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In Their Own Words

June 18, 1862

Letter Told of Danger and Offered Advice

A Georgia Civil War soldier in Virginia wrote to his younger brothers and sister, telling them of the dangers he faced, and encouraging them to live right.

“…We stand picket every fifth night in the swamps of this river, to prevent the Yankees from building bridges and crossing in the night and killing us all. Our regiment has ten companies, and two companies go out at a time and stays 24 hours, concealed or his about in the woods and swamps, living on cold and half-cooked [food] and wallowing about on the cold ground and subject at almost any hour to be shot down by a Yankee spy who is lying in ambush on the opposite side of the river. So, my dear little Brothers, you see what danger we are exposed to every hour that we are or spend in the army. And Jimmy, I want you and Sampy to be good boys and try to get to Heaven. You must take the Bible and read a chapter for us every night and, my sweet little Sister, you must be a good girl and say your little prayers for us every night before you lie down. …”

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. 134.