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In Their Own Words

October 09, 1861

Homesickness Worst Enemy for Civil War Soldier

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, telling her that homesickness was a soldiers’ worst enemy, and expressing his displeasure at the recent Georgia election.

“…You say that Thos Britton is coming soon. Horace the prince of Roman poets says: Dulce et gloria est pro patria mori (it is sweet and glorious to die for ones country) but I will asshure you he will soon tire of playing soldier and die of homesickness. Thare are stouter harts than his in this company that pine for home. … You need not infer from the above that I am in a very belicose humer. I am discouraged dishartened, mad. Old cloven foot had had the best of me ever since I heard of Joe Brown’s election. Ever since I heard that the liberties that we are fighting to perpetuate are usurped by a petty tyrant aided by a fanatical rabble. A feeling of mingled sadness and anger pervades the brest of evry Georgian in the army. There is greater danger from Brown and his adherents than Abraham Lincoln. He has set at nought a time honored precedent, a precedent laid by the immortal Washington, and claimed the sufrage of the people for the third time, and they foolishly have given it to him. …”

Source: Randall Allen and Keith S. Bohannon (eds.), “Campaigning with ‘Old Stonewall’: Confederate Captain Ujanirtus Allen’s Letters to his Wife (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998), pp. 53-54.