A Great Description of Life in the Trenches during the Atlanta Campaign


First Sergeant
Mar 18, 2011
Clinton, Mississippi
A friend recently sent me a transcription of the diary of Isaac Gaillard Foster, who served in Company B, 10th Mississippi Infantry. One particular entry caught my attention, as I think it really brings home how miserable life in the trenches must have been during the Atlanta Campaign:

August 8-
Sgt. Major Douglas (David Douglas) from Co B is severely wounded in leg whilst asleep near the Col’s qtrs. A misty rain falls. The enemy fire a small rifled gun from the hill on left which throws a shot with accuracy & great velocity. This gun is called “Old Greasy” by the men in the ditches. Ditch life has no attraction except for safety, but those fortunate enough to survive the war may in future days look back on the present days with feelings of pride & gratification….Rain falls almost every day, which make the entrenchments more like hog wallows, than the habitations of men. The men’s clothing & even their skin is of a bad cast from continual wallowing in the red earth. Since the third (3rd) we have been confined to the entrenchments all the time. At night it is unsafe to sleep out of entrenchments on account of the number of men killed & wounded by so doing. It is officially forbidden. Time under such circumstances drags slowly by…..Newspapers are eagerly sought after & books are indeed a rare luxury. Seaton (William L. Seaton, Co B) not being on duty goes to the cars (rail) & brings us cakes, apples, & such like commodities, which prove quite refreshing & agreeable to us.

Isaac was mortally wounded on August 31, and died on September 2, 1864. His diary and letters are at Hill Memorial Library, MSS 2184, Louisiana State University.


Feb 19, 2014
Cobb Co. Georgia
Do you know where the 10th Miss. was located in the Atlanta area?

Atlanta was completely wrapped by trench work, and would be interesting to know his location.