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In Their Own Words

December 28, 1862

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Seeing Reconnaisance Balloons

A Georgia soldier writing home to his wife told of the aftermath of the Battle of Fredericksburg, including a new means of reconnaissance.

“…The Yanks are all quiet at present. While writing these few lines, there are balloons up taking a look at our position. …The city is pretty well torn up by shots and furniture scattered and broken up about the streets by Yanks. They was three or four days burying their dead. They would dig holes and drag them along by the heels and four of them would pick them up and pitch them in like dogs. I seen this myself. I could not believe it if I had not seen it. …”

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. 208.