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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

May 19, 1864

Soldier Wrote Wife about Hard Fighting

From Virginia a Georgia soldier wrote his wife about the hard fighting going on there.

“…We had hot times awhile yesterday morning. The Yankees attacked us early in the morning while it was thick foggy. I was out on skirmish and run a narrow risk. We saw them coming in one direction and thought it was only a line of skirmishers. We opened fire on them hot and heavy and fought like tigers, it being the order not to fall back until we saw the line of battle. The line of battle came in by flank through a thick wood and was in twenty steps of where I was before we saw them. We poured a fire into them and retreated to our breastworks in all possible speed, while the balls came thick and fast by us. One of our sharpshooters that was near me is missing. I suppose he was captured. After we got back to the breastworks, our boys opened a hot fire on them and the cannon mowed down their ranks and they stood it but a short time before they retreated. They did not get very close. We sharpshooters took our positions again after the fight. They left a great many guns but carried off their dead and wounded except one dead man and one of our boys got a watch from him. We can see where they drug off their dead, and blood in profusion through the woods. … Old Grant is a tough customer but Lee is an overmatch for him. There is no telling when the fight will end. The prisoners say that Grant says he is going to Richmond or Hell one, before he quits, and had no idea of recrossing the river as long as he has a man left. …” 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), p.145.