IN THEIR OWN WORDS March 13

Stiles/Akin

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IN THEIR OWN WORDS

March 13, 1861
A Georgia volunteer at a camp in Augusta wrote back home to a friend on this day, describing life in a camp.

“I received your kind letter this morning and you may rest assured that it give me no less joy than if it had been from my Brother, for I cherish a true friend. As [for] myself, Johnny, I will give you a small history of my new home. For our subsistence we have what the boys call wasp-nest bread – it is a baker’s bread – and one piece of fat meat three times a day and coffee three twixt twice a day. Second, we drill three times a day with muskets that weights 17 [pounds] each. We have a jolly time here. There is 200 soldiers here now. You just ought to see us with our red shirts on and caps on. We look more like British than Southern soldiers. We are going to pitch our tents in a few days on the parade ground, where every man will cook for himself. This will suit me very well, for I do not think our cook is the cleanest in the world now how. “Johnny, as I have to rise in the morn at daybreak and ought to have went to bed at 9 o’clock but have stole time on the office of [the] day to the amount of about an hour, I must close. I want you to tell all the boy to write me, such as Alf and Job. Give them my best wishes. Oh, I had liked to have forgot Miss Coffer, my little sweetheart. Tell [her] howdy for me and keep her for me, for she is the only one I can claim in that part, for Miss Ollie has forgot me or at least I think so from the way she has treated me. I wrote her a letter, and she did not answer and as after I have her ample time to do so. Then I studied a while and said farewell… .” 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),

March 13, 1864
Julia Johnson Fisher - a woman staying in Camden County during the war - wrote in her diary of some cheering news she had received on this Sabbath day, only to be followed by more sad news from the war.

The children came from Brookfield and we had our little Sabbath School. They were attentive and learn well. We have had another letter from Augustus which has given us much satisfaction. It is so cheering to get tidings from home. And, one from Fred, who is now in the Florida war. He is seeing hard times. They are fighting with great desperation. Since his letter came they have had another battle. We are all feeling lonely and discouraged again. Mrs. Linn is mostly confined to the house and feels that she can hardly bear her secluded life much longer–her husband is in Savannah. Sybil is in great doubts as regards the future. We would all, if we could, spread our wings and fly away to liberty and friends. Source: Julia Johnson Fisher, 1814-1885 Diary, 1864

March 13, 1865
Eliza Frances Andrews wrote in her diary of buying a dress with Confederate money and feeling like she was “cheating.”

“Mett, Mecca, and I took a long drive to look at some new muslin dress goods that we heard a countryman down towards Camilla had for sale. They were very cheap - only twenty dollars a yard. Mett and I each bought a dress and would have got more if Mrs. Settles, the man’s wife, would have sold them. How they came to let these two go so cheap I can’t imagine. I felt as if I were cheating the woman when I paid her 500 dollars in Confederate money for 20 yards of fairly good lawn. We stopped at Gum Pond on the way back and paid a visit. Albert Bacon gave me a beautiful red-bird that he shot for me to trim my hat with. ” Source: Eliza Frances Andrews, The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1908), pp. 116-117.

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