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In Their Own Words

September 03, 1864

Civil War Close to Home

The Civil War was beginning to hit very close to home for Gertrude Thomas and her family in Richmond County:

“This morning I received a note from Mr. Thomas about day telling me that a dispatch had just been sent through him to Gen. [Ambrose] Wright [of Augusta] from President Davis and General Bragg [Braxton Bragg, then serving as chief of staff to Confederate President Jefferson Davis] ‘to send every armed man to Atlanta.’ Mr. Thomas expects he will have to go but I trust that his company will remain for the defence of Augusta. Oh these are troublous times. I leave Belmont not knowing what an hour may bring forth. I carry all the children with me… . In case of a nearer approach of the Yankees I will remain on town. I wish to carry something with me and don’t know what to take. I will carry the Confederate Bonds and silver spoons and forks. Perhaps the Yankees may make a raid here before I return… . I do not form an idea of what the issue of this fight may be… .”

Source: Virginia Ingraham Burr (ed.), The Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), p. 233.