In Their Own Words
December 21, 1862
Civil War Soldier Wrote of Picket Duty and Damaged House
A Georgia soldier writing home to his wife described being on picket duty in Fredericksburg, and staying in a house damaged by cannon.
“We are on post today, and those on post yesterday are held in reserve today. Our posts are on the bank of the river about 100 yards wide and the enemy’s pickets are on the other bank. No pickets firing has taken place yet. We can almost see the muzzle of the enemy’s guns about a quarter of a mile off. The small house of two rooms where we stay in when off post has 4 canon ball holes through it, with signs of shell bursting inside. We build signal fires on the bank of the river hidden by a screen to keep us from suffering. The screens are placed so that the enemies pickets could not draw sight on us if so disposed.”