In Their Own Words
October 02, 1863
Civil War Soldier Wrote of Being Sick
A Georgia soldier near Chattanooga wrote to his mother about being sick; she had been to visit him shortly after the Battle of Chickamauga.
“…I reckon you will hear that I am very sick and I have been but I am getting better. I got worse all the time after you left. Day before yesterday was a very wet day and I come very near going out. The ground was covered in water. Everything wet and no place to lie down and I got so bad off till they started me to the hospital through the rain and I got as far as Mr. Lemmons. I just felt like I was going to die so I went in and just told them that I must stay there. They soon fixed my bed and done all they could for me. Next morning I come on here but in a few days I am going back to the company for I get no better fare here than I did there. Don’t be uneasy about me and come back. I was afraid some of the boys would write that I was very sick but I am a heap better. …”
Unfortunately, his recovery did not last, and he did not get to see his mother again; this was his final letter to her. He died in the hospital in Rome, Georgia on October 27, 1863.
Source: Elizabeth Whitley Roberson, In Care of Yellow River: The Complete Civil War Letters of Pvt. Eli Pinson Landers to His Mother (Gretna: Pelican Publishing Company, 1997), pp.139-141.