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In Their Own Words

October 17, 1861

Civil War Soldier Violated Orders to Bury Friend

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, telling of the uncertainty surrounding his situation, and of violating orders to properly bury a friend.

“…I do not know the position of our army now. I can see about twenty thousand troops around this place. This is all I know. We are under orders to be ready to march on thirty minutes warning. No soldier is alowed to go more than a half mile from camp and only for a short time. … While I was away this morning myself and Dr. Hurst made a coffin and assisted by Lee Crouch and John Mathews buried one of our dear soldiers, Henry W. Crenshaw, who died on the 14th. Those men would have been put in the guard house and myself arrested and court martialed if we had been found absent from our regiment. …”

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. 56-57.