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In Their Own Words

December 27, 1862

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Effect War Had on Countryside

A Georgia soldier writing home to his uncle described the effect war had on the countryside.

“…I take the opportunity this evening to write you a few lines to let you know that I am yet in the land of the living and enjoying fine health. We are here in a splendid rich country on the Rappahannock between Fredericksburg and Port Republic, near the latter. But, alas, it has been blasted by the effects of war: fine plantations uninhabited, fine dwellings burned, Negroes stolen and planters gone to the more secure part of the state for safety. These people have felt the pang of war in every sense, form or shape. It ruins a country for our army to be or stay in it. Much worse the Federal army. They don’t care how much or what they destroy. …”

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), p. 206.