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In Their Own Words

September 02, 1864

Union Soldier Recorded Fall of Atlanta

Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry wrote his wife with news of victory in the Atlanta Campaign, although he seemed more concern with politics:

“I have good news - Atlanta is ours. A strong reconnoitering party was sent out from our division this morning early and others from the other divisions of our corps and entered Atlanta without opposition. This is authentic. It is said also that a battle has been fought, resulting most disastrously to the rebels, near East Point. There was a big fire in the direction of the city last night and heavy cannonading heard. We have also heard some political news, the nomination of McClellan and Seymour at Chicago. I am rather glad McClellan was nominated. Of all the candidates before that Convention, he is certainly the most respectable and patriotic; whatever may be said of his political opinions, his antecedents and avowed principles admit of no doubt as to his loyalty to the United States and hostility to the Rebellion, and I am glad to see the majority of the Democratic party vindicate this loyalty by putting such a man in nomination. As the Union party is divided by many feuds, it must be a comfort to every one, whose partisanship and love of spoils is not stronger than his patriotism, to know that the success of the opposition will put a man like McClellan at the head of the Union. We had a visitor here last evening, the Rev. Mr. Britton, formerly of the Episcopalian Church at Madison, came out as a member of the Christian Commission, and as the 73rd Ohio is from his present residence, Chillicothe, he met them and us Wisconsin men here. A band of the 73rd came over and he made a very nice little speech to the men. Mr. Britton thought I was a very young Colonel, and asked me if I had a family.”

Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page