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In Their Own Words

December 26, 1864

Words of Warning for South Carolina

In Savannah, Maj. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Volunteers wrote in his diary :

“We have an order to move to the north side of the river tomorrow, there to camp for the present; that will take us into South Carolina, that hot-bed of secession. If the people of that state had been listeners to the conversations of officers and soldiers here lately, they would know that their doom is no enviable one. It seems to be a favorite contemplation with all, how they will plunder upon getting into South Carolina. I think General Sherman will take his army into the interior of that state before long. It is a good plan. Soldiers like sweet potatoes and young pork, varied with poultry, much better than lean beef and hard tack. It is cheaper also for the United States. Then there are some railroads there too, that ought to be fixed. I think we will operate some this winter without very hard work, and what is still better, won’t be cut off from communication. I have read the President’s Message and Secretary Fessenden’s Report today. The latter is a very interesting document; I have never studied finances at all, but it becomes a subject of great interest now. The weather is like summer. We are commencing our daily drills again.”

Source: Civil War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page