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In Their Own Words

May 24, 1864

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Rest Being Interrupted

A Georgia soldier stationed in Virginia who thought he was getting a rest found out differently, as he wrote his wife.

“…Just as I wrote the last word of the above, orders came to fall in. We went back a short distance on the same road we came and we sharpshooters deployed and forwarded ahead of the Brigade through a thick woods. We soon ran up with the yankee skirmish line, and fought them hot and heavy, drove them in and fought the line of battle for awhile. But they got too strong for us and we fell back, expecting to find the Brigade in our rear ready to go on and whip them out. But we had inclined to the right and the Brigade to the left, so where I was I found no support atall in my rear. Several of us fell back to the railroad where started from. The fight then opened in earnest. They drove the Yanks a good ways but fell back about a mile last night. I am now on the skirmish line and our forces building breastworks. … We are looking for another fight at any time. I slept but little last night. It is useless to talk about how tired and sore I am. I have not changed clothes or shaved since the fighting commenced. … Pray for me. May God bless you and my noble boy.”

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.147-148.