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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

January 27, 1864

Georgia Soldier Caught Sleeping on Guard

A Georgia soldier wrote to his mother from Dalton, Georgia with unhappy news; he had been caught sleeping while on guard, placed under arrest, and feared execution.

“Mother, I am sorry [to] write to you my condition. But I reckoned that you want to hear the truth about me. I am under guard for going to sleep on my post night before last. I don’t know what they will do with me, that I don’t know. I want you to come and see me once more. They may shoot me and if they do I want to see you and all the children once. I want you to come as soon as you get this and maybe you can do me some good by coming. Mother, they haven’t tried me yet and by that reason why I want you to come. I know that this will grieve you but I know that it would grieve you worse than it would if I did not write it to you. I hope and trust in God that I will get out of here alive once more. I think that I would be a different man to what I am… .” 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. 281.