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In Their Own Words

July 21, 1864

Wisconsin Soldier Letter on Battle of Peachtree Creek

From north of Atlanta, Lt. Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry wrote to his wife:

“At last I have some good news. We fought the hardest battle and won the greatest victory yesterday of all the campaign, and my regiment covered itself with glory. We were attacked by superior numbers, the forces on our left failed us; we were outflanked, but we whipped the enemy, turned, and pursued him to the position we coveted, got it and held it. We fought the 33rd Mississippi, and virtually annihilated it; we killed the Colonel and thirty-four men, whom we have picked up inside the point we pursued them to, End beyond that our fire must have done them severe damage. The ground was covered with wounded; I had no time to count them, but had three stretchers working all night, carrying them to the rear. We took its flags and six officers’ swords. Every body is speaking the praise of the 26th today. We had a very critical position and everything depended upon holding it; officers and men did bravely. The regiment we fought had nearly four hundred men; I only two hundred and sixty. I lost severely, two captains killed, one wounded, a lieutenant wounded, seven men killed and thirty-four wounded. Upon the whole, our loss is comparatively light; most of the wounds are light, and our success was great. We took a number of prisoners. I am well and unhurt.”

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