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1864 Union Soldier’s Letter: “Fighting Rebs & Copperheads”

Posted in Interesting Items  by Steven on January 27th, 2009

This is the complete transcript to a letter home written by Corporal Erastus Winters of the 50th Ohio Infantry in General Tecumseh Sherman’s army.  He talks about the fall of Atlanta and fighting General Hood’s Rebels across Georgia, and his feelings about the Rebel sympathizers back home.  This letter is currently up for auction on eBay (see the link at bottom)

Decatur Georgia Sept 28, 1864

Dear Parents
Your kind letter received a few days ago reminds me of my duty of writing to you in which I have been too negligent.  With duty pressing me I am to apt to forget that you may feel lonely without me , but rest assured that I never cease in my affection nor forget for a moment how much I am indebted to the best of Parents.

I am in very good health at this time, our campaign is over and we are resting from out labors. In the last four months we have performed a great work one that we may well feel proud of and indeed we do feel proud that we have gained so noble a victory as we have.

I may also point to the splendid success of Farragut at Mobile and of General Grant’s victory on the Weldon Railroad and of Sheridans and Averills grand success in the Shenandoah Valley.  Summing all those great victories up it is enough to rejoyce the heart of every true American Citizen and especially of the careworn Soldiers who have been fighting for the Union for the last four years. We have been fighting two armys you may say one in the rear and one in the front. Hood and Johnson Commanded the Army in our front and Vallendingham Pendleton and Pugh the army in our rear and as much as I dread to meet Hood’s vandals I believe there is whiter hearts among them than there is in those poisonous Copperheads of the North.

The 23 Corps was the last to withdraw from the works in front of Atlanta and so we was on the left flank of the army and did not get to see any of the fighting but the army of the Tennessee the 18th and 16th and 17th corps and the Army of the Cumberland 4th and 14th Corps got in it pretty hot. The Rebs charged them three or four times in which they was badly used up our men then charged them capturing two Batterys and many prisoners. We retook Loomis’s old Battery which they took from us at Chicamauga. They left all their dead and wounded in our hands but as we were not in the fight of course I can give no particulars but I suppose you have read the full account of it before this in the papers. We followed the retreating Rebbels till we reached Lovejoy Station where we found them strongly fortified and in a Splendid position so we built strong works to protect us from shells and rested two or three days and then withdrew and left them and they did not dare to follow us. That shows that they was used up pretty bad.

Click here for Auction: Ends February 2, 6:15pm Eastern

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