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In Their Own Words

September 11, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Moving South Toward Georgia

A Georgia soldier serving under General James Longstreet wrote his wife to tell her they were on the move southward.

“…I wrote you on the 7th and stated that everything was still and quiet, but that evening orders came to cook three days rations and to march the next morning at daylight. We marched to this place and have stopped for the present; that is, our brigade has. The rest of our division has gone on - shall I say where? They have gone to Tennessee somewhere. We will follow in a few days, we are left here for the present but will come on in two or three days. I have no doubt but what I will pass through Atlanta, Georgia in two or three weeks and it may be in less than a week. Oh, how shall I come as close to you as Atlanta and not get to see you but if I do pass through there, I shall cast a look toward you and thank God that I have got so near you as that. If I ever get on Georgia soil again I shall feel like Columbus when he discovered America. I shall feel like kneeling down and kissing the earth. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), pp. 211-212.