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In Their Own Words

September 21, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote Wife of Being Reckless

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, telling her of their movements and his somewhat reckless behavior in a cavalry engagement.

“…Since my last we have left the valley and are now enroute for Richmond or some other point south. … I suppose Grant is making a great arrangement to take Richmond and General Lee getting ready to meet him. God defend the right. I forgot to say that I was complimented very highly for my conduct in the cavalry fight the other day. I was laughing most all the time and cheering on the boys sometimes from fifty to seventy-five yards in front of the brigade on my horse. I hope you will not scold me dear Molly, for if I fall in this war let me die like a soldier and let my name illustrate the blood of my veins…”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), pp. 282-283