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In Their Own Words

June 04, 1864

Georgia Civil War Soldier Wrote about Cold Harbor

A Georgia soldier at Cold Harbor wrote home to his wife; he had not been in the heat of this particular battle, but had heard of its horrors.

“…We are on the old battle ground of Cold Harbor fought on Friday evening the 27th June nearly two years ago. We are not far from where I done my first fighting. Our Brigade has done no fighting since I wrote last, but much hard fighting has been done since then. Yesterday was one among the bloodiest days of this war. The sun refused to shine on the awful scenes. It was thick cloudy all day. The fighting commenced right close to us on our left and I learned extended along our whole line from here to our extreme left. … Reports and dispatches say that our boys killed the yankees by the thousand, and captured a great many prisoners, and that our loss was very light, and that in some places our forces drove the yanks for some distance. Our boys had good works to fight behind and I just know they poured it to them right. … Old Grant tried mighty hard to get this position, but Gen. Lee was too smart for him. …”

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.150-151.