Sergeant Major
Apr 1, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia

April 5, 1862-
One of the defenders at Georgia's Fort Pulaski wrote home to his family on this day; he expressed both anger and sadness concerning the impending attack from Union forces. He was angry at the overwhelming superiority in firepower of the Yankees, and sad to see many of his fellow soldiers bravely preparing for death.

"Yet amidst all of our vindictive feelings and bitter hatreds to our enemy, there is something sad and melancholy in the preparation for battle, to see so many healthy men preparing for the worst by disposing of their property by will, to see the surgeon sharpening his instruments and whetting his saw to take off when necessary those members of our body that God has given us for our indispensable use, to see men engaged in carding up and preparing lint to stop the flow of human blood from cruel and inhuman wounds is awful to contemplate. Yet there is still another preparation for battle still more sickening. The casements are cleared. Nothing is allowed to remain that is combustible or would be in the way during the engagement. Listen! The floor is covered around each gun with sand, not for health or cleanliness, but to drink up human blood as it flows from the veins and hearts of noble men, from those that love and are beloved! This is necessary to prevent the floor from becoming slippery with blood, so as to enable the men to stand and do their duty. These are some of the preparations for battle. How sad to contemplate, yet how awful must be the realization! What a calamity is war!"
Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History Written by Those Who Lived It (Savannah: Beehive
April 5, 1863-
A Georgia soldier writing to his wife from Mississippi told her first of some recent skirmishes along the river near Vicksburg, then related one tiring and one amusing personal experience.
"...I have been on duty of two nights and days as commissary of our regiment (Captain Davis still being unwell) without any rest or sleep. Last night I rode all night. Yet I am not complaining of this hardship, for I am willing to endure any hardship or any toil that our army may be victorious. Well, darling, I have something funny to relate. Captain Carter and myself have just finished eating a hearty dinner of crawfish (the first I ever tried). It is considered quite a dainty dish among the Mississippians. Captain Carter ate them with more zest than I ever saw a man eat anything. I think in a few days we will see him crawling on his knees in the branches hunting the delicious fish! Tell Miss Mollie that she need not think [it] strange if Captain Carter is so much engrossed in his new recreation as to be entirely forgetful of home and friends and neglect to correspond with them as regularly. ..." 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. 224.

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