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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

January 19, 1863

Soldier Expressed Confidence in Defending Vicksburg

A Georgia soldier wrote home to his father from Vicksburg, MS, expressing confidence the place could be successfully defended, while at the same expressing sorrow over the lives already lost there.

“…There is one thing certain: the Yankees have not got Vicksburg yet, and they never will. For it is the best fortified place in the Southern Confederacy. Our regiment fought one brigade of Yankees. … I forgot the number, but I tell you we gave them one of the best whippings they ever [had]. … They brought in a flag of truce and asked permission to bury their dead. Colonel Phillips granted it… The ground in front of our fortification was covered with dead. … It made me feel sorry for the poor fellows to see them lying cold and dead in the mud and water. … All night Monday the wails of the wounded and groans of the dying and continuous raging of the storm al mingled together made such a roar and fuss that no one could sleep. No one could tell or imagine the horrors of war without walking on the battlefield…” 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. 219-220.