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In Their Own Words

July 22, 1861

Mosquitoes at Fort Pulaski

From Camp Mercer on Tybee Island, Fort Pulaski commander Charles Olmstead wrote his wife about the most immediate enemy his Confederate garrison faced:

“Yesterday’s mail brought me a good long letter from you and the net for my head and arms. Many thanks, darling, for both!. The latter is just exactly what I wanted, and I can assure you it is a deal of comfort to me. I sat out in front of my tent with it last night, calmly serene, while the other fellows had to slap right and left to keep off the swarms of mosquitoes. You cannot imagine how bad those little pasts are down here. Pavilions are of little or no use. They crawl under them fasten them as you will. For three nights I have scarcely slept at all, and the men are worse off even than the officers.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 146.