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In Their Own Words

September 02, 1863

Discouraged Civil War Soldier Wrote to Brother

A Georgia soldier wrote to his brother, also in the service, hoping he was safe and despairing of the South’s position in the war.

“…I have thought often of the difference in your experience now and when you wrote me some time ago in which you state that you had never heard many cannons. I have no doubt but that you have heard enough to satisfy you that there is no pleasure amidst bursting shells and flying shot. I hope enough that none of them has hurt you and I hope that God will shield you from harm. We are prepared here any day to hear of the fall of Charleston. I fear that we will hear it soon. All eyes now turn to Bragg and many fears are expressed that he will do as always, fall back. If we fall back much farther we won’t have any place left to stand on to fight. Our army is much discouraged at our late reverses and fear we will not be able to defend ourselves much longer. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), p. 206.