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In Their Own Words

August 22, 1864

Civil War Soldier in Atlanta Wrote of Difficult Situation

A Georgia soldier in Atlanta wrote to his wife, telling her of the difficult situation they were in, rumors of help on the way, and the only way he thought victory could be won.

“…I will write such news as we are enabled to pick up here. A person can hear all sorts of rumors here. One report is that there will be an armistice of sixty days, but I place no confidence in such reports. The Yankees cut the railroad between this place and Jonesboro day before yesterday and commenced to fortify, but were driven away yesterday. The cars had not passed through in two or three days until yesterday. I cannot tell you anything about what the army is doing here. The Yanks attack us sometimes on the right and then on the left, but I do not think they ever intend to charge our works. If they do, it will be dear charge to them. It [is] also reported that General Longstreet is on his way here, also that General Wheeler and his cavalry are in Sherman’s rear tearing up the railroad. … I have just seen a man from the country near Jonesboro. He states that our forces ripped the enemy, capturing about half of his forces, the balance making their escape in the direction of their own lines. I do not see any more prospect for a general fight now than the day we arrived here. If they intend to fight, I wish they would make haste about it, for I am getting tired of living in ditches. We never can whip the army in their works. The only chance for us is to get a force in his rear sufficient to cut off his supply. …”

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. 331.