In Their Own Words
July 17, 1863
Staggering Number of Deaths in One Brigade
A Georgia soldier writing to his sister told her of the alarming number of deaths in his brigade at Gettysburg.
“…Since I last wrote many have been the changes in my company. Our gallant commander Capt. James Armstrong fell at Chancellorsville, besides others of our company. Capt. Sanders, promoted since the death of Capt. Armstrong, fell at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. The loss in our brigade at the latter place was truly alarming. Just think out of 1400 men, 800 should be killed, wounded & prisoners. I am truly thankful that I’m still alive, after having gone through so many hardships…I saw Jack just before the battle at Gettysburg. I hope he came out safe. …”
Source: Clyde G. Wiggins III (ed.), My Dear Friend: The Civil War Letters of Alva Benjamin Spencer, 3rd Georgia Regiment, Company C (Macon, Mercer University Press, 2007), p. 76.