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In Their Own Words

April 10, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Miserable Weather, Homesickness, Duty

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife about the miserable weather, missing their family, and his duty to fight for his country.

“…news is a scarce article, except that we have rain! rain! rain! in superabundance. We had two days of pretty weather last week and only two. Yesterday morning it commenced raining early and rained all day and nearly all night hard down. … This morning it faired off and I thought we would have a pretty day but since 12 o’clock it commenced raining again, and is coming down to it with no prospect of ceasing soon. We built a chimney to our tent last Monday, and we fare finely now rain or shine. It is a great help sure. We built it large and roomy and are not so much crowded as we thought we would be. All the Comp. have chimneys to their tents now. … It will soon be two years now since I first left home, and nearly fourteen months since I was at home on furlough. It seems long indeed to be separated from you and my darling boy. I try to submit to it with as good grace as possible, knowing that I am doing my duty to my country, and by so doing I will have a clear conscience. I want this war to end and to be at home as bad as anybody can but I do not believe I could enjoy myself at homes such times as these if I was able to do duty. … I would enjoy a furlough though to the greatest extent, but my chance for one is a long way off yet, I fear. There are four yet in our Comp. who have not been home at all…”

Source: Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (eds.), Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998), pp. 133-135.