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In Their Own Words

August 05, 1863

Bleak Civil War Outlook from Georgia Soldier

From Orange Courthouse, Va., Sidney Richardson wrote to his parents back in Georgia with a bleak outlook on the future of the Confederate cause:

“I hate to speak my opinion about this war, but I think we will have to give it up after [all] is done, unless we can get some foreign nation to help us, for they are getting a stronghold in every state we have got, and they have got so many more men than we have got. It looks like it does not do any good to whip them here in this state, and out West they are tearing everything to pieces we have got out there.I hate to hear General Bragg has had to fall back to Georgia, and about the next thing we know the Yankees will be coming up the Chattahoochee River. But I am willing to fight them as long as General Lee says fight. But I think we are ruined now without going any further with it. One thing convinced me: that is when we went into Maryland and Pennsylvania. The [low] price of everything showed they did not feel the effects of this war, and I saw a great many men that are fit for service. Pennsylvania is the only free state I ever was in, but there only a few Negroes there and it is [as] fine a country as I ever saw for living easy. As far [as] I am concerned, I wish every Negro in America were in Africa [and] there was no way to get on here. This war is hard to account for… .”

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), pp. 258-259.