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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

July 30, 1864

Soldier Told Sister to Stay in Home, Even Facing Yankees

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his sister, telling her not to leave their home even if the Yankees came there. He was ashamed at how some of his fellow Georgians were not doing their part in the war, and remained confident the army in Virginia would drive the Yankees out of the Confederacy.

“…I was surprised this morning on receiving your letter to hear things was in such a state of excitement [in Georgia]. It’s true I thought there would be some that would run before the Yankees were in a hundred miles of the place, but I hope that you and Mother will stay at home, even if the Yankees should go there, which I never believe they will. It would be perfect foolishness for you to leave and go to the woods. I have no idea that the crimes that have been told of Yankees are true and, even if they were, if I were you I would prefer staying at home to laying in the woods. I wish the young ladies and old women would dismount Young’s Cavalry and take charge of their horses and guns and use them, for from what I have heard of them they will never use them. It makes me feel very bad to hear how the people in Georgia are acting. … if the Yankees should visit Watkinsville, you must defend yourselves the best you can… Give my love to Ma and Pa and tell them to rest easy, that we will whip Grant soon and come out and help to run Sherman out of the state. …” 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. 323.