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In Their Own Words

August 07, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Brother’s Death from Disease

A Georgia soldier wrote home to his sister with the tragic news that their younger brother had died - like so many, from disease.

“…I telegraphed Father the 2nd that our poor little Brother was dead. I intended writing before this, but we have been on the march so constant since his death that I have not had the opportunity. He was taken sick with typhoid fever on the 24th July near Culpeper Courthouse and got worse until his death. He was taken out of his head the 26th and remained unconscious. …He never got so he could recognize any of us, but I could not get him to talk any the evening before he died. In the morning of the 2nd he was very restless and I asked him where hurt him, and he moved his lips and said, ‘Nowhere.’ [This] was the last words he spoke. … It nearly breaks my heart to think about it, but there [is] no chance for me to go home now, as our country needs every man she has to defend her. … I have got Robert’s little Testament with my dear Mother’s name in it, which I intend to keep and read an study well. …”

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. 259.