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In Their Own Words

October 14, 1864

Georgia Woman Wrote Fiance, Hoping He Could Get Furlough

A young woman in Georgia wrote to her fiance serving in Virginia, telling him of sickness in her neighborhood, colder weather, gathering crops, and hoping he will tell her if he can get a furlough to come visit.

“…There is much sickness in our neighborhood. Sis Graham has been very sick. I sit up there last night to assist in giving physic. She was much better this morning and I think will be well in a few days. Pa is complaining today. I hope tis nothing more than cold. Such a sudden change in the weather is I guess what has produced so much sickness. It has been very cold for the past week. Several mornings had while frost. Farmers are busy gathering their crops. The corn crop is not so good this year as last. The potato and cane crops are very good. In a short time we will commence making syrup and sugar from the ‘good cane’ as the children call it. We will certainly have some for you when you come to see us. … Last winter when your furlough was disapproved you said you though when you made application again you wouldn’t say anything about it, to prevent anyone from being disappointed. Now, I do think you ought to tell me. Very often I leave home to spend a few days with my relatives and friends and when you come I want to be at home. It would certainly be a sad disapointment were you to come and I be from home. So it is a special request of mine that you must tell me. …”

Source: Clyde G. Wiggins III (ed.), My Dear Friend: The Civil War Letters of Alva Benjamin Spencer, 3rd Georgia Regiment, Company C (Macon, Mercer University Press, 2007), pp. 161-162.