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In Their Own Words

November 28, 1864

Georgia Soldier Concerned about Wife as Sherman Passed Through

A Georgia soldier in Virginia wrote home to his wife; he had heard some of the results of Sherman’s army passing through, and worried about her should they get to their home.

“…Sherman with his army passed through Cedartown a few days before he left. Camped around Cedartown one night. They burned every house in town that was not occupied: Court house, all the storehouses, grocers, blacksmith shops and every house that there was no person living in. … They take and kill everything as they go. Kill all the stock, ducks, chickens, &c., take all the provisions both for beast and man. … I did not hear what they did to Father’s. I expect they tore him up. They went out to old Mrs. Battle’s and tore open all her feather beds and poured them out in the middle of the floor, poured three sacks of salt on them and a sack of wheat bran and a jug of vinegar and stirred them all together. … My dear, I am very uneasy about you. I ought to have received a letter from you three or four nights ago, but still I hear nothing. I fear the mail has been stopped to that point. If so, I do not know what I will do. … I hope things will soon get quiet in that department and Sherman and all of his army be captured but that is almost one of the impossibilities. … I don’t want you to become frightened should they ever get there, for I don’t think they will try to hurt you or insult you, unless you should say something out of the way. … I would give everything I am worth to be there…”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 337-338.