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In Their Own Words

July 06, 1864

Distressed Letter from Confederate Soldier

From the Chattahoochee River, Confederate soldier J.M. Davis wrote to his wife and children:

“… The Yankees don’t seem too want to fight us. They say they intend to flank us and drive us to South Carolina. They say there is no use to fight. General Johnston has tried to bring them to a fight, but there is so many of them they flank him and he is compelled to fall back. Some think they can’t flank us from the river, where we are now, but that is all a mistake. They will do it if they try. It was said they never would drive us from Dalton Gap, the best position we ever had, but they did. If we could not hold them there, we can’t hold them no where. They have drove us over 100 miles over the best farming country I ever saw. They have laid waste everything. Great God! what a destruction! All this has been done in two months! My dear, this is a distressing time. We are a gone people without help. Soon I fear they will be upon you all in less than three months… .”

Source: 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), p. 312.