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In Their Own Words

September 28, 1863

Wounded Son Mentioned in Diary

John Banks of Columbus had two sons - Eugene and Willis - to fight in the Battle of Chickamauga. Shortly after the battle, he learned that Willis had received what was described as a flesh wound. Actually, the wound was much more serious, as his father noted in this day’s journal entry:

“Willis got home on the 26th and badly wounded. The ball passing through both thighs and lodging in clothing. Today his fever was subdued and we think not dangerous. He has not walked or sat up, lies quiet in bed. He fell on Sunday. Chickamauga is the name of the battle in Georgia. Of four officers, Eugene is the only one who escaped unhurt. Three privates were killed and five wounded. Kelly [another son that John Banks had sent in search of his wounded brother] missed him as he went up. Got a letter today from him. He is still hunting for Willis.”

Source: John Banks, Autobiography of John Banks, 1797 - 1870 (Austell, Ga.: privately printed by Elberta Leonard, 1936), pp. 29-30.