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In Their Own Words

July 15, 1863

Graphic Description of Civil War Death

A Georgia soldier writing to his father-in-law from Mississippi told him of some skirmishing as the Confederate army retreated from the Vicksburg area; in one of the fights he graphically described the death of an officer.

“…Major John C. Lamb was killed instantly by a round ball. He was in the sight of our company and within two feet of Captain Knight, J.M. Griffin and myself when he was shot. His head was half shot off, his brains all flew about four feet and mostly fell in a pile. His cap was not found and his skull flew in every direction. Our men was terribly shocked but all acted the part of soldiers. …”

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), p. 249.