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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

June 24, 1864

Soldiers from South and North Wrote of Battle of Kolb’s Farm

Soldiers from each side wrote home - one to his father, one to his wife - describing their view of the Battle of Kolb’s Farm. First, the Southern view from a Georgia soldier.

“… There has been some very hard fighting during the last two days. Hood first charged the enemy, driving the army corps from two lines of entrenchments, capturing twenty pieces of artillery and 1000 prisoners, though his loss was very heavy… . The enemy since then made an assault upon Hood’s line, but were repulsed with heave loss… . I saw yesterday the aggregate loss of our regiment. It was 130 killed, wounded and missing. This army has not loss less than 25,000 men, but I believe the loss of the Yanks to be much greater, oblige[d] to be, for we have fought behind entrenchments. I believe Colonel Joe [a nickname for Gen. Joseph E. Johnston] will yet fall back to the Chattahoochee. He will then be able to hold his front with a small force, while he can spare a large force to flank the enemy. I guess we will then do some flanking. “I have not yet received my box from Atlanta. I sent yesterday for it. I do believe I will get completely naked before I can get a rag. I now have on no shirt, having stripped to wash mine and have it now drying. I could not wash my drawers for my pants was so holely I was ashamed to go without [them].” 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. 308.

Then the Northern view from a Wisconsin soldier.

“We have got into a new position somewhat in advance of the one we held before. The rebels tried an attack in this place yesterday, but were repulsed with great loss. It is a very important position, as it holds one of the principal roads leading back to Marietta. The loss of so many of my good boys yesterday affected me very much more than at any other time; it was, I believe, because I saw everything so plainly and talked to many of the wounded myself. The engagement was slow and lasted so long; one had an opportunity to see all so plainly, and then, while both at Resaca and near Dalton the great majority of the wounds were light, most of them yesterday were severe, many of them fearful. Now the intelligence that the result of the fighting yesterday has been largely in our favor, has reconciled us somewhat to our individual loss. A good many rebel deserters have come into our lines during the last night; they are all very much discouraged. Everybody looks at my hat, and dozens of men have stopped and looked and speculated upon the Majors close call. My nice hat, isn’t it too bad? Captain Lackner came up to our line once and got one ball through his coat skirt and another on his sword scabbard, but escaped unhurt.” Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page