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In Their Own Words

June 26, 1864

Tired and Sick Civil War Soldier Wrote Home

A Georgia soldier in Petersburg, VA wrote home to his fiance; he was tired, had been sick, and was ready for the war to be over.

“…Yesterday evening after I was almost exhausted attending the wounded, your last most interesting letter of the 1st inst. was received and I assure you it exerted a most revivifying influence. Since we came to the South side of the James river, our communication has been so often disturbed, that I had almost despaired of receiving your dear letters or of writing myself. Communication is now cut off, so I’m afraid you will not receive this in some time if ever. I will write, tho, as it will somewhat ease my anxiety. In other words I will feel better. … I am considerable better than I was before, but still very weak and hardly able to keep up. I hope we will have a little rest soon. … Our brigade has been in two fights recently, losing a good many men. About fifty killed, and nearly two hundred wounded. … How long this kind of (war) will continue no one knows, but I hope it will stop soon, a great many of our men are becoming sick and broken down. One side or the other will have to stop pretty soon or each army will be very much reduced. … The people here are very kind indeed. They visit our hospitals with refreshments every evening. They are doing all they can for the soldiers. …”

Source: Clyde G. Wiggins III (ed.), My Dear Friend: The Civil War Letters of Alva Benjamin Spencer, 3rd Georgia Regiment, Company C (Macon, Mercer University Press, 2007), pp. 127-128.