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In Their Own Words

October 12, 1862

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Little Clothing, but Glad to be Alive

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his mother, talking about what little clothing he had, but feeling fortunate to be alive after the recent battles.

“…without a good opportunity you had better not send anything and I will try to make out without them though I am like a tarapan, all I have got is on my back and that is dirty as common but I am as well fixed as the most of the boys. I lost my blanket in the fight of the 17th. I lay out on the ground till the other day. I bought me a blanket and a small tent which cost me 5 dollars…My mess has decreased for the last three months. Out of ten, they are all sick, killed or wounded but oh what can it be but kind Providence that I am not hurt. … I have come through 4 engagements without a scratch but perhaps in the fifth one I may fall in the field, but that is the risk to run. I would be glad if they could settle this affair without any more blood shed for there undoubtedly has ever been more blood shed in this war than has ever been recorded before but it is the opinion of the most of the men that there will be hard fighting yet. …”

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.100-101.