The Civil War: Officer Writes of Uncle's Capture While Serving in the Union Army

Marching with Gen. William Sherman during the Civil War, Union solder foraging for food was captured by Southern forces.

| Good Old Days

In my files is a letter written January 22, 1865, by an officer telling of my uncle's capture. He served under Gen. William Sherman in the Union Army. Part of the letter follows.

"Dear Sir: John was a good and brave soldier. When we were on the march from Atlanta to the coast we were followed very closely by Wheeler's cavalry. (Remember the song, "Marching Through Georgia"?) Near Millidgeville we put up camp, this was on November 25, 1864. Several of our men went out foraging for food on mules. Soon some of the boys came back and said the Rebels had run them and they thought captured some of our boys.

"When John did not return, I was uneasy. About dark his mule came back without him. I knew then that he was captured. I have no reason to think that he was murdered as first reported.

"It is my opinion that you will see him again. But perhaps not until the war is over. I will write again when I learn more.

A Friend, J. Hawkins"

Yes, John came home when the war was over, but he was so thin and sickly his own folks did not know him. He had been forced to live in an open stockade with no roof over his head. His food was one pint of corn chops each day, ground cob and all.

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