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In Their Own Words

July 14, 1864

Soldier Concerned about Wife Encountering Yankees

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, concerned about her should she encounter the Yankee army in Georgia.

“…Much uneasiness is felt in regard to General Johnston’s army retreating and leaving our beautiful country to be desolated. Many are uneasy about friends, parents, wives, etc. being left in possession of the enemy. As for my part, of course, I can not but have some uneasiness and anxiety about you but having always trusted you to a merciful and kind providence, God forbid that I should now doubt and fear when danger is near. I therefore think that it is the part of wisdom to ask God still to take care of my dear Molly, and having done this, leave the matter with him who has thus far been our help. Should you be so unfortunate as to fall in the hands of the enemy, tell them that I stand between them and the capital of my country. Tell them that I breath the air of a true patriot fighting for my God, my country, my religion, my wife, and dear children. Should they insult you it will only cause me to strike the harder blows for all that is near and dear to man. Don’t insult them unnecessary. Treat them as enemies but never yield any principle. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), p. 275.