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In Their Own Words

September 24, 1864

Georgia Soldier in Virginia Worried about Home and Civil War Prospects

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his fiance; he was very worried about the situation at home in Georgia, and gloomy about the war prospects in general, although he still held out hope.

“…Sherman still occupies Atlanta and I’m afraid he will soon pay his respects to other portions of our beloved state. I’m afraid his visit will be rather longer than you expected. He is daily running six or eight raids loaded with commissary and smaller stores, into the city prepatory, I’ve no doubt, to sending the greater portion of his army elsewhere. I don’t generally make prophecies; but I’m going to make one now. I predict that in less time than six months, Genl. Hood’s army will be feasting on the Yankee rations now in Atlanta. All Sherman’s boastings will be but to his shame. He will surely meet with his just deserts for the manner in which he treated the people of that afflicted city. … I received a letter from Sister yesterday, saying they were still living in dread of Yankee raiders. I do hope her fears may prove groundless; but I’m afraid ‘twill be a forlorn hope. I think it is Sherman’s intention to inflict as great injury upon the people of Ga. as he possible can. O how I do pity those who as so unfortunate as to be in their line of march. May you and others, dear to me, escape that dreadful calamity. … Our cause now looks gloomy. Our armies are suffering defeats, and every thing looks anything but peaceful. Our enemies are putting forth every energy to crush and annihilate the rebels. Although this dark cloud of oppression is hanging over our beloved land, threatening to spend its fury upon us, still I believe it has a ‘silver lining’ and will soon pass away, revealing to us a happy and prosperous country. There is an old saying that ‘the darkest hour is just before day’, doesn’t it seem as if it were nearly day? …”

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. 155-157.