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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

October 26, 1861

Soldier on Coast Noted Live Oaks

A Georgia soldier stationed on an island off the coast of Savannah wrote home to his parents - telling them he hoped to be able to defend his native land from Yankee invasion, and noting the beautiful trees in the area - which would eventually become Georgia’s official state tree.

“…I trust that our shores may never know the pollution of the enemy’s presence. But if he does come, I sincerely hope that our battery may be detailed to resist his first attempted landing and to dispute every inch of ground in his contemplated march of desolation. … Our camp is advantageously located nine miles from Savannah on the Isle of Hope, upon a bluff overshadowed with some of the noble live oaks which impart such a dignity to the forests of our local region. … Our pure white tents contrast beautifully with the dark overhanging foliage of these attractive trees, and our burnished battery gleams brightly in the morning sun. Our garrison flag is floating freely in the quick air, and within a stone’s throw of the guard tent a bold river moves onward between its low-lying shores toward the far-off sound. …” 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. 80.