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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

March 23, 1864

Soldier Wrote of High Spirits and Snowball Fight

A Georgia soldier in Dalton wrote to his sister that spirits were high at their winter camp in Dalton; they were finding ways to amuse themselves.

“…The snow covers the ground four or five inches, and it is cold enough to make a mud chimney pleasant. We had plenty of fun yesterday and from the noise around I suppose all the army did. Before breakfast we had a company [snow ball] fight, one row against the other… . Everything was taken in good fun, but it was rough play. The ground was speckled with blood from bruised noses… . “About half of the men are in the wood after rabbits this evening. We are kept busy with drills, inspections, reviews, &c. [with] hardly any time to spare. We are to have target practice tomorrow and on Friday a sham battle with blank cartridges… . These sham battles are exciting, but I like them better than the other kind! “… I never say this army in such fine spirits, everything is hopeful and confident since we repulsed them [the Yankees] above Dalton… . Trains of pontoon wagons are ready at this place, and we can move rapidly. “I anticipate brilliant successes this spring and after a few hard fights a glorious peace… .” 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. 285.