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In Their Own Words

August 14, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Two Escapes

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, telling her of a slave who had escaped from some Yankees who treated him badly, and of a fellow soldier’s ruse to also escape from capture.

“…I was speaking of the negroe boy. He told us a heap about the Yanks whom he hates with all vengeance. … He says they would not let him call them Master, and did not whip him but slapped his jaws severely. He tried to get back several times before he succeeded. They caught him once and put him in jail. He says all that are large enough to fight they draft and put in service… I saw a North Carolinian a few days ago belonging to our Division who was captured on the 6th of May, up in the Wilderness. He was taken to some Fort and guarded by negroes who kicked and cuffed him at their pleasure. Determined not to stand that he took the oath, joined the Yankee Army and the first opportunity deserted them and came back to his old Company where he is now doing duty. He is quite intelligent and it is highly interesting to hear him narrate his travels and tell how he felt while acting Yankee. …”

Source: Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (eds.), Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998), pp.166-167.