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In Their Own Words

July 02, 1864

Letter Described Retreat

Among the Confederate forces retreating from the Marietta area was John McCorkle, who wrote to his wife “Mat” [Matilda?]:

“My dear Mat, there has been some hard fighting since I wrote you before. We was marched down the railroad on the 21st and the 22nd we charged the Yankees. e lost a great many men. The Yankees drove us back. It was badly managed… .

“My dear Mat. I felt awful as the missiles of death was flying in every direction and see men falling on every hand… .My dear Mat, I was as near exhausted as ever I was in my life. I did not go as far as some of the boys, as I give completely out from heat and fell down and laid ‘till they started back and then I hobbled up the best I could. I had to throw away my knapsack and everything in it, so I have no clothes, only what I have on and they are very dirty. But I would have throwed them away if I had have had to have went naked ‘till Christmas rather than been captured, though I reckon I can draw some [more clothes] soon… .”

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), pp. 308-309.