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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

August 20, 1864

Soldier Wrote of Fighting in Shenandoah Valley

A soldier in Virginia wrote to a friend and fellow soldier, then at home in Georgia on a furlough. He told him of their brigade being involved in fighting in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia - where the Union was trying to destroy supplies and shut that place off as a launching spot for raids into the north.

“…According to my promise I seat myself tonight … to drop you a few lines to let you know how we are getting along since you left. … we are at Winchester, where we arrived on day before yesterday evening. The only item of news is that General Bryan has resigned and will take his letter to Augusta where he waits the action of the War Department on his tender of resignation accompanied by Surgeons Certificate of Disability. It is generally thought his resignation will be accepted. Early had a fight with the enemy at this place on the evening of the 17th. Thrashed them handsomely, taking some 500 prisoners, and 6 pieces of artillery. Should this reach you give my respects to homefolks and everybody else that you see…” Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), pp. 279-280.