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In Their Own Words

June 23, 1864

Wisconsin Soldier in Georgia Wrote of Losses

From near Marietta, Maj. Fredrick Winkler wrote with sadness of today’s losses by the 26th Wisconsin Infantry:

“I left off writing about twenty-four hours ago, just as we were to move. The result proved that we moved out to a hard day’s work. We advanced upon and took a line of rebel breastworks and held it and entrenched it under a constant fire from another line of stronger works. It is with a heavy heart that I contemplate the loss of five men killed and thirty three wounded in what was little more than a skirmish. We were very much exposed all day after we advanced into this position, and the enemy with the protection of his works was enabled to fire deliberately. The bullets flew around and over us thick and fast. As soon as I can get another, I will send you my hat, to show the narrowness of my escape from a fatal bullet; it tore out a large piece of the brim and passed within half an inch of my head. Another ball which had glanced from something else, probably a tree, and was without force, struck my left knee, but did not hurt me at all. I picked it up, and it was so hot that I could not hold it in my hand. I was interrupted here by orders to march. We have marched to the right considerably and are now on the extreme right of our corps, where it Joins the left of the 23rd Corps. We are at present massed in rear of the front line, but we are to go forward soon.”

Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page