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In Their Own Words

July 26, 1862

Lawless Draft Dodgers

From Gilmer County, W. W. Findley wrote Georgia Gov. Joseph E. Brown about lawless actions of a group of Confederate draft dodgers in that area:

“According to the wish of the people of this section of the country of Gilmer County, I have been solicited to communicate some facts of what is going on in the section of Georgia. There has been for some weeks pasts great uneasiness suffer[ed] by the citizens of this portion of the country on account of the Tories and traitors who have taken up their abode in the mountains in this section of the county. These men have been robbing the soldiers’ wives of our country. They are a-killing the stock of this country all up. There has been seventy or eight seen together in company. They have … sent out spies into the country to reconoiter [sic] for them. They have come to the settlements and burnt up our soldiers’ wives’ houses and threatened their lives, if molested. They all are well armed men. Some horsemen is with them. They are killing and destroying the beef cattle all up in the mountains and in some instances have come to the pastures of citizens and killed all of their cattle nearly and taken off what they could carry, leaving the rest for the buzzard fowls. These men are [ones] who [would] have to go to war under the conscript act and have fled to the mountains. Some of our own citizens is among them. And the citizens is compelled to bear their outrages without help from some source. the soldiers taken nearly all of our guns off to war, leaving us without anything to protect ourself with, and the people of this country prays assistance from your hand.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 157.