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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

June 01, 1864

Union Sympathizer Wrote in Diary from Atlanta

A Union sympathizer in Atlanta wrote in her diary of what she saw around her, as the city prepared for the advancement of Sherman’s army.

“A little nearer each day, and each day the cannons are heard more distinctly. Sherman flanks and fortifies, and Johnston falls back. Every day’s paper reiterates, ‘No cause for despondency. We know certain things which we could tell, but the time has not yet come. It will soon be seen that our General knows what he is about.’ “There is sorrow and gloom everywhere around me. But a short distance from my house the militia are stationed. They are composed mostly of men past the conscript age, who had a right to expect exemption from camp life. Many of them, too, have opposed this war from the beginning and have passed through the fires of treason unscathed in soul. One man said he could and would escape across the lines, but he had reason to believe his two sons would be hung in revenge and his house be burned over his defenseless family. So he stands guard in the ditches, through storm and sunshine, with hundreds of men like him praying for deliverance.” Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 167-168.