Item Description: In a letter to his wife dated 19 September, 1863, Lafayette McLaws describes the day-to-day activities, including the economy, in Atlanta as an officer in the Confederate States of America. McLaws survived the war, living to 1897 and served as a postmaster and collector of internal revenue in Savannah, Ga.
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September 19th 1863
My Dear Wife,
Mr. Dudley who is here proposes to go on and visit you this evening he is not in the army and is not subject to conscription. I have advised him to get employment outside of the army in order to keep himself free should our operations extend into Kentucky when he could either make himself useful in organizing a force to join us or could communicate with his family without hindrance. I will give him a letter to Hugh, who may be of service to him.
The reception of the troops all along the north was enthusiastic in the extreme dinner and supper for all came were provides with the greatest liberality. I was called on several times to “show myself” to the assembled multitude as ladies insisted to see the Georgia General. The hearty display was not very great. But the hearty cordiality was remarkable. The pressure upon me for permits to see their friends has been very great but I have re-fused except in a very few cases, presenting extraordinary claims to especial consideration.
I have a room in the outhouse, and was blessed with a very sound sleep last night. not being disturbed but once and that by a rat which I found beneath under my pillow this morning. I will leave here to day or tomorrow morning early.
Gen. Bryan’s Brigade is coming in and Gen. Wofford’s will leave in an hour.
Our army is concentrating towards Ringold and the report is that Rosencra-nz is taking himself out of the State but I do not believe it. That he will remain at Chattanooga I think doubtful, but that does not necessarily imply a movement to the rear.
General Bryan has arrived with his Brigade but I do not think he can leave before tomorrow. I cannot leave before this evening. Everything here is enormously high and rapidly advancing we must all economize very strictly. I never buy anything but something to eat, as everyone one laughs about. Good naturedly however. Make arrangements for your winter supply of fuel and for a hard winter. For if our army survives in Georgia the demand for all things will enhance the prices.
I send this by M Dudley. My love to the children. A great deal in expected from my division and I must be at work. Good morning my dear wife.
Your devoted husband LML.
I have just seen Gen Cobb who has been very kind and obliging in his office. To do anything for me in his power. My room has certainly been besieged by applicants for leave of absence, if but for one day, for weekends. a sons to visit their parents and families, all of which I have had to refuse many men I am sorry to say , have gone off without permission, all of them however to return in a day or two. So I am told and sincerely hope.