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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

March 04, 1865

Soldier Returned from Furlough, Still Optimistic

A Georgia soldier just returned to Virginia after a furlough wrote home to his wife, telling her of his trip, and making some vastly over optimistic predictions for the spring campaign.

“…I am happy to say to you that I arrived safely here last night at 10 1/2 o’clock, after a tramp of 18 days since I left home. … I am the only one of the Regt. that came through or in all probability that will get here in some time, they being all stopped at Augusta which I am glad I flanked although I had such a long walk. In all together, I walked 180 miles or more since I left home. … I hardly know what to write on the war news. Various opinions are afloat, in regard to future movements. One thing certain, Petersburg and Richmond are not evacuated yet and I see but little if any sign of their evacuation. We received orders last night to be ready to march at a moment’s warning but it is about 12 o’clock now and we hear nothing more from it. It is nothing unusual to get such orders, and I hope these will pass quietly away for this time at least for I do not feel like taking another tramp so soon. General Lee is Commander in Chief, and Johnson has been restored to the Command of the Army of Tennessee, which are both good things. The Law to arm the negroes has not passed Congress yet. It is causing much debate. Sherman’s whereabouts in not known exactly but he left the railroad below Chester, S.C. and is though to be making his way to Wilmington, and will form a junction with Grant. If so we will whip him sure. With Johnson and Beauregard to assist us I feel confident that we will be able to manage Mr. Grant and Sherman too. Now is the time for all to rally around the standard of our Country and let us route Sherman and I firmly believe that peace will soon follow. How can a man lag from duty at these times I cannot see for my life. …” Source: Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (eds.), Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998), pp. 201-203.