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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

July 03, 1864

Georgia Soldier Wrote on Fall of Marietta

A Georgia soldier in Atlanta wrote to his wife about the fall of Marietta.

“…On Friday I was ordered to Marietta, arrived there about 6 o’clock in the evening. In a few minutes, heavy cannonading commenced, and in a short while the continual roar of artillery, extending for miles along our line, seemed to give evidence of a general conflict. Dark night soon rested upon the scene, and all for which was quiet. But before dawn of morning the sleeping repose of the inhabitants of the once beautiful but now desolated city of Marietta was aroused by the angry roar of the cannon and the sharp crack of the rifles. Soon all was astir, expecting the deadly strife that [would] commence, but not so. Very early in the morning it was ascertained that it was only a feint on the part of the enemy to draw the attention of our army until Sherman could command with one of his flank movements on our left. But the noble Johnston had already anticipated this movement and was prepared at every point to meet him. The effect of Sherman’s move, however, has been a falling back of our army, some five miles below Marietta at our near Smyrna Church. Thus you see that Marietta is doomed to fall into the hands of the Yankees and the footprints of the vandals to pollute the soil where lie buried so many of our friends and relatives…” Source: 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), pp. 309-310.