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In Their Own Words

October 29, 1863

Weather Turned Colder, No Battle Expected

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote to his wife; he described changes in the weather and correctly predicted that a major battle was not imminent.

“…I wrote to you a week ago and gave you a rough sketch of our late tramp.We have been resting quietly here since I wrote and it has been pleasant most of the time. We have had one rain and it has faired off pretty cold. We were on pickett last night and yesterday. This morning was ice and a large frost. We went on pickett on the Rappahannock about 1 1/2 miles from here. There was some excitement with those that were on post. Our Co. was not on post. The Yankee cavalry came in sight on the other side several times and our picketts fired on them pretty rapidly. I do not know if they killed any. The Yanks would retreat when our men would fire in them. There was also canonadeing going on at intervals some distance off, the result of which is unknown to me. It is thought by some that we will have a fight soon, but I hardly think so. …”

Source: Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (eds.), Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998), p. 96.