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In Their Own Words

October 01, 1862

Letter after Battle of Antietam

From Goosetown, Virginia, Confederate soldier Edgar Richardson wrote to his mother back in Georgia:

“… We are now encamped about six miles from Winchester… . We hear no news at all with the exception of camp rumors and there is a good deal of that. I understand 60,000 Yankees [are] at Leesburg and 25,00 at Suffolk, and if it be true we will have to get back towards Richmond. We have lost a great many men since we came up in this part of the country, but our army is stronger at this time that it was before the fight. They have got up all of the stragglers and well men from the hospitals. General lee said he would have routed the enemy at Sharpsburg, Maryland, if it had not been that our army straggled so. I think there was about 20,000 of our army that straggled off and were not in the fight. I don’t wish to visit Maryland anymore… .

“We come up to General Cobb in 200 yards of the Yankees. He and his staff were doing all in their power to rally his men, but it was too much of a Bull Run stampede to stop them. When we got to where he was, he asked whose battery it was. We told him it was the Troup Artillery.

“We draw a uniform, blanket, shirts, drawers, socks, shoes, hat in a few days, and I will feel like a new man when I get them… . I am well and hearty. All of the Watkinsville boys are well, but Tony, his foot has not get entirely well.”

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), pp. 192-193.