12 September 1864: “A whole population driven from their homes”

Item Description: Letter from Charles Olmstead to his wife dated Sept. 12, 1864 regarding the battle of Atlanta. Olmstead was a confederate army officer in the 1st Georgia Infantry Regiment.



Item Citation:

Item Citation: From Folder 5, in the Charles H. Olmstead Papers, #1856, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Jonesboro, Sept. 12th 1864

My Dear Wife,

I wrote you a good long letter yesterday but as an opportunity offers today I cannot resist the temptation to send you a few lines.

The long expected mail came last night, and, to my, great disappointment, I received but one letter, dated August 17th, in which you advised me of having shipped the box that Charlie May could not take with him. However this is still a chance for me as I learn that the post office at Griffin is still crowded with mail matter that has only been partially distributed.

The truce between the two armies commences today- as many wagons as can be spared have been sent forward to receive the refugees from Atlanta. Poor creatures, their’s is a hard case – a whole population driven from their homes upon the cold charity of the world. This one act places Sherman alongside of such men as Butler, O’Neil, & ?? . it completely obscures the military renown he has won in this campaign.

I heard a very good Sermon from Bishop Lay yesterday at Gen. Hardee’s Hd. Quarters. Quite a number were present, including nearly every Brigadier and Major General in the camps. After Service I rode with Gen. A. R. Jackson to his Hd. Qrs., and had quite a long talk with him. He seems to think that all fighting is over here for the present, unless our army should take the initiative, which it is not very apt to do unless its condition improves very rapidly. He believes that the Yankees will be contented with the success they have accheived and not run the risk of meeting reverses until after the Presidential election – but I can hardly think that they will allow so long a time to pass without active operation. All of my thoughts now are bent upon getting a furlough though i fear that the chances will be small until we go regularly into winter quarters. Gen. Hardee himself made application a few days since for forty-eight hours leave and was refused. When the furlough system does commence though I shall hand in my name first of all, as I am the only Colonel  in the Brigade who has not been away from the command this summer. Col. Barkalow did not join us until we were at Kennesaw Mountain. Col. May has only recently returned to duty and Col. Gordon is still absent.

We are having delightful weather now, the  days are not unpleasantly warm and the nights cool enough to make a blanket desirable. The health of the command must improve if it continues.

Love to all at home, and a heart full for my darling. Kiss the babies for me.



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11 September 1864: “exchange of cotton goods for cotton card”

Item Description: Letter dated 11 September 1864 addressed to Andrew Baxter Springs from the Quarter Master General Department in South Carolina.


Item Citation: From Folder 140 in Springs Family Papers #4121, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In the Springs Family Papers #4121, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2012/10/07/7-october-1862/#sthash.cYVmd6lW.dpuf

Item Transcription:

Quarter Master General Department SC

Columbia Sept. 11 1864

A.B. Springs Esq.

Fort Mills, SC

My Dear Sir,

I have received yours of the 8th instance in reference to an exchange of cotton goods for cotton card, and have to say in reply that Col Richard Caldwell ? ? General of SC is charged with the distribution and sale of the Cotton Cards made by ? at the State Card Factory. The price fixed for the Card is $12.00 for fair. I will hand your letter to Col. Caldwell and he will probably write to you about it himself-.

I am very truly


James Sens

QM Genl SC

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10th September 1864: “His loss to the ‘Confederacy’ at this time, is a public calamity.”

Item Description: Two letters received by Mattie Ready on the same sheet of paper after her husband’s death. Her husband, named John Hunt Morgan, was a cavalry raider and brigadier general. Her family describes the fall of Atlanta and conditions in Georgia.

18640910_01 18640910_02


Item Citation: From Folder 13, in the John Hunt Morgan Papers, #2842, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription: 

Bellmont 10th Sept. 1864

Dear “Mattie”

Some two days since we heard of the death of your estimable Husband – it was doubted, and from the statements of the travelers the next day, not believed. Yesterdays intelligence however, confirms the sad reproof. Let me say to you we sympathise with you in your bereavement, most sincerely. Your affliction must be indescribable. but we trust will be able to bear up under it remembering that a bleeding country unites with you, in your grief, and sorrows. His loss to the “Confederacy” at this time, is a public calamity. 

The stat of Georgia is sorely invaded – “Atlanta” the Gate City, has fallen. The position of the “Enemy” now is all they could desire – so far as this part of the country is concerned –  they have not only the key, but the Rail Roads to almost every town, and I might say neighborhood in the state of Georgia. This being the case, it is needless to invite you to our house, for a home knowing that under the circumstances it would be declined – still if you can do no better, and  conclude to hazard it, we will be pleased to do for you, and “Alice”, all in our power. As before remarked, you can but try it, in the event that you are unable to do better. We will, as you know, be plased to see you, and will do all in our power to make your stay agreeable – a failure if any, will be chargeable to Yankee ???. Your Uncle “Rush” speaks of going to “Charlotte” North Carolina, with his funds. Owing to the sudden illness of “Minerva,”  your Aunt will not write for a day or so.

She joins me in Love 

T. W. Fleming

My Dear Mattie, 

Mr. Fleming has written you this morning and before he leaves for town I add a few short lines, what can I say my dear Mattie to you in your deep affliction. Words cannot express my feeling and sympathy, truly your cup of sorrow runneth over but I hope you will endeavor to be resigned and submissive to the will of an all wise providence who does not afflict willingly but does all things seemeth best to himself, it is how I know from sad experience to feel resigned to afflictions, have been afflicted like yourself, and know that no human sympathy can sooth or lessen you our sorrow, but there is a higher power who if we look to can and will give us comfort in this our day of sorrow. I had written Alice the day before we heard of the death of Gen. Morgan, and opened my letter added a few short and excited lines, hope she has received it, we had hoped to have heard from her by telegraph, hope very soon to get a better giving particulars,  we thought possibly the sermons(?) might have been brought here for internment. Afterwards concluded perhaps this would be (? ?) and still we are in doubt, know nothing positive. Do let us know where you are , even if you will not come to Georgia, our house you know will be a home for you so long as we have a house we are more than willing to share it with you, I hope and pray the Yankees will never get nearer to us than they now are, still things look more gloomy than they ever have before in this section of the country. Mark has not yet taken a leave, evidence he cannot get one, and he feels in doubt as to the [??]. We are all well, except Meriam who is very sick. She was confined last night, another still born child. I feel uneasy about her. I hope Alice will write very soon, and when you feel as if you could write dear Mattie do so. We will be pleased to hear from you, let us know if you will come to us, anything we can do for you shall be done. Very affectionately, your Auntie C.S. [Torn]

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9 September 1864: “Wagon Park 1st Brigade 2nd Div.”

Item Description: Illustration dated 9 September 1864, by Herbert E. Valentine. He was a private in Company F of the 23rd Massachusetts Volunteers. Valentine made birds eye view sketches of the towns in which he was stationed, as well as sketches of their principal buildings such as hospitals, churches, warehouses, and private residences that served as military command headquarters and as officers’ quarters.


Item Citation: From volume 1: folder 77b-78a in the Herbert E. Valentine Papers (#04397), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Wagon Park

1st Brigade 2nd Div. 18.A.C


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8 September 1864: “Vive la Sherman!”

Item description: Letter, dated 8 September 1864, from Robert Stuart Finley to his fiancee, Mary A. Cabeen. Finley was a member of the 30th Illinois Infantry, serving in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia.




Item citation: From the Robert Stuart Finley papers #3685-zSouthern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

East Point Ga. Sept 8th 1864

Miss M.A.C

Dear friend,

Your letter of Aug 18th was received yesterday morning and I assure you it was read with pleasure. We had been cut off from all mail facilities for two weeks & were glad to get back to where we could write and receive letters once more.

I suppose that every one in the North is rejoicing over the glorious news that Atlanta has fallen into our hands and that the Rebs have received a sound & wholesome lesson in the shape of a signal defeat. Vive la Sherman! May his praises be on the lips of thousands and a grateful nation fail not to do him honor.

On the 26th of last month the army began the movement which placed the doomed city in our hands and ended this long and arduous campaign. Evacuating our works in front of the place during the night Sherman moved the army westward toward the Chattahoochee river, as if he intended to fall back across the river, and the movement was so admirably conducted that Genl Hood was completely deceived. We then made a forced march south & east and struck the R.R. to Montgomery almost entirely undefended. Destroying this for several miles we marched on to the Macon Road where they met us in force and a severe & bloody battle was fought in which the rebels were defeated and driven back and Our Army occupied the Rail Road at the station of Jonesboro. During the fight a part of the Army of the Cumberland gained the road between the Rebs and Atlanta thus compelling them to retreat toward Macon and leave Atlanta and their militia who were garrisoning it at our mercy.

In the battle of Jonesboro the enemy lost heavily in killed wounded and prisoners. Our loss was considerable but nothing compared with theirs. A large number of their wounded fell into our hands.

The 20th Corps were left at the River to guard the bridge & supplies and took possession of Atlanta as soon as it was evacuated by the Militia.

The 30th were very lucky on this march. When we reached the first RR the Regt was detailed as train guard for the Division and thus we did not have to go into the fight. Lieut Foster was struck by a shell on the 28th and his left arm was so shattered that it had to be amputated. There were no others wounded in the Regt.

On the morning of the 4th we started with the train for Atlanta and arrived there the next morning at 8 o’clock and stayed there until 4 o’clock P.M when we were ordered back to this place with the train.

Atlanta is quite a city and in time of peace was no doubt a nice place, but it now bears the marks and hard knocks of the seige. Several large buildings have been burst down and houses torn & shattered by yankee Shells.

This place is six miles south of Atlanta & is the Junction of the Macon & Montgomery Rail Roads. It is probably that the Army of the Tennessee will stop there and the Army of the Cumberland go into Atlanta. The troops are just beginning to come in this morning and selecting their camps. I don’t know how long we will be permitted to stay here but hope at least a month or two and until we are all paid off.

Adjr Poak started to Chattanooga on the 25th of last month with the non-veterans to have them mustered out. He has not returned yet. Col Rhoads started with him going home on leave of absence and a Capt is commanding the Regt. We heard from Col Shedd after he was captured and he was all right. Several of the prisoners escaped after they got to Macon and got back safe into our lines.

It is raining some today and is so cool that a fire would be very comfortable, but our house is very open and no fireplace. We just have a tent fly open at both ends, and you can imagine how comfortable it would be in a cool rainy day. We have had several heavy rains in the last week or ten days.

I am sorry to hear of my friend John Porter’s ill health. I inquired of the boys in his Regt & they said he had gone home but did not know how he was getting along. I hope he may recover and return to duty soon.

I hope that Sherman will let us go home this fall to vote for President. I would like to go and give our vote for Abe and Andy. I think it a shame and outrage that the US Soldiers cannot be allowed to vote in the field. If they give us the chance I am sure we would all go not only to vote buy to enjoy the hospitality of our kind friends for a little season. We could be then in time for the fairs, the fruits and all the good things of life.

There is a rumor that all the veterans of the 17th Corps are going to be mustered out of the service because their musterin Rolls were wrong and that they could not be paid the bounty money without new rolls.

I hope it is so but I have no faith in the rumor myself. We will probably find out more about it in a few days. I hope the girls will send all the boys that are fit for soldiers down here as recruits so that there will be some chance for us to go home.

I am a little interested in hearing how the draft succeeds in Illinois. I expect there will no doubt be some resistance made in some places.

I must close as I have no particular news to write and hope you will excuse this apology & when we get fixed up a little I hope to do better.

Give me all the news when you write about local matters & friends. Give my respects to all- write soon & believe me as ever,

Yours sincerely,

R.S. Finley

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7 September 1864: “I can never never love you enough”

Item Description: Letter dated 7 September 1864, from Edward Porter Alexander to his wife.

Letter, 13 June 1862, from Edward Porter Alexander to his wife. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2012/06/13/13-june-1862/#sthash.4tqpprJQ.dpuf
Letter, 13 June 1862, from Edward Porter Alexander to his wife. – See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2012/06/13/13-june-1862/#sthash.4tqpprJQ.dpuf


Item Citation: From folder 21, Edward Porter Alexander Papers #00007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Petersburg Sept 7th 1864

Your dear letters of the 20th 24th + 27th have all reached me in the last few days my Darling Bessie, + have given me many happy hours in reading + thinking them over even the they took away from me one little hope that I had cherished in my heart very persistently. Poor, poor Darling wife. how I love you + sympathize with you, + what would I not give to tell you of it over + over again until you tired of reading it. When I think of your devotion to me + your generous unselfishness even were it of your life, + of the happiness I have enjoyed with you, I feel my Dear One that I can never never love you enough or do enough to return to you the happiness you have caused me. I was very much relieved to hear that you had received the check, + glad that you liked the photograph. the man who took it asked me for my autograph + when I have it to him he refused to take any pay for it. I am very glad you have taken the dividend- Take it all for it is not worth while to invest anything now + it will save my drawing pay. I was very glad to hear of your presents + feel very grateful to the givers myself for their kindness to you. I know too that the whole family will love you as much as I do when they know you well, + I feel so pleased that you are having the opportunity of knowing them. I feel very sorry about the start of affairs in Richmond but it is one that cant be helped. I haven’t heard from there since I left. I had a present yesterday from Mr. Cameron (who is as generous as he is rich + is always making presents to officers + soldiers) which I wish very much I could turn over to you. It was three bottles of fine old sherry, three ditto Port, one of french Brandy + one of English pickle. He is always after his friends to come to lunch + dinner + salmon, lobster, sardines, cheese, ale to are as plentiful in his house as if there was no war. I called last night on Mrs. Pannell Dick Meadis sister but I think you did not know her. Did I write you word that my old Batten applied to be received into service + known permanently as “Alexander’s Batten.” I consider it a very high compliment. Jim Woolfolk proposed that as S.D. Lee once commanded it it should be named in French + called Le Alexandre Batten. Capt Woolfolk has been exchanged + is in Richmond. This is the 4th letter I’ve written this A.M + I have now got to go out + must stop. Them Yankees still shell town every day. while I’ve been writing a shell popped in a house not a hundred yards off but fortunately hurt no one. Give my warmest love to each of the family. Kiss the dear little ones for me. May God ever bless + keep you all my Darling ones + soon restore us to each other in peace ever prays your loving Husband.


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6 September 1864: “God meant all his creatures to work”

Item Description: Diary entry, dated 2 September 1864, written by William King. King was a plantation owner from Cobb County, Georgia. He remained alone on his plantation to protect his property and slaves from depredations by federal forces.


Item Citation: From folder 1 in the William King Papers, #02985-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

6 Sept. 1864.

Nothing new in town this morning, I visitted Mrs. Postell, D. Young & Mr. Goodman, Mr. G. had been out to his place, the first time for about 6 weeks, says Mrs. Brown is taking good care of every thing, thinks he will move there in a month, where he can get wood in the winter. I called on Col. Ross (the com’t) for permission to visit Mr. Hunt in his confinement at Home, he gave his consent to my doing so [torn] when I called at the House the guard told me he had positive orders to permit no one to visit him without a written order, so I have to delay my visit to him until I am provided with a written order which I will try to get in a few days, they were all well. The poor good man must be very lonely without any of the society of his old acquaintances. I deeply sympathize with him–the good & the Wicked suffer together in this world. Mrs. Postell has her 2 children with her, she tells me she has been getting on very well, having had some of the Federal officers boarding with her all the time. The last of them left her yesterday; I advised her to get some more to come & stay with her, her children have not been well & she looks thin; she says her servants have remained faithfully with them; while many others have deserted their best friends, to enjoy the poor Negroes idea of freedom, that is perfect idleness, not knowing that God meant all his creatures to work, the poor must work, the rich ought to. The streets in M’a are all barricaded, the Episcopal, Presbyterian & Baptist Churches are used as Hospitals. The Methodist Church, I understand, is open, but occ’d by the Negroes for their services. Preaching by the Christian Commission is conducted on Sundays & prayer meetings in the week held at Mr. A. Green’ s Store. I will try to attend next Sabbath. Mrs. Brown made me a visit this afternoon, she talks very dull, she does not know how they are to live the coming winter. I look forward with sad anticipation [torn] for the poor people of this country the coming winter; the [torn] God will provide for them, they have generally lost [torn] & are not allowed to buy any thing, even if [torn] What an accumulation of sufferings have been [torn] instigators of this sad & criminal War. [torn] so miserably by the [torn] What an affliction to any people [torn] who would cause to others any suffering [torn] our ambitious views. I truly hope our [torn] may warn the people in future to place [torn] wisdom or honesty of professed politicians. I [torn] most of them, the worst & most dangerous[torn] & so little has my confidence been in them from my boyhood, that I have never voted a Democratic nor Whig ticket, never having identified myself with either party; but always been at war with both, for their intolerable corruption. Rain again this afternoon, it rained heavily & constantly last night. Mrs. Brown tells me that old Mrs. Brewer got off on Sunday to go to her son’s near Canton, where there is less probability of her starving. My guard (Cox) has been amusing himself for the past 2 days hunting for game with the Shot Gun, to provide for our table use, but without success. I tell him if we depend on his luck we would starve; this afternoon he brought in a pig which he had shot, but I not think it is one of ours, but in these War times he & Sharper says property has no particular owner, such seems to be the practical opinion of most people. War is a great demoralizer. Raining this afternoon.


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5 September 1864: “This sad War, the innocent have to suffer with the guilty”

Item Description: Diary entry, dated 5 September 1864, written by William King. King was a plantation owner from Cobb County, Georgia. He remained alone on his plantation to protect his property and slaves from depredations by federal forces.


Item Citation: From folder 1 in the William King Papers, #02985-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

5 Sept. 1864.

While in town this morning I visited Col. Howell, & Mrs. Hansels they were all well. Mrs. H. had just rec’d a Letter from Gen’l H. dated 15 Aug. over which she was crying when we went in, he was at Macon & very anxious about them, as he had not heard a word from them since he left, feeling the same suffering I do about my Wife & children. I met Mrs. Morris & Mrs. Tucker in the street, Mrs. M. very anxious to get to her family, but cannot go yet. Mrs. Goodman better, Mr. G. still with the blues, it requires much nerve to keep up spirits in these days. I heard that Mr. and Mrs. Wayland had been robbed [torn] Saturday night of nearly all their provisions that had left. I heard a rumor that Bro. B. had died suddenly, but I corrected it as I had heard [torn] he & sister C. were in Sav’h on their way to Virginia. Mr. Tollison [torn] Mrs. Hansel informs me that one of her servant [torn] behaved so badly, being imprudent & would do nothing for [torn] that she had to get the Pro. Marshall to move her off, which [torn] are ignorant of the fact that they are separating [torn] women & children will have to suffer much [torn] made a short visit to Gen’l McArthur this morning [torn] to go to Church in town, the Gen’l promises[torn] Sundays. I learnt from Gen’l McA. that Hood’s [torn] others say his army has been scattered & that [torn] hear that 2000 of our prisoners are expected up, how anxious am I about our little boy, & have begged friends in town to keep a look for him, if he is a prisoner & sent to the North I must go with him. This sad War, the innocent have to suffer with the guilty. What a curse the professional politicians have proved to be to us. What misery their lust for party power has brought upon a happy people.

My guard has been trying to get some Birds for us to day with the Shot Gun, but no luck. I hear the travelling up the Road has been interrupted for some days past, & no mails rec’d. We have had heavy Rains again this afternoon. I met Mr. Shepard in town this morning, he has a pass for 10 days. How anxious do I feel this dull afternoon to be at Home with my family, or even to hear from them. I do not think I can patiently wait for Mr. Wilson until the 1st. Oct. the delay & anxiety are too trying to my feelings. May God soon give us rest–Dr. Miller & I made old Mr. Hutchins a visit.

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4 September 1864: “if they intended to act in violation of the Constitution”

Item Description: Diary entry, dated 2 September 1864, written by William King. King was a plantation owner from Cobb County, Georgia. He remained alone on his plantation to protect his property and slaves from depredations by federal forces.


Item Citation: From folder 1 in the William King Papers, #02985-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

4 Sept. 1864.

Sabbath again–another week gone, & I one week nearer Home; & Atlanta being occupied by the Federals, I may soon be able to get a passport to return Home–& what anxiety must I feel until I can hear from Home, not knowing what sad changes may have taken place during the long, anxious period since I have last heard from them. After the hard Rains yesterday, we have today a bright, clear & cool Sabbath. I have not left the House, not being able to hear of any Church services in town. I may walk into town this afternoon for exercise. Dr. Miller (Chief Surgeon at Military Ins: Hosp:) made me a pleasant of over 2 hours this morning, he is a very intelligent & pleasant man from Iowa. He told me he would like to move to this country after the war was over, & we united, but he apprehended the feelings would be too much opposed to all Northerners. I told him I did not think it would be so towards him, he has been so very kind to Mrs. McC. & others. We had a long & pleasant discussion about the waging of this War & the prospects of its termination. I told him if the North was contending for the Union & the Constitution as they professed, an early reunion may take place, but if they intended to act in violation of the Constitution, on the subject of Slavery or in any other way, they had to subjugate the South & force it back & keep it in by many Bayonets, which would violate all principles of a free government, to effect this purpose it would require years of bloody War. He said it was a sad state, but the North was so convinced that we could not live together in harmony with slavery, that it became necessary to if possible to get rid of the [torn] still he admitted that the North could not determine on any feasible [torn] of the Negro, to place them in a condition of happiness & usefulness [torn] slavery–he admitted that the difficulties were very great in [torn] but thought that without a reunion with the South, [torn] up into fragments & go to ruins, in which I agreed with [torn] but as perfect equals [torn]

Could hear of no Church service but among the [torn] a visit to Dr. Lowry’s family, where we heard that King [torn] having left Atlanta on the day it was evacuated [torn] the wives & children. Reid was kept in custody yesterday [torn] I presume [torn] relieved today. Mrs. Lowry informed me that one of Bro. B’s servant [torn] with 4 or 5 children had come to her begging her to take them to work for her that she would be a faithful servant to her during the War, if she would take care & provide for them, that they could not provide for their wants. She at first refused, having but little work for them, but afterwards took them. They have now been with her about 2 Weeks & doing very well. The Woman having gone to Church I did not see her, I will call to see her.

Large parties of Federals & Negroes I understand went down to Atlanta yesterday. On my return Home I made Mrs. McC. a short visit. I heard that last night the Pickets at the Johnson’s House had been fired on. On my way to town I saw one of the Guards seated down alone reading, I took my seat along side of him & found he was attentively reading the new testament, he was a young man about 21 years old, he told me that he was not a member of the Church, but that his parents were, that he found no greater comfort when alone than to read his testament & to think of his spiritual interest. I had a pleasant conversation. I heard that Col. Caprone, a Marylander, who had been on the Stoneman Raid, on his return had passed through Athens, but in a great hurry, but had remained long enough to do the Citizens much damage by Robberies, & after this (near Jug town) that he was overtaken by Wheeler’s cavalry & so terribly cut up & scattered, & that he had escaped by going down the Chattahoochee to Roswell in a small canoe on a dark, stormy night. I did not know him myself, but a friend who had had several conversations with him said he was a very bad, wicked man, & disposed to do all the damage & injury to the country & people he could, he seemed to think nothing too bad could be done to [torn]–he complained that our people had wantonly killed his men, & seem disposed to give no quarters–he was asked if his men had not acted in such a manner as to have provoke such feelings, he admitted that they had generally been very rough, & in one case a soldier (who had arrested) had threatened a Lady with his pistol at her head, to make give up her watch. I wonder if it was our daughter Gus! The same Col. Caprone, who camped mear Mr. Wilder, expressed surprize that Mrs. W. property was allowed to be protected and so great a Rebel, & wanted to take her property to make his men & himself comfortable, but he was not allowed to do so–this Col. C. seems to be another Maj’r Carter only a little worse–making one more bad case.

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3 September 1864: “they curse Hood beyond all account”

Item Description: Letter, 3 September 1864, from George Washington Baker to his mother. Baker hailed from Washington County, N.Y., and served with Company K, 123rd New York Volunteers in the Civil War.


Item Citation: From folder 5 of the George Washington Baker Papers #4909 in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp 123rd N.Y.V.

Atlanta Ga Sept 3rd 1864

My dear Mother

I believe I have written to them all but you and Father and have not succeeded in getting an answer as yet but presume there are some on the way but wish to give you all some information and that is if one waits to get an answer to letters before we write our correspondence will be ?

You will before this reaches you have heard all that is interesting in regard to Atlanta by abler pens than mine but on the supposition that is would be news while I am writing it (you not having heard the news through the papers as yet) concluded to give you a little history.

I did not accompany the expedition owing to cutting my knee which lamed me considerable but have heard a description from the rest.

Two Regiments from each Brigade were ordered out to make an advance on the Enemies lines to see if they were there in force. The Regt advanced to the old line we formerly held where the Rebs seemed to be in some force. Our skirmishes which were 1/2 mile ahead of the Regt advanced on them while the Regt halted and the next we heard was that our skirmishes were in the city and next came General Slocum + staff and General Williams + staff with General Knipe close on their heels and more cunning than the rest as he brought his Brigade Flag with him so our Brigade Flag was the first to be hoisted over the city.

The Regt passed through the city and advanced about 2 miles where we are at present while Sherman is after them with the rest of the army.

Our boys saw and skirmished with their rear Guard and our Cars moved in nearby as quick as we did carrying rations to the Front so you see how expeditious we are in doing ? I passed over the ? and was astonished to see the strength of their marks and was convinced that we could never have taken them by storm first they had 3 row of sharpened stakes then ditches and another row made by boring holes through a log and driving sharpened stakes through it and in some places fixing logs so that they would turn when you tried to get over them.

I found that our shell had torn the city to pieces considerable as on one side of the city most every house had a shell through it and some were completely riddled. A great good many inofensive ones were killed as Hood never gave order for the noncombattants to remove and they curse Hood beyond all account.

In one house there was a girl ironing when a shell burst in the room and 14 bullets struck her tearing her all to pieces and in one family of 7 they showered where 5 had been burried killed by one shell so you can judge how pleasant it is to have to run under ground every time you hear a cannon fired and that firing continued night and day.

Three 32 founders that was near our line we used to call the Atlanta appeal which has been successful in the answer it was fun to us but death to them.

Atlanta has a great deal of ruined furniture around an in it as the Rebs were obliged to destroy about 100 Cars filled with stares muskets + ammunition with a great many other things that we know nothing about.

We have found 7 Engines destroyed and there are more I presume that we have not found.

Atlanta is a very pretty place surrounded with woods and a great many beautiful places in it and a great many northern people in it I should judge who hail the cessation of shot and shell with great joy perhaps some make it but the main body of the inhabitants are well pleased with our entry into their city and we were pleased accommodate them in that respect as we shall be in any other nice place they have this way.

I think their army must begin to get discouraged ? and we stand ready to receive them and no doubt we shall a great many for Sherman will give them no peace until he has taken or disbanded their army.

Sherman is one of the Bull day kind and one of the worst of the kind rather beats Grant I think and so do all that have been under him for he has accomplished all he has undertook and we are confident he can and so are the Rebs.

I hear nothing from Grants army of much consequence as these papers we get here are not worth a ? of fine far news. I have been expecting some tribunes from home but nary one as yet.

I receive a letter from Mr Allen answered it yesterday he thinks every thing will be right. I know it would if Col Rogers would send on reccommends but he feels edgewise towards Seymour and hates to have anything to do with him but will reccomend me if anyone. You must send this to Lute to read the news for I may not have time to write to her and if I do shall not give same description much love to all from George

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