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In Their Own Words

May 20, 1863

Civil War Hard on Soldiers and Citizens

A Georgia soldier writing to his wife from Kentucky discussed the hardships of army life, both for the soldiers and the citizens in the area.

“…We are camped here in the woods without any tents, exposed to the weather in ten miles of the Yanks. … We do not know how long we will have to stay up here. We have to press everything we get to eat. I supposed that our brigade has killed 500 head of hogs since we left Clinton. I never thought that I ever could have the conscience to walk up to a man’s house and shoot down a hog and skin it right before his eyes and the owner of them standing by and not allowed to open his mouth. But a hungry man will do anything to get something to eat. …”

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. 241.