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In Their Own Words

June 22, 1862

Civil War Soldier Told of Civil Meeting with Yankee Soldier

A Georgia soldier writing home to his wife told of a non-battle encounter with some “Yankees,” and his strange feelings about it.

“… I have never been under their fire yet, though while on picket I am generally in full view of them. Yesterday, I went over to their lines and for the first time stood face to face with a hostile. I swapped piped with one and gave him a piece of tobacco. He told me that he was a sharpshooter and belonged to the 6th Maine Regiment. There at least 100 Yankees within 100 yards of us, while I talked to this fellow. I suppose they were attracted by curiosity to see a rebel. Captain Burch went over with me. He tried to swap papers with them, but they would not exchange. It seemed very strange that I and this man should meet hereafter in mortal combat, but it may be so. They told Captain Burch that they were very tired of this war. When we left, we pulled off our caps and saluted them, which they very civily returned.” …

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. 136.