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In Their Own Words

July 10, 1864

Trading Between Yankees and Confederates

In a letter to his wife, newly promoted Lt. Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin told of a brief respite in march on Atlanta where Union and Confederate soldiers on opposite banks of the Chattahoochee River had a chance to not only talk but do a bit of trading:

“… Our pickets are on the northern bank and have agreed with the rebel pickets on the other side not to shoot. There they were this morning, within talking distance of each other, not the least bitter feeling disturbing the friendly intercourse. The rebels were freely walking about on the south bank, washing their clothes and spreading them in the sun to dry, white our men were doing the same on this side; some of ours had even been across and traded off coffee and sugar for tobacco… .”

Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page