(1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
Gregory C. White
Canton GA USA
Posts: 380
Joined: 2004
Captain William Johnston, Company F, 10th Georgia Infantry
9/17/2021 8:22:08 AM
Here's a October 4, 1862 letter by Captain William Johnston of the “Thomson Guards”, Company F, 10th Georgia Infantry, written from Winchester, Virginia to his wife in Columbia County, Georgia:

“A great many of the men wounded at Sharpsburg are here and some die every day from their wounds. Ruthless! Bloody war! The saddest of all evils. No grave historian has ever written, nor weeping poet sung, its dreadful ills. 'Tis writ in tears and blood – 'Tis writ upon the field of strife where man in deadly combat meets his fellow-man. 'Tis written there with glittering sword amid the cannon's roar, the clash of arms. 'Tis writ upon the ground strewn with the slain – 'Tis writ upon the mangled bodies of the wounded all wet with their own gore – 'Tis writ upon the midnight air made dismal – dismal – with the cries and groans of the dying – 'Tis writ upon the stern, solemn face of the warrior as he wraps up his comrade in his blanket and lays him away in the cold earth far away from his home – 'Tis writ upon the sad countenance of mothers, wives and sisters whose homes and hearts have been made desolate. How many of the brave and good, the noble, have fallen!

“I feel at times, my dear darling wife, that this is not my abiding place. Time is a paltry thing at best. One glance through the vista of the past, and I shudder to think how far I have advanced to the land from whence none return, but blessed be God for the assurance of the soul's immortality. Sweet is the boon of eternal life – it unites us again with those who have gone before. The dead man's life is found in God.”

Captain Johnston was counted among the Sharpsburg wounded, and resigned from the service the following June on account of his health. He died January 29, 1887.

(Confederate Reminiscences and Letters, 1861-1865, Volume III; Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy (1996)
“Any society which suppresses the heritage of its conquered minorities, prevent their history, and denies them their symbols, has sown the seeds of its destruction.” Sir William Wallace, 1280 A.D.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5772
Joined: 2004
Captain William Johnston, Company F, 10th Georgia Infantry
9/17/2021 2:54:01 PM

Powerful stuff : all three of those vignettes bring home the terrific bloodiness and intensity of that war in one of its most dramatic episodes .

Many thanks,

Regards, Phil
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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