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In Their Own Words

September 29, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Many Desertions

A Georgia soldier stationed in Virginia wrote home to his sister, telling her of a considerable number of desertions, with some creative spelling.

“…And you or Mary one wrote to know if I knew enathing about the men desearting. I say I do for there has bin a heap of it done throuout the army. I stood gard around six, yesterday, that started from this regiment and was overhalled and sent back to their company whar they was arrested and sent to headquarters for tryal. They sent them off this morning. They was members of Co A and Co G - three from each, and then a few days ago there was 7 more arrested, too, belonging to Company D in this regiment. They did not git off before they let it be known bi talking too loud and they are also waiting for tryal. One of the men bi the name of Pain belonging to Company G was second offence, will apt to be shot. The rest will apt to be handled ruff. …”

Source: Hugh McKee (ed.), The McKee Letters 1859-1880. Second Edition. (Milledgeville, Boyd Publishing Company, 2001), p.129.