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In Their Own Words

November 08, 1863

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Move into East Tennessee

A Georgia soldier in Longstreet’s corps wrote home to his wife, telling her of their move from Chattanooga into east Tennessee.

“…You will be surprised to get a letter from this place. Our division left Chattanooga on the fifth and arrived here the 7th. Sweetwater is in the eastern part and lies sixty or 70 miles from Chattanooga and about fifteen miles from Loudon and some five or six to Knoxville. I understand that all of our corps is coming up here. I think that we will unite with some troops from Virginia and then go back to Chattanooga in the rear of the enemy. I only give my opinion and will see if I am right. I fear we will have to march all winter or at least until Christmas. … Molly, I had one of the most delightful dreams last night I ever had in my life. I met you and Tommy and kissed each one and had a few pleasant hours in conversation. Oh how happy I was but alas for me I awoke and found it only to be a dream. I would to God it had been of reality. Molly, I fear it will be some time before I can get a furlough now as there is some great move on foot. …”

Source: Ronald H. Moseley (ed.), The Stilwell Letters: A Georgian in Longstreet’s Corps. Army of Northern Virginia (Macon: Mercer University Press, 2002), pp. 227-228.