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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

June 20, 1864

Skirmishing Could be Dangerous

Even skirmishing between the two armies was very dangerous for those involved, as evidenced by this letter from a Georgia soldier to his father.

“To give you some idea of how steady and close was the fire, our flag that floated from our parapet had thirty-one holes through it. The flagstaff, no much larger than my thumb, was hit seven times. The trees behind us were riddled with balls. On one little sapling, I counted about eight balls on the body. The face of the [field artillery] pieces, upper part of axles and wheels have hundreds of marks made by balls shot through the embrasures of the works, while our canteens, blankets, &c just in rear of the portholes were shot to pieces… . “The artillery fire was bad, as the Yankee batteries could not seem me or the smoke of my guns, as the rain poured down all day… . Our loss along the line was light, about fifty captured and one hundred killed and wounded… . About night I received orders to get away as quickly and quietly as possible, and I am certain I never obeyed any thing with more cheerfulness and alacrity… .” 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), pp. 307-308.