In Their Own Words
July 05, 1862
Civil War Soldier Wrote of Seeing Many Wounded
A Georgia soldier writing home to his family told of some of the horrific effects of the battles he had witnessed.
“I feel very unwell this morning but will try and finish this letter. While on the field I saw a heart-rending sight. The wounded getting off of the battlefield, some hobbling alone, some with broken arms dangling by their sides, some with bloody heads, one [with] his whiskers and hair burnt in a crisp by the explosion of powder. Some that were wounded in arms were helping those that were wounded in the legs. I saw [a] poor fellow who was trying to get another one who was shot through the ankle. He had him up astride his neck. The fellow was so sick he was reeling every way, wearying his companion a great deal. I told him I would take him away…”
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. 161.