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In Their Own Words

September 16, 1864

Civil War Soldier in Virginia Unhappy with Situation in Georgia

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his fiance, unhappy with the situation in Georgia, but more determined than ever to fight the Yankees. He also expressed pride in the army he was serving.

“…Knowing that Andersonville was the point which Sherman was so anxious to possess, and knowing too that you were not very far distant, I was every day fearful that the raiders had made their appearance. Since your last was ritten Atlanta has fallen. What has been the effect produced upon the people of Georgia, I can’t tell; but I’m afraid the people have become somewhat discouraged, I hope not though. Its capture, did at first, I’m sorry to say, have quite a demorallizing effect on our army; but since the true condition of affairs has been made known, the same determined resistance and hatred to the Yankeys has returned stronger, if possible, than ever. As to the cause of our failures in Georgia, or course, I’m not able to judge, but from all I can learn I’m fully convinced that your opinion, of the in competency of Hood to command so large an army was correct. I judged his ability by his previous successes while in command of a division in this army. … You may think from the above, that I’m proud to belong to Genl. Lee’s army. Well, I am, and I believe ‘tis an honor too. Ought I not to feel so? …”

Source: Clyde G. Wiggins III (ed.), My Dear Friend: The Civil War Letters of Alva Benjamin Spencer, 3rd Georgia Regiment, Company C (Macon, Mercer University Press, 2007), pp. 150-151.