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In Their Own Words

January 31, 1865

Geogia Soldier Believed War was Lost

From Mathew’s Bluff, South Carolina, Confederate soldier James Maddox wrote to his wife back in Georgia of his belief that the cause has been lost:

“… We are well-situated in our present camp … . But the Yanks are advancing, and it will not be long until this will all be over. And the campaign will open and then South Carolina will be overrun by the foul invader… . We have a great many reports through camps, and one is that there is a Union flag flying from the courthouse at Hamilton, which reports I do not believe. But one I know that there was great many secessh about there, and if they have changed as much as the secessh of this state, they are willing to do anything to save their state. They were first for war, and they think it right to be first for peace. But i tell them they know nothing about war as yet, and they must wait until the yanks get full possession of the state and then they can be to realize what war is and not ‘till then. I am very anxious to have peace, if we can have it in the proper way. And if not, my voice is still for war, but it seems to me that we have had war long enough to have peace on good terms.”

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. 341.