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In Their Own Words

July 20, 1862

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Rare Good Meal

A Georgia soldier writing home to his parents told of a rare good meal he had received.

“Thinking you would like to hear from Brother John, I will use the first chance to write you how he is getting on. Well, he is doing as well as a sick man can and much better than many are doing around him. I have succeeded in getting him off from camp, and I am glad to inform you that I found an excellent place for him and Bob Childs about one and a half miles from camp. The gentleman’s name is Jones, and I think he and Mrs. Jones do all they can for them. They say they are treated just like kinfolks or their own children. … I have been there at mealtimes several times, but I did not eat. But this morning I concluded I would come over and take dinner, as Bob and Brother John has been bragging [about] what they had to eat. … Well, I have been to dinner and it was a fine one. I was a little hemmed, though, on both sides by elbows, &c., but I soon got through with that and the ham and greens had to get further. Next in turn, came corn bread, the first I have seen in a long time, which I ate heartily, as well as the Irish potatoes, beets, shoat buttermilk, &c. So you can imagine how much good it done a soldier to sit down at a table where there was a woman occupying the head of the table and to have all the good things which we were allowed to have today. …”

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. 168.