Atlanta History Center

Aug 29

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

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A. T. Holliday                     Monday morning Aug 29th 1864

Dear Lizy,

Last night for the first time since we left Westpoint we had preaching on the ditch. We are still occupying the same position that we did on Saturday. We now occupy an old shelter that was used for a blacksmith shop when we cam here in May; We have been brought out here to do picket duty. Some of the Regt are all the time on picket or guard duty; we do not hold any place in the ditch at all but are in the rear. Everything is still very quiet; no fighting is to be heard in any direction at all. A great many reports are afloat; so many that it is hard to sift the truth out of it. Joe Brown is in the city; and it is said by some of the knowing ones that we will be disbanded in a few days, it is also told us that the yanks are still retreating but are going in the direction of Newnan; and it is thought they intend to make their way to Andersonville to release their prisoners if they can. The most of them are over the river. If the yanks could succeed in releasing their prisoners they would add to their force to the amount of forty thousand.

I have had my breakfast; had Irish potatoes beef biscuit and some bacon. It was all nice and good; Capt Maguire brought up a box with him; he is on our mess. Most of the boys have been over to see the yankee breastworks. I have not been yet. I have a thought of going over to day. Should have gone before now had it not been for my foot; it is better now. The boys have brought in a great many yankee trophies. I want to see if I cant bring in a live Yankee. Two were brought in yesterday morning night before last. The newspaper reports from Va are gloriously good the yesterday evenings paper says that Lee has whipped Grant badly captured 2000 prisoners. Everything looks brighter and brighter to me. Every day I grow stronger every day and more hopeful of our success; I have seen and conversed with a lady that had been in the Yankee lines since they have been near this city. She gives a dreadful account of their situation. She says they are short of rations and their horses and mules are very poor specimen of which I have seen with my own eyes; and by their leaving behind them 10 pieces of artillery is good proof. Two of the pieces are siege guns, 60 lbs one of them they spiked the others are not injured at all. This lady also said that her son was hired by the Yankee Sutler and her son had told her that the people in Marietta were nearly all starved. If that be true they cant remain here. She also said that Marietta was crowded with Yankees going home and they swear they will not fight again. She also says that all the privates in the Yankee army would lay down their arms and meet us half way as friends and each go to their homes and let the officers on each side fight to their own fill. I have no doubt all of that is true. The prisoners all admit they cannot whip us by fighting. They say all they can do is to flank but have not been able to do that here with 4 times our No of men. They have left a good many notes written on pieces of plank for the Johnny Rebs to read; some of them are quite amusing indeed. To day the Yankee nomination takes place at Cincinnati. It is thought from their own papers that they will nominate a peace candidate.

I wrote you about our wagons going over to the Yankee breastworks to bring in what was left by them. They brought 2000 hides broken wagons powder boxes cartridges boxes guns mules and horses; and a heap of other plunder;  I have until 6 P.M. to finish this. I will go over to see the Yankee works and write you about them. Jos E. Waddy is here; and will leave this evening at 6 for Washington I will send this by him I may have some good grapevine by the time I finish this evening so that I can write you when to send for me that would be glorious news indeed would it not
1 o clock P.M. 

I have returned from my visit over to the Yankee ditches; I picked up while there 3 caps you can give one to Jim; Fayet; and Enos; they will do fine for them; I also picked up a Yankee book which I will send Otis it is a little dirty but it is the best that can be picked up at this late day. Everything has been hunted over. I will send Willie a Yankee postage stamp in this. I have learned no grape-vine yet; news is getting rather scarce here now;  I wrote you a long letter Saturday and wrote you to send me $ 300 dollars by Express as I had a place I could make it pay to put; it as this will come by hand you may get this first; Send the money immediately; Tell Harper to push them detail papers I have my stakes set now to some home; soon I want him to work as he would for himself I will then believe he is a friend in deed I have not heard from you since Hark came; I received a letter from Father Butler to day he is well as usual so he writes Do not forget to put away the melons for me cut a stem to them about 4 inches long and do not let them be bruised at all they will feed a long time from the stem.

Aug 26

Atlanta, 1864

After a five-week bombardment, Atlanta residents wake to silence on August 26th. Union lines are empty. What could Sherman be up to?

Watch Episode 19

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center commemorate the 150th anniversary of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s 1864 march into Georgia with the original series, “37 Weeks: Sherman on the March.”

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

Friday Morning 9 o’clock
On picket line Aug 26th 1864

My dear Lizy..I feel more confident and hopeful this morning about the salvation of Atlanta than I have since I have been here; everything is as still as death in our front this morning and has been since 3 o clock this morning the yanks kept up a pretty brisk fire on the picket line up to that time; our Scouts were out before sun rise they have come in long since and report nary Yank is to be seen they have walked the yankee breastworks;  They have now had their breakfast and gone again with a determination to make a good search; Swans whole brigade is ordered out as scouts their whereabouts is sure to be found out; I expect our cavalry is close up to them they will be no doubt well watched;  Old Hood seems to have his eyes opened We are stationed on the right; a little west of the Ga railroad; the general opinion with the old soldiers is that the picket line will extend down the Ga road and that road will soon be opened; I wish it would; A yankee cavalry 100 strong deserted and came into our ranks day before yesterday; Their report is that Sherman is compelled to fall back; for the want of supplies for his army they report that they have been living on one cracker a day for four days Wheeler must be doing them great injury in their rear; it is reported in the yesterday evenings paper that he is on his way to Chattanooga and will try and destroy all their supplies there and burn all the bridges if Forrest and Morgan will operate on the other side of the river I think Sherman is bound to go up; if we can only accomplish what we came here for and that is to drive the enemy off of Ga soil I shall consider it one of the noblest acts of my whole life;  I cant say that I shall be satisfied for the work to stop there I want them driven to their dens those that belong to them and not one of them left on Southern soil; a portion of our scouts have just returned again and make the same report; they have passed on by going towards the left with a purpose in view and one that will be carried out; I am much delighted to see the old soldiers in such high spirits they seem to have a great anxiety to know where the yanks have gone and seem anxious to follow them;  I have not seen them so anxious before since I have been in the service God grant that we may be successful and all of us be allowed to return to our homes in peace; The news from Va is good I heard yesterday a letter read from John Wingfield he writes that the campaign is about closed around Richmond and both armies are going towards Washington City; One of the Ma when out and by the by one of our Regt with the old soldiers on their scouting frolic he says he has walked the yankee breastworks 2 miles and he could see 2 more and not a yank is to be seen; the scouting party are prepared to meet them anywhere and they say they will whip them sure; a heavy cannonading is going on somewhere a long way off as it can hardly be heard  I think Hood is after them as the cannon is not heard distinctly as it was some while ago; Havent I got a rich joke on the boys; I have been telling them that I intend to shorten our picket line so that I would not have to walk so far by charging the yanks; and make them leave; and faith and bejabes sure enough last night while I was on picket they left; so much for me being here …… I have had no grapevine yet this morning what I have is true I will finish this to morrow; I will get some grape vine to-night when I get back to the ditch
 N. B. If we should not succeed in getting off home soon I want you to send Peyton up with some more money for me; if my papers are fixed up on that detail business send him up with them and he can then bring me some money and I will get the papers much sooner by his bringing them; I expect I weary you with so many letters; I know you do me so few of them; 12 o clock M. M.  Since I wrote the above my prediction has come true all of the old soldiers have been ordered off from us to the left; a heavy fight is going on there now I can hear the small guns very distinctly; they are no numerous that you cant distinguish one from the other old Hood is pushing them sure; One of the scouts brought in a yankee paper and gave it to me I have not had time yet to read it;  If I have a chance I will send it to you; 3 o clock P.M.  I have just heard that our Regt is under marching orders. we have the appearance of a very hard rain on hand a very dark cloud hangs over us. The rain is now over it was not so hard as I expected it would be; the pickets are not amusing themselves in firing off their guns; I had a good shelter for mine under a large poplar tree; It also saved me from getting wet; I have been acting as officer of the guard since the old soldiers left; I have sit about so much today that I have a headache this evening I believe I will walk some
5 o clock P.M.  We have just completed a short move to the left for the purpose of filling up the pits that have been vacated in that direction by Order of Hood; I have got some grape vine now it is reported that the yanks have crossed peachtree creek and burnt the bridge after them that looks favorable; there is more grapevine also that the bridge across the Chattahoochee River had fallen in with a yankee train and drowned some 1800  6 ½ P.M. 5 miles from where I now sit a heavy firing is going on; it is very rapid indeed much more so than when I mentioned it before in this letter just going from the artilery [sic] that is at work it is yet only a picket skirmish; but about dark I think a charge will be made; there is no doubt but Sherman is hard pressed from what his men left behind them on their retreat this morning a dead man was found lying at their breastworks not buried at all and a great many other indications of great haste that is left behind them; I have been amusing myself by walking between the picket lines picking up lead I have in all now 10 or 12 pounds; A portion of the 6000 brave defenders of Atlanta resurrected themselves this evening; got into their buggies and rode out to the picket wishing to visit the yankee breastworks; They made a complete failure on yesterday where where oh where were they in their holes in the city; they need not come to this Militia for favors riding in buggies with white linen coats on; Taint no go;  If they bother us we will tye [tie] them up and whip them like rip;  Smith says the Ma has got to follow Sherman to the edge of Ga; We are willing to do it.  We dont want to leave them now where they are sure  7 p.m.  I will renew the attack with you on to morrow if I am not otherwise engaged; I will try and give you the news of the night and of the day also up to mailing time; do you get my letters that I frank; I mean those that there is no postage paid on them; I have taken a great deal of pains in this letter so as to make it interesting; there is one fault I find of it is too lengthy; The firing is still very rapid on the left I see no change yet; it is now getting dark; Good bye A. T. H.

Aug 25

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

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Thursday morning
August 25th 1864

Dear Lizy,

I have finished my breakfast and taken a stroll up to the Col headquarters to have justice done me. I am to go out on picket this evening; I was also drawn out to do fatigue duty to day; I laid in my complaint and was relieved of the fatigue duty; nary ax have they got into my hand yet to cut brush. I think I do my duty in some other day and in some other way. We have heard nothing more of our box yet, neither do I expect to. I did not write you about getting my pants; and shoes they came all right; the pants are most too fine for this work. Is it some of the cloth that was made at the factory or did you make it? So far as the contract is concerned between Duncan and myself there was no positive price put or established. He told me that he had been paying 5 cts for what he had bought. I expected no more nor no less than the government price allowed. He has not even told the truth in that; Alf Sturges told me that he sold Duncan plank at 10 cts per foot at the railroad; but he loaded it on the cars but paid no freight on it; if he wishes to make his living by lying for it let him rip; you can do as you choose. I shall need some more money. I reckon you had as well collect it all. Make him pay 5 cts for the plank that he has received since I left; I told Florence to saw plank when there was water enough to make it pay; but if there is any chance of my getting home the mill had best stand still until that thing is settled for this reason it might be said that I had a man attend to the mill and would do as well as I could which might have considerable weight in my getting off. Were I at home I would have the old road above and below the box all filled up with dirt; fill up the upper side first or both could be carried on at the same time; would take but a few days with both wagons; the dirt is close by as it can be got off of the bank of the ditch on both sides; if that is not done a new box will have to be put in; there is two new logs needed under the box at the water wheel they can be hewed out and I will have them put under when I get home; they should be cut long enough which can be done by measuring the old ones that are there; they should be at least 12 inches square; and of good heart. you had best send to the piney woods for them; the wagons can be taken along with them and bring them back to the mill; and lay them straight so as to keep them from spring crooked. I saw and conversed with Toombs about a furlough for a few days to attend an appraisement. He told me to wait 5 or 6 days which I have done and to day I am no nearer home that I was 3 months ago.  I have no more confidence in Toombs than I have in the devil; I think I will get Maguire to go over and see Toombs for me. I for myself dont care if I never do see him; again;  Tell Peyton he must take it patiently with the negroes for awhile as they have had their own way for some time and may want it yet; I think the best plan for the present is not to bear down on them too tight as they have largely the advantage in number and could do great mischief before help could be got there as the route is so long to make. You can just state this thing to him and reason with him about it; I did not want him there to whip and slash but to help you and relieve you of the trouble you were having. I am seeing enough for me and you both during the 3 months I have been in service. There is no man that has done more service that I have; I feel proud and thankful also that I have been able to do it. Warren pants were worn out and so was mine and I gave them to Warren; I had nearly got the sop out of them on the knees and seat. All pants for soldiers should have a patch put on the outside of the seat. We have to sit about on the dirt and rocks or anything else is not too good for a tired soldier when he is worn down with fatigue. He cant be particular in nothing. We have some particular pukes in our line of fight. They are so mean that they are not worth a station at the devil. It is strange what kind of mortals men are how they will stoop and how mean they act.. Tell Antrim he must be careful how he stacks my fodder. Put it up right so it will keep good and make big stacks of it; you tell Peyton that I am one of the boys that wants everything done right and in order and everything saved cleaned let there be no waste in nothing; don’t forget about the slop and syrup. Save it all clean let I be put into money. The molasses will bring 40 dollars per gall the whiskey 200. It must all be saved. I am depending upon it for my cotton crop; to get money we have to spend a heap of money here or perish. Every one here is grumbling about how expensive it is to keep up with this war; Tell all howdy give my respects to all. What do you keep Jordan at in the shop all the time? Tell Harper to push up those papers. I want to come home.

Good bye
A. T. Holliday

Aug 24

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

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At cook camp                                   Wednesday morning
August 24th / 64

Dear Lizy,

Hark arrived last night. Brought the box through all right to the cook camp;  last night it was stolen; and everything in it but my hat. Ef has a pair of boots in it also; my hat was saved by there not being room for them to put it in without mashing it; and stuck it up under the ridge pole of the tent. I and Mercier have been walking all the morning hunting up the things but it was all to no purpose. We found the top of the box lying out in the woods; and got the lock. I have got some old soldiers to look after them. They may succeed in finding them; by being careful it was no doubt dome by some of the old soldiers; and some of them say it was carried to Atlanta to feed Harlots. It would be a good blessing if the whole city was burned up and all the devils with it; there was a large fire there this morning. I had not a tear to shed over its destruction; I blame Warren and Hark also with the loss of the box. They should keep out guards all night; we have it to do on the ditch if it be important there; I think it equally so to take care of something for us to eat; I am vexed at the thought; 2 days ago we were informed that an armistice was to take place to day but I believed it then just as I do now it was to last for 60 days; both sides were to meet and stack arms and not a gun was to be fired until that times expired; but it is proving itself to be a lie by the no [number] of shells that the yanks are throwing in the city to day; I received a letter from John yesterday he is well so he wrote me I have not the time now to answer his letter; My shoes all came right they are giving my feet fits. They are most too narrow. I sent my old shoes home by George Florence boy.  I also sent a letter by him. I have no idea who will bring this through; but there is some one going home nearly every day that we can send letters by; you speak of the bullet department in your letter if you only had the experience in this matter that I have you could form some idea of the battlefield. It is not a place of pleasure. I expect I will go on picket again to night; It was not Sims that got shot as I wrote you but some one else;  A guard is sent over to the cook camp every day to take back all that are here without a pass. They have just passed me. I always have a pass with me if I have to write it. I thought if that box all came through all right I would be put under a guard and have the box moved to where I would be so I could get enough to eat and keep out of the bullet department also; Tell Harper to push the detail in the nitre business; Tell him if he will make haste and get me home I will kiss him if he can kiss me. I want to see him bad sure; worse than I thought I ever would; Tell all howdy My respects to all Good bye
A. T. Holliday

Aug 23

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

Tuesday morning
August 23th 1864

Dear Lizy = Just three months to day since I left home the time seems to have passed off quickly and yet it has been a long time; last night we moved to the right about ¾ of a mile  it is a much better position than the one we had; in the ditch so far as the bullets are concerned they are not half so troublesome here; we can walk about on the bank and sleep there also; although we had a young mans shoe heel shot off this morning before he awoke up he was lying under a shelter on the bank he is not hurt at all; John Sims from the upper [sic] part of Wilkes had his finger shot off this morning on the picket line he will get a furlough; the other young mans name was Cosby that lost his shoe heel; We have news of every kind on the line this morning; The first is; that after to morrow there will be an armistice of 60 days not a gun is to be fired after that time until the armistice expires and not then if terms of peace can be agreed upon; (that is grapevine) the other is that the yanks are compelled to make an attack or retreat in 48 hours; that came from Gen Hood I will call that pea vine; the other is that old Wheeler made a mistake and went down the Ga road captured Conyers or burnt it up; recaptured Stone Mountain and burnt up the mountain captured 6 head of beef cattle; killed one blind yearling and returned to Hood and told him that the yanks were ruined forever; they could get no more food nor no powder nor lead that (I will call muscadine vine) the third report is that Wheeler is on his way to Chattanooga and will succeed in capturing it sure; that (I call potato vine)  how can this be so when the yankee train can be heard every day running in they hold marietta; is it reasonable that they are not keen enough to keep their supplies close to them I think it is and will do it sure; should they have to retreat cant they retreat in a different direction to the one they came what is there to keep them from going back by Westpoint through Ala-bama [sic] not one thing in the world and the country is full of provisions; as it has not been passed through raiders; it is reported that Mobile has gone up I don’t know how true it is; Last night I got the best nights sleep I have had in 5 nights and yet I was dragging brush all night nearly; but when I did get a chance to sleep I made it pay; we have 2 rows of stakes in front of our ditch and brush trimmed up with sharpened ends scattered all over the ground in front of us also for some distance which will bother the yanks considerably when they undertake; to charge us but I cant believed [sic] they are fools enough to try it if they do there will be a perfect slaughter of them; if the men will only shoot with aim and correctness; there is 2 bullet holes in my blanket I do not know when they were shot there I suppose it was done sometime when it was hanging out to dry; Save all my letters I want to see them all again I went over to town yesterday evening; the train came in from Macon; but no Hark yet your uncle Long has the measles he was pretty sick yesterday evening I have not heard from him this morning; The yanks threw shells in town all day yesterday; one man had his leg broken and one mule killed that I saw with my own eyes 
A. T. H.

Aug 22

Watch out, Frank!

Watch out, Frank!

Margaret Mitchell hanging out with friends at Lake Burton. c. 1920 
Murrow Brice Morris recalls that her father, Samuel (far right), “found Margaret Mitchell attractive, but lots of men did. Daddy was smitten by her, yes.” Samuel Morris’ last date with Mitchell was “to a costume ball where she met Red Upshaw and abandoned Daddy.”
Browse and order prints from our collection.

Margaret Mitchell hanging out with friends at Lake Burton. c. 1920 

Murrow Brice Morris recalls that her father, Samuel (far right), “found Margaret Mitchell attractive, but lots of men did. Daddy was smitten by her, yes.” Samuel Morris’ last date with Mitchell was “to a costume ball where she met Red Upshaw and abandoned Daddy.”

Browse and order prints from our collection.

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

  

Aug 22 1864

I went and got my fare of grapes; this morning I have seen 2 dead men one was killed on picket to day the other was killed yesterday  the picket firing is pretty rappid [sic] along the line this morning it is almost dangerous to go out of the ditch; at all we have a good deal of grapevine news this morning; it is reported that Longstreet has arrived at social circle and will come up to Ga road to reinforce Hood I do not believe a word of it; the report about the capture of 1900 hundred has reduced down to 50 by 12 o clock it will be 5 no train has run in yet from Macon I hope one will come in to day that we may get something to eat if Hark is coming and some money too it is said that Hood is going to put us on short rations if they are not short now I do not want to see them so; if he puts us on half of what we are now getting it will be hard times indeed; last night as I came in from the picket line we were caught in a hard rain I lay in my wet clothes all night I feel tolerable well this morning for an old man I believe I have no other news at present I am going over in town to day to get me some tobacco for which I pay 6 dollars per lbs.  Ef is well Joe Gartrell is not complaining much D. Marshall is complaining some but keeps up our ditch has water in the bottom shoe deep that looks healthy does it not  I will soon be barefoot I would give a good pile to be home; and stay there; I am worn out with living in the ground and hearing the same pop I understand that Butler became frightened and left for home on foot for social circle a distance of 40 miles; that shows the fight he has in him he was afraid the gap would get closed up and catch him my Respect to Harper and wife Tell all howdy;  Good bye to you Write often; Mr. D. Faver will take this to Washington A. T. Holliday

Aug 21

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

In the Trenches before Atlanta
Georgia Sunday Aug 21, 1864

Kind Friends,
The mail of yesterday brought me the tobacco you sent for which you will please accept my heartfelt thanks for your kindness. your letter I got 5 or 6 days since + would have answered it sooner, but I thought I would wait untill [sic] the Tobacco came, The Rebels have been cutting our Rail Roads + we have not had a mail for 5 days untill [sic] yesterday and I tell you gloomy countenances + lonesome soldier boys grew plenty. We remain in the same place yet, will but little + some days no picket fireing [sic] at all two or three days ago being out of Tobacco I thought i would see if the Rebs had any to spare so I took a bag of coffee and went out on the Skirmish line + hollered to the Rebs + asked them if they wanted to trade. They did not say anything but judging from the old adage that “Silence gives Council” I proceeded on my journey + soon found myself between the Rebel Skirmish line + their strong Earthworks I concluded I had gone far Enough + turned back to their skirmish pits I met a Reb with a warm salutation + a shake of the hand . Which made me feel as though he were my brother we exchanged coffee for Tobacco and after talking aver war matters to some extent “ in which he felt satisfied of our whipping them out” we parted, I tell you when I found out my position at first I thought I was as the Rebs term it “ a gobbled Yankee” a few nights since tha [sic] Rebels burned and houre [sic] right in front of our Skirmish Lines and we could hear womens singing from a fort night in front of us real plain but mind you they were singing no Patriotic Airs for our side I hope that our folks drill kept the R Road open for it brings us down our small rations my bunk mate + I [cooked - word struck out] fried some fresh beef this morning in water for much of greane [sic] and our rations are small at the [cannot read word] there is a rumor of our going to the rear on the R Road this [time?] for guard duty  I hope it will prove true. The paper you sent me has not yet arrived I am looking for it daily, the weather is not as warm as of late but very Rainy + showery. You say my habit of Chewing is a bad one Indeed it is but that is all the comport on takes here if you are friends to break me off from it when I return , all will be well I know I am a bad boy. When away from home but not to bad to reform There is but little fireing [sic] along our lines + I guess the Rebels are content with lying still and minding their own business their is nothing but Militia + myzers [?] in front of me + we do not fear such soldiers as those. it is the old troops that attracts our attention and we dont care for them if they choose to fight us we are always ready for them you may send me by mail 25 or 50 cigars the expense by mail is trifling + not trouble when I get paid I will try + not bother you to much I would like to smoke one of your Havanas once more it would taste natural again accept kind Regards for yourself + Mrs Tripp + answer soon Truly Yours James Neumann.

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

August 21th / 64
On picket line again Sunday morning

Dear Lizy..you no doubt will think that the picket line has got to be a favorite point of mine but it is not; the cause of this is that; we have so many that try to play out and do; do it too by going before the Dr and get exempted evry [sic] morning from service; this puts double duty upon those that are doing all in their power to benefit their country we have 16 to 25 to go for exempted papers evry [sic] morning;  just such men as Jim Johnson; he eats all he can get and yet all the time he is sick and there are many others that do the same thing On yesterday evening after I wrote you; I learned that the yanks had cut the Macon road which was true; this morning I have learned that we have captured 1900 of them and that the train would run through again to day; it is said that the yanks have also captured Westpoint I expect it is true as no train has come in from there for some time; I have no idea when you will get this as there is so much confusion now on the railroads; it is said that we are now to be put on short rations; if we are and are short of money also a heap of us will go up a spout; I wrote you while I was on picket Friday that we built us a good brush arbor over our pit last night I was fortunate enough to get the same pit; this morning we were ordered to tear it all down and build a plank shelter which is now completed and I at this time sit under it and write with my old Sue by my side; it rained hard and often last night we were wet all night; sit up with blanket two double around me all wet ground wet slept but little as I was on duty 5 hours during the night have headache to day but not at all sleepy; My pit mess to day are E. Jones John Ivy =+ Perkins; and one old soldier the yanks seem on this part of the line to have some respect for the sabbath day; and are quite still but on the left they seem to be mad about something it is a great distance off as I can scarcely hear the cannon; I am sometimes very hopeful of success of our cause at others it looks very gloomy indeed; our force around here is now weakened a good deal by the taking off of the force to capture the raiders on the railroad if the yanks can find a weak place in our lines I think they will then make a charge upon us;  Hark has not arrived here yet I want some money very much indeed; and I want to hear from you and all at home I am expecting a long letter from you when Hark gets here; I will drop off until I get some more grapevine news; which I will get on to morrow at the ditch; it is raining now; I think I will go and get some more grapes to day; if the yanks keep still.
A. T. Holliday

Aug 20

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

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A. T. Holliday
Aug 20th 1864

Dear Lizy,

Nothing of any interest happened yesterday evening on picket line. In the morning attack the yanks made, a capt from Tennessee was killed. We are in a dangerous place now. In the ditch the bullets whistle thick around us all the time. We had a man in our Regt from Toliver Co. shot in his head this morning. His brains are running out. He was not dead a few minutes ago but he cant possibly live. There was also one other wounded. I have not seen either of them. There is not much doing along the lines this morning. No where as we can hear; only picket firing that is very annoying to any one indeed. Hark has not got here yet. Joe Butler is here. I shall send this letter by him; he is at the cook camp and was at the ditch yesterday but I did not see him as I was on picket. I have not seen my vest since I got back. I cant tell what has become of it. My shoes are worn out at the top; the bottoms are good; have you ever got my leather from Wynn yet? If I have to stay here during the winter I will need boots sure. Tell Henry M. to push that detail business to saw lumber for I will take a detail of any kind to get home. We have rain here in great abundance. It is raining now. The letters I expected to have sent by Dr. Anderson. I expect Butler will bring them to you; I have not heard from you since the 6th instant. Write oftener.

Good bye

Tell all howdy

Aug 18

Located on Forsyth Street (near the present site of the Garnett MARTA station) is the doorway to an underground bombproof shelter, one of dozens that Atlanta residents constructed in their backyards during the Union’s thirty-seven-day bombardment of the city in July and August 1864.


Historian Stephen Davis estimates that Union guns fired more than 100,000 shells into Atlanta during the siege. Nearly every major structure in the city was hit at least once by artillery fire and many buildings burned as a result. Nevertheless, due to the city’s reduced population and these backyard shelters, only about twenty-five civilians are known to have been killed in the bombardment and perhaps another forty wounded. Strategically, the bombardment did nothing to help General Sherman’s armies capture Atlanta.

Located on Forsyth Street (near the present site of the Garnett MARTA station) is the doorway to an underground bombproof shelter, one of dozens that Atlanta residents constructed in their backyards during the Union’s thirty-seven-day bombardment of the city in July and August 1864.

Historian Stephen Davis estimates that Union guns fired more than 100,000 shells into Atlanta during the siege. Nearly every major structure in the city was hit at least once by artillery fire and many buildings burned as a result. Nevertheless, due to the city’s reduced population and these backyard shelters, only about twenty-five civilians are known to have been killed in the bombardment and perhaps another forty wounded. Strategically, the bombardment did nothing to help General Sherman’s armies capture Atlanta.

Aug 17

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

imageAug 17th 1864

Dear Lizy,

As Dr. W. T. Anderson is going home to morrow and as I can send a letter by him I thought I would write again but I have not much news. I have just received a letter from you dated the 9th. I read it with a great deal of interest; you had better be careful how you take in travelers or you may take in some yankee spys. Our old Regt is now divided into two regt. Our Co is still Co A.  The Wilkes Co is also divided into 2 companies. All those above Washington are in one Co all below form another Co;  the Co is called C. There is not much news afloat now from the front. It is still reported that Wheeler is doing good;  service and is on his way to Chattanooga where Kirby Smith and Forrest are to join him and make Sherman get up and get out of Ga. I expect Brown will want us to follow then but here is one that won’t do it. Some of the men are deserting constantly. It is those that have homes inside the yankee lines. Mostly they do it when they go out on picket by throwing down their guns and holler to the yanks not to shoot them. You had best send to Father Butlers and get you cloth home. I want you to see if you cant save me some watermelons and some apples and all the fruit you can by putting them up on the plan that Houston Glaze did. I have bought a dozen peaches and payd three dollars for them. They were small at that. Watermelons sell from 5 to 25 dollars. I have but one dollar now. Hark has not got here yet. The other 2 boys that went with him came last night;  Hark wants killing. I don’t look for him in a month. He don’t want to stay here at all. I think for the stillness of the yanks they are fixing up for something either to attack our lines or to fall back. It will take a longer head than mine to tell which; I wish we could get them back from Ga and on their own soil; they throw shells into the city occasionally;  Tell Harper not to grunt so much. I expect he will have to come up here yet; write often and let me hear from you if I can’t see you Tell all howdy.  Good bye.  A. T. Holliday    

Private A. T. Holliday Co A 1St Regt
1st Brigade G. M.

From the Archives: Civil War Letter

Tuesday evening
Aug 17th 1864

Dear Lizy; Not being able to get this letter mailed on yesterday evening I will write you the news that I have learned during the evening and night; one report is that Wheeler is tearing up the railroad rapidly the other is that he has been captured with 1600 of his men I saw one of Hoods staff and talk to him for some time and he had heard nothing official of no such a report; I hope that it is not true; for I look upon Wheelers success now as our owe salvation;  One of Burgess’ sons received on yesterday evening what is considered a mortal wound he was shot in the lower part of the bowels; and it went through by his back bone; John Parks told me he had no idea he could live I shall report back at the ditches this morning; yet I am not able for duty at all I am too weak to do any kind of service at all;  I think a few more weeks will about wind up the Ma Good bye
A. T. Holliday