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In Their Own Words

July 20, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote Home, Concerned about Family in Roswell

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote his mother back in Roswell, concerned for their welfare after the Union capture of the city. He had heard conflicting stories of what had happened there, but did know of the change in command of the Confederate army in Georgia.

“…I am feeling very uneasy about Father & yourself & little Haddie. It has been so long since I have heard from you & the date of the letter was the 14th of Jun. & now the Danville R Rd is finished & mails have come through & yet I can hear nothing from yourself or Father. Member of the Regt lately from Atlanta returning to duty bring such conflicting rumors too that I feel doubly anxious to hear. One man says they have not only destroyed the factories but that most of the buildings in the village has been burnt. Another says they have only burnt the Wool Mill & are running the Cotton Mill on their own account & have burnt more of the buildings in the village. … I don’t know what to believe but know this that if it is not already burnt it will if Sherman is every forced to retreat be destroyed without a doubt. It was reported to that Johnston had decided to give up Atlanta But now he has been superceded by ‘hood’ who will fight Sherman where he is. …”

Source: T.H. Galloway (ed.), Dear Old Roswell: Civil War Letters of the King Family of Roswell, Georgia (Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 2003), pp. 77-78.