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In Their Own Words

October 10, 1862

Civil War Soldier Wrote Wife of Little Variety in Diet

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, telling her of being sick, but eating fairly well (though with little variety), and of course of missing their family.

“…I am still at my old stand and having a very good time if I just had good health. I don’t have anything to do all day but write letters and mend harness and stand guard at night two hours which is a very light job. We get plenty of beef and bread to eat but that is all we get, not even peas or rice. I am getting tired of beef though we fix it up in many ways, boiling, frying, making soup, and such like. I can make splendid bread though it is not so good without anything to go in it but salt and cold water. This war is a big thing and seems to be getting bigger. If it keeps on it will be large enough to engage us all. … I want to see you very bad and Tommy. I love to hear of his little tricks and it does me good to hear of his being in good health. I expect he will have a little Virginia to play with him. I am very sorry that you are pregnant but we can’t help it and I want you to be very particular and not hurt yourself in any way whatever. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), pp. 64-65.