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In Their Own Words

November 03, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Davis Visit to Savannah

A Georgia soldier in Savannah wrote to his mother, describing Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s visit to the city; while he admired the President, he found another person more to his liking.

“…The President’s visit here caused considerable stir. It was the first time I had ever seen him. He arrived Saturday morning, went down the river on an inspecting tour during the day, at night was surrounded by a band of music, followed by a torchlight procession. He made [a] pretty little speech from the balcony of the Pulaski House and at 8 o’clock had a reception for the citizens at the Masonic Hall. The hall was densely crowded and an immense crowd filled the street on both sides of the door for thirty yards trying to get in. I joined the crowd at first and thought I would get in and see the sight, though not to shake hands with him, for I detest this way of running after the big folks of the land. By jamming and squeezing for ten minutes, I succeeded in getting in about 20 yards of the door. Here I had to come to a standstill and after waiting for 15 minutes and seeing no chance to approach nearer the desired goal, I concluded I had had enough of the President and so put about and, making a safe escape from the crowd, I wound up the evening by calling on a pretty sweetheart of mine here, which was far more to my taste, I assure you…”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), pp. 277-278.