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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

November 06, 1861

Letter Explained Why Soldier was Fighting

A Georgia soldier about to go off to war wrote his cousin - talking of why he was fighting and insisting he would rather be dead than see Yankees on Georgia soil.

“…It is to perpetuate the liberties and honors you proudly enjoy that I leave the bosom of my friends and especially those who lie near to my heart by the kindred ties of relationship that I leave all behind that is sweet to enjoy and march with proud and rapid steps to the rescue and defense of my suffering country. This land of ours has many sweet and delightful associations that proudly cluster around its imperishable history. I go to contest and plead for the rights of that land that gave me birth, which is sacred to me and will ever be as long as memory holds its position in my brain. When that dear land shall be polluted by the filthy tread of our enemies that are now waging an unjust war upon us, I hope that it will take place after my remains sleep in the lonesome grave of the soldier. … If I fall while fighting for my country, I want you to honor me as a fallen soldier who fought for the honor of his own dear land. …” 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. 82.