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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

June 19, 1864

Johnston Pulled Back from Pine Mountain; Soldies Wrote about Weather

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston pulled his forces back from Pine Mountain and Lost Mountain toward Marietta. For the third consecutive week, heavy rains and Johnston’s policy of strategic retreats had avoided a major battle during this phase of Union General William T. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. Still, heavy skirmishes between Union and Confederate troops were taking place daily.

A Georgia soldier near Marietta wrote to his sweetheart back home; he was very unhappy with the war’s progression.

“I have been in the rain day and night and been exposed and treated worse than any dumb brute ought to be, but I most consider it is in war time… .Frances, I have no good news to write. The fight is still going on. It gets worse every day. They fought very hard on our left yesterday, killed and wounded [a] great many of our men.The enemy loss is unknown. This war is a terrible one. It seems to me that [it] is carried on to slaughter up the poor class of people and get them out of the way. I don’t call it fights. I call it a perfect slaughter.” Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. I I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 303.

A Georgia soldier near Kennesaw Mountain wrote home to his mother, describing the wet weather and its effects on him.

“…I put my men to the pits and made ready for the enemy. It then commenced raining and rained hard until about 9 o’clock. I made my boys fire as often as they could during the rain so as to try and keep their loads dry. The pit that was in, the second from the right, became half-filled with water, and I suppose the others were the same. . About 7:45 I found that not a gun in my pit would fire. … I sat in the pit until I was cramped all over and chilled. I could not stand up because the breastworks were not high enough and the enemy were firing the whole time. When I got up I could hardly move. … I then went into a house and tried to dry myself and then went to sleep and slept until dusk. I then found that we were preparing to fall back and, as I was barefooted, thought I had better go ahead…” Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. I I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 306.