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In Their Own Words

June 24, 1864

Atlanta Campaign Fighting from Confederate Soldier

From Kennesaw Mountain, Georgian Fortson wrote his father about the Atlanta Campaign:

“… There has been some very hard fighting during the last two days. Hood first charged the enemy, driving the army corps from two lines of entrenchments, capturing twenty pieces of artillery and 1000 prisoners, though his loss was very heavy… . The enemy since then made an assault upon Hood’s line, but were repulsed with heave loss… . I saw yesterday the aggregate loss of our regiment. It was 130 killed, wounded and missing. This army has not loss less than 25,000 men, but I believe the loss of the Yanks to be much greater, oblige[d] to be, for we have fought behind entrenchments. I believe Colonel Joe [a nickname for Gen. Joseph E. Johnston] will yet fall back to the Chattahoochee. He will then be able to hold his front with a small force, while he can spare a large force to flank the enemy. I guess we will then do some flanking.

“I have not yet received my box from Atlanta. I sent yesterday for it. I do believe I will get completely naked before I can get a rag. I now have on no shirt, having stripped to wash mine and have it now drying. I could not wash my drawers for my pants was so holely I was ashamed to go without [them].”

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. 308.