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In Their Own Words

September 20, 1861

Civil War Soldier Wrote Father from Georgia Coast

A Georgia soldier stationed on a Georgia coastal island wrote to his father, telling him of the pros and cons of his location - and of a easy “battle.”

“…We are situated on a very desolated island in the Atlantic Ocean where we can see to the extent of vision. We have good water, plenty of fish, oysters, venison and to cap the pile we have more than plenty of mosquitoes and sand flies. … We have had but one fight, yet this happened twelve days since. In this fight we crowned ourselves with the laurels of a most noble victory without the loss of a single man. There came a blockade, as we supposed, from the direction in which they came. The long roll of the drum sounded for the [battle]. We fell into ranks and mustered to the battery to meet them, well-assured that it would be a bloody fight. But to our utter astonishment, it proved to be a Southern steamer and we were all sadly disappointed. Our cannon are not yet mounted, but I suppose they will be soon. We see nothing that looks like fighting since we whipped the Southern steamer! …”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 66.