfield and continued to tell of his disillusionment with their ability to turn back Sherman’s army but indeed with the Confederate cause:
“… The Yanks are a-shelling us. The bombs have been whistling over my head all this morning, but no one [was] hurt as I know of. General Johnston has withdrawn his line a few miles, but he was obliged to do so. I think they will drive us clear through the Confederacy in a few more months, and I don’t care how soon if they intend to now. My dear Frances, I am going to give you a few sketches of my ideas about our present condition… . I have here of late been studying about our affairs. We were wrong at the beginning of the war. We are wrong to rebel against a civil government as we did. It is wrong and before I received your letter yesterday I had come to the conclusion to go North. The army is leaving every day and night more or less going over and giving up. My honest opinion is that we will be subjugated and that before long and those that gets out of it the sooner the better for them. But now I am going [to] hang on, for I will never forsake you, no, never. My humble prayer is that I may live to get through this struggle safe and return to my home and to my best friend. Frances, God bless you. If this army falls back much further [sic] it will be ruined. It is nearly demoralized already and when we cross the Chattahoochee River it will go up.”
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. 303-304.