In Their Own Words
September 04, 1861
Civil War Soldier Wrote Home, Telling of Shortages and Sickness
A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife; already shortages of items and sickness were affecting his unit.
“…I have not had one moment in the day that I could call my own; at night no candles; for we could not get aney for love or money. I autherised Ned Henderson to pay fifty cents for a candle for me and he could not get it. We have sent out in the country and bought some. The men have had no candles issued to them since we left Camp Mercer. … thare is much sickness in the company. Two thirds of the company are unable to do regular duty. Measels and diarhea. I do not think that we have any serious cases here. We have not heard of our Richmond boys lately; and are looking for them. … You have probably heard of Mr Tho’s Reid’s death ere this. Poor fellow. But the soldier who dies from sickness is no less to be honored than he that dies upon the battle field. …”
Source: Randall Allen and Keith S. Bohannon (eds.), “Campaigning with ‘Old Stonewall’: Confederate Captain Ujanirtus Allen’s Letters to his Wife (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998), p. 32.