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In Their Own Words

October 27, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Having to Take Corn from Woman

A Georgia soldier with the army near Chattanooga wrote to his wife, telling her of an unpleasant duty he had to perform, and the unpleasant conditions under which he was living.

“…I just returned last night from a trip of three days up in Walker County, Georgia after corn. I could not find any corn to buy and had to press some. I pressed it from a lady whose husband is gone to the Yankees, It was very hard to do so and she was crying and begging but I could not help it, my orders was to get corn and I was obliged to get it. I don’t want to go anymore. I had much rather fight Yankees than take corn from women and children. I had a good time otherwise, eating butter and milk and potatoes and other vegetables but it did not last long, but like the hog I had to return to my wallering in the clay and vomit again. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), p. 223.