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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

February 24, 1865

Couple from Roswell Wrote on Same Day

A couple from Roswell, Georgia wrote to each other on this day; she at home and he serving with the Confederate army in North Carolina. She wanted him home to deal with some of the troublemakers in town.

“…I received your letter of the 4th from Athens. & am sorry you had such a dreadful time. It was very hard on you my poor darling soldier boy! Oh! papa if it could only end, & our independence be established! & you come home - Oh! joy for us, now & hereafter. … Oh! I do wish you were here. You have no fear of these cowardly Crackers - & they are terror struck at you very name - I have much to tell you. & only wish you were here, now to recover things… The little boys want you home and talk about it a great deal…my darling if our hearts are right for the hereafter, all will be well, no matter what we pass through in this world - It may be, hard & bitter trials are yet before us - But my faith in the final issue is as bright as unclouded, as unswerving as on the day you went into our noble Army. …” Source: T.H. Galloway (ed.), Dear Old Roswell: Civil War Letters of the King Family of Roswell, Georgia (Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 2003), pp. 105-109.

He wrote to her from Charlotte, NC, describing what had happened in Columbia, SC.

“…The fact is my darling we are retreating without fighting & Sherman is, in fact now marching through S.C. as easily as he did through Georgia. … I rejoined the command on Monday as I told you I would. & the next day threw up breastworks for the protection of Columbia. Kept in the ditches that night raining & freezing as it fell. All next day Wednesday was occupied in strengthening our works, we were on the right. Some skirmishing all day on the left. Sherman to save ammunition would not press on but moved up across the Saluda river, thereby causing us to fall back across the Congarce which was done Wednesday night & the long bridge burned. Thursday the Yankees kept moving up the river all day in plain view from Columbia. Slight skirmishing was kept up all day across the river. The Yankees very sparing of ammunition could not resist the temptation of firing a few shells at the new capitol 3 of which struck the end towards the river defacing it very little. … All knew the place was to be evacuated the next morning & the stores were rapidly being plundered by soldiers & citizens. … Words cannot describe my feelings at seeing Ladies and children running about wild with excitement & fear, ringing their hands & crying. … There was not a man but gripped his sabre tighter & felt more than ever determined never to give up this struggle till liberty or death be our lot. …Friday night the Yankees destroyed by fire 3/4 of the city. … Prisoners say it was accidental but we can believe as much of that as we please. …” Source: T.H. Galloway (ed.), Dear Old Roswell: Civil War Letters of the King Family of Roswell, Georgia (Mercer University Press, Macon, Georgia, 2003), pp. 109-111.