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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

June 04, 1864

Captured Georgia Soldier Wrote of Mail Trouble, Monotony of Prison Life

A Georgia soldier wounded and captured in the Gettysburg campaign wrote to his wife from a prison in Ohio - he described the difficulty of getting mail through, and how the prisoners spent their time.

“…It is doubtful whether this reaches you directly. I write, however, in the hope that intercourse may be resumed ere long by Flag of Truce. The cessation falls heavily upon prisoners on either side and upon their friends at home. … The monotony of our life remain unvaried. … The fronts of the buildings (called Blocks) have been sodded by the occupants, and the grass presents quite an attractive appearance. Here and there is to be seen a miniature garden-plot, but the space alloted to us is nearly all required for exercise. This is taken now in various forms. Parties are seen at nearly all hours of the day playing at base ball, marbles, pitching quoits, et cet. I am debarred from the first of these by the effects of my wound, from the others by want of inclination. Walking is my resource, as it is that of the majority. …” Source: Anita B. Sams (ed.), With Unabated Trust: Major Henry McDaniel’s Love Letters from Confederate Battlefields as Treasured in Hester McDaniel’s Bonnet Box (The Historical Society of Walton County, Inc., 1977), pp. 192-193.