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In Their Own Words

November 18, 1863

Exciting Action, Gruesome Result Related in Civil War Letter

A Georgia soldier fighting with Longstreet’s troops in Tennessee wrote home to his wife, describing some exciting action, and one gruesome result.

“…I have just arrived here from the front to order our wagons up, we have been pursuing the enemy for several days, fighting to some. Thank God, I am not buried yet though I have been in much danger. I left the division last evening at sundown and had to ride most all night over one of the worse kinds of roads and battlefields, it was very lonesome and cold, it is 33 miles from here to Knoxville. When I left the division they were within ten miles of Knoxville. I expect they are fighting today or will be tomorrow. … I thought I ought to write though I had rather wait until the battle was over but I may not get any chance to write again for some time. I mention this so that you will not be uneasy if you do not get any letter from me soon. I am in good health and spirits and went in front of the brigade all the time, only one man hurt in my company. Ben Walden, son of B.G. had his arm shot off. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), p. 231.