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In Their Own Words

June 29, 1862

Letter Gave Personal Account of Civil War Battles

A Georgia soldier writing home to his wife gave a personal account of the battles he had been involved in.

“Dear Wife: I am just in from a four days’ heat in the lines and…will give a very brief and condensed [account] of the fight as I have seen and heard it. On last Wednesday the fight began with Wainwright’s brigade (in which is the 4th of Georgia) and the Yankees. And although we routed them, our lost was severe. … It was evident that our generals intended to bring on a general engagement or run them off. We marched down to a short distance of the enemy’s lines and took position in some old fields to protect our rifle pits. …near 3 o’clock…the heavy booming of cannon was heard on our extreme left. … The firing continued outspread on our left, the belching thunder of artillery and the rattle of musketry raged “fast and furious” from 3 o’clock to 10 o’clock at night. … The next morning at dawn it was resumed, with fresh vigor and fury on both sides… On Saturday the fight was renewed at different points on our line but principally to our left but nearer to us. This morning it was discovered that the Yanks had nearly all got on the other side of the creek, evacuated their batteries, leaving camp stores, tents, &c. … We have routed and whipped them at every point we’ve struck 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), pp. 150-151.