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In Their Own Words

June 01, 1862

Lowndes County Man Reluctant to Volunteer

From Savannah, where they were training, members of the Lowndes County Volunteers wrote a public letter to the citizens back home rebuking a Lowndes County man who was doing everything possible to avoid military service :

“To the Citizens of Lowndes County:

“We have left our pleasant homes and families for their protection, and we left one certain James Howell that has raised and pitched and kicked up hell and got all of he could before the Conscription Act was passed. And when he found he had to go himself, he hired a substitute and is at home yet, and we fear from every circumstance that there is no good in his heart. And we further believe if the good men of Lowndes County don’t watch him he will be a great injury to the desolate families left behind. You all well know that he deserted Captain Mosley’s company and that goes to prove that he is not a friend to his country… . We do believe that he would steal from widows and orphans and soldiers’ wives and therefore we request of such men as Reuben Roberts … [and others named] to watch him. It is the wish of the Lowndes Volunteers for this to be made public. We hope you will read [this letter] to every man and will oblige the friends of the South now in the field.”

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. 128.