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In Their Own Words

October 20, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Army Maneuvers

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife; he was involved in the maneuvers currently taking place between the Confederate and Union armies.

“…We have just been on a tramp of 11 days and stopped here yesterday evening and may star here a day or two. … We have been in no fight but a portion of the tramp has been rough. We march in a round about way. … Our Cavalry and some of other forces were skirmishing and fighting more or less with the rear of the enemy nearly all the time while we were going up…We went a short distance and stopped to tear up and burn the railroad. We worked at it all day, it raining nearly all the time, and just as we went into camps there fell the hardest rain I believe I ever was in. … We were drenched to the skin but by hard work got a good fire and it stopped raining and we dried off and and lay down and slept sweet and sound till morning. … Lee’s object seemed to have been to run the Yanks back and tear up the railroad, so as to prevent them from resuming operations anymore this campaign. …”

Source: Jeffrey C. Lowe and Sam Hodges (eds.), Letters to Amanda: The Civil War Letters of Marion Hill Fitzpatrick, Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998), pp. 94-95.