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In Their Own Words

May 08, 1863

Georgia Soldier Letter on Battle of Chancellorsville

From Fredericksburg, Va., A. J. Reese wrote to his uncle about the Battle of Chancellorsville. His optimistic report notes Stonewall Jackson’s injury, though Reese had no way of knowing how serious the wound would prove. Summarizing events over the past nine days, his description of the previous day reported:

“May 7th, not a Yankee on this side of the Rappahannock, but prisoners… . This has been one of the great battles of the war. There was fighting for upwards of 30 miles up and down the river… .We have taken about 10,000 prisoners besides the wounded that fell into our hands, killed and wounded a great many… .”

“General Jackson I suppose has lost his left arm. I understand he said he didn’t care so much about it, as some of his own men done it through mistake, as the Yankees he believed could not hit him. I am very sorry indeed that such a thing occurred… .”

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. 232.