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In Their Own Words

July 08, 1864

Soldier in Virginia Wanted to be in Georgia Defending his Home

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife, concerned about the situation at home and wishing his troops could be there to help; he was still confident the Union forces could not defeat them there in Virginia.

“…The news of General Johnston falling back to Atlanta reached here on yesterday. I have but little or no fears that the Yankees will ever get down to where you are but I think that you will be pestered by our own soldiers, not that I think that they will harm you in any way except strolling about and begging for anything that is to eat and stealing your chickens, etc. I had almost as leave have the Yankees around my house os our own men except they will not insult ladies. Everything has remained quiet here since I last wrote, except the Yankees continue to shell the city and some little picket fighting. General Grant says the siege of Richmond has begun, if so we don’t know it. It will be like the little man hugging the big woman, he will have to besiege one side awhile and then the other. Tell me not that such an army as ours whose prayers ascend the throne of God day and night can ever by subdued or conquered. Our army is in good spirits and as far as I know, in good condition. Our brigade wants to get to Atlanta, if they must die in defense of their country they had rather fell in defense of their own native state but there is no hopes or our going as far as I know. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), p. 274.