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In Their Own Words

August 25, 1861

Letter Described Good Meal and Admonished Coming to War

From Manassas Junction, Va., Confederate soldier H.C. Kendrick wrote to his brother back in Georgia:

“I have eaten dinner and what a dinner I did have! I made the butter and syrup fly, you may be sure. You know how I used to eat that old black syrup that we had in ‘59? Well, just like I ate that I eat here, maybe a little more so. I made the best biscuits I have had in some time. Then we had with that good old sheep meat, which was just as good as anything could be. One of the boys of our mess hollered, saying, “Come up here [to] the 9th Regiment and eat of our mutton. It is just as good as you ever saw in Georgia. Come up and eat of it.”

“Thomas, Sister E. said in her letter that you wanted to come to war. you listen to me, will you? I say I would not come if I was in your place. You had better stay there with Mother and Father and take care of them. They need protection. Where shall they get it if you come to old Virginia? Why, they cannot get it and you must stay there. You must not come to the conclusion that you would not be instrumental in gaining the rights of the country because you are not in the state of old Virginia but he reconciled with what you are doing and stay… .”

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. 57.