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In Their Own Words

August 28, 1864

Georgia Soldier Wrote Fiance, Concerned about Raiders

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote to his fiance, glad that she had not had to deal with Yankee raiders yet, but concerned that she may have to with some particularly desperate ones.

“…I am truly glad you’ve so far been spared the presence of the Yankey raiders; but from the recent dispatches of the press association, I’m every day afraid those uncivilized warriors will make their appearance near your home. Is is doubtless their intention to free the prisoners confined at Andersonville. I hope such may never be. Should, however, such happen, I pity the fate of South Western Georgia. ‘Twould be equivalent to turning loose so many inmates of the Asylum and Penitentiary. Neither citizens nor private property would be respected. Everything in their path would be taken or destroyed. Such has been the course pursued by them in Virginia, why should Georgia be an exception? I have known them to (take) jewelry from the persons of young ladies. Their object is to impoverish the citizens and enrich themselves. I do sincerely hope the day of retribution is not too far distant. Sometimes I think all raiders ought to be put to death as soon as captured; but so soon as I see them, I pity and can but treat them as prisoners of war should be. …”

Source: Clyde G. Wiggins III (ed.), My Dear Friend: The Civil War Letters of Alva Benjamin Spencer, 3rd Georgia Regiment, Company C (Macon, Mercer University Press, 2007), pp. 145-146.