“This Soldier’s Life….”

On June 9, 1864, Robert Patterson wrote a long, and probably the most interesting letter of the many he wrote during the Civil War, to his mother from a camp near Acworth, Georgia.  In the letter, he discusses a number of items including the movement of the army, views of General Sherman and General Hooker, and general activities around him.  The most telling comment is “Killing and being killed has got to be so common now, that it is no excitement at all and looked upon as a matter of course.”  It is evident from this comment that he has become a professional soldier.

Robert notes in his letter that since his last letter, sent from Cassville, Georgia on May 21, the 61st OVI has been continually on the move and almost always under fire.  On May 25th, the 61st was deployed to the front of the division as skirmishers near Dallas, Georgia, where they lost six men killed and seventeen wounded.  On May 28th, they returned to Kingston, Georgia to guard an ammunition train and did not return to the main army until May 31st.  At that point, they were deployed on the left flank of the General Hooker’s IV Corps where it frequently engaged the enemy on June 1st and 2nd as the army moved steadily towards Lost Mountain.

Transcript of Robert Patterson letter, June 9, 1864.

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