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In Their Own Words

September 06, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Harrowing Trip

A Georgia soldier in Virginia, who had just returned there from a furlough, wrote home to his wife about his harrowing trip back to active duty.

“…I arrived here this morning after a long and tiresome trip. I am in good health. I got skinned and bruised up smartly by the collision of the cars at Barnesville, Georgia. I never seen such a sight in my life, twenty-six persons killed and many wounded. I was riding on top of the cars because I could not get inside. I jumped off and got hurt some but I am all right now, and thank God that I got off so light but I have to report another accident that happened to me. I got my carpet sack stole from me and all that was in it between Columbia, S.C. and Charlotte, N.C. I was asleep and had the carpet sack under me and they jerked out and jumped off the cars while they were running and run off in the woods, so you may tell all that sent sacks by me that they are all gone. I am very sorry but could not help it. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), pp. 281-282.