Will Fisher to his mother
Still “sieging" Atlanta
August 1, 1864

Dearest Mother,

The mail brought me another treat last night, viz: a good letter, 8 papers, tobacco and roll of fools cap, and for all I prized the tobacco it did not compare with the letter. When I saw the postage I felt like taking L. Wells by the collar.
Ira King sent the same time I did to his uncle Jim P. Robertson for some loose “fine cut” and he got a pound done up nice and tight with the ends closed for 32 ct, but “clothing” was written on the outside of the package. There was a law passed allowing woolen clothing to be sent by mail to enlisted men (not officers) in the army & navy for 2 ct an ounce. Therefore, when you want to send anything by mail to me, if it is woolen clothing, leave the ends or one end of the package open and put on stamps at the rate of 2 ct an ounce or if it be not “clothing” do up the ends closed and on the outside mark “clothing” and pay the same rate and if Len Wells don’t want to take it put it in at the other corner.
Well, mother, it is awful hot weather here for a week back, but last night and today it is showery. We have had no drought here this season by any means, the contrary.
We have now lain here a good while. We came here the 22nd and are here yet. It is a regular siege. Not a day or night passes without a “muss” on the picket line, and at the first rattle of musketry we have to spring into the trenches so it breaks our rest a good deal. Your Sergeant does not do any picket duty for the reason that he is Commissary Sergeant. That is all the duty I have to do in camp while other sergeants have picket duty or guard duty to do, taking their turns, which is generally once in four or five days. There is a good deal of cannonading here night and day but we do not run any risk except when we are out of our works. Then we have to run our chances. We keep advancing our lines all we can, getting every inch, while on the flanks they are doing big business.
On the 22nd, Gen. McPherson had a heavy battle, repulsing the Rebels with fearful slaughter, but the gallant McPherson was killed. This dashing fiery Rebel Gen. Hood is just using up their army by his continued charging and I assure, nothing pleases Gen. Sherman better than to have Hood make these bullheaded charges on us, for the party assaulting with their deeply massed columns of men exposed to canister and bullet are always the losers. Since Hood took command here he has made no less than three of the most desperate charges on us and has failed every time, with no less than 5 or 6ooo men put “hors de combat” every time. Gen. Sherman says this suits him admirably for he has got more “pluck than brains.”
There is a report now that Joe Johnston has got com’d again, if so we will get marching orders soon to follow him up.
I regret to inform you that “Old Joe Hooker” has left us. It may seem to you of little consequence to us who commands us if he be a good general, but I tell you it does. If you had been on this campaign, expecting every day to be cut down on rations, and, in fact, every other corps would be in our camps trading tobacco for “hard tack” and all this time we’d be drawing full rations and more than full rations, or more than field rations at least. And then to have the best looking men I ever saw in military dress without any exception ride along and invariably draw cheer after cheer from each regt. as he comes along. In fact, every man in the 20th Corps has got so that he thought everything of “Joseph."
With Sherman’s caution and skill and Hooker’s executive ability this corps has done wonders, if I do say it. Hooker has done more here under Sherman than any other general and McPherson next. I do not know the reason Joe left, but hear it was because Howard was put in McPherson’s place which is a higher command instead of Hooker who out ranks Howard. Old “Pappy Williams” is now the corps commander and Knipe commands the div. and Col. Packer of the 5th Conn. Vols. the brig.
I wish you would get a Harper’s Weekly, date of July 11th, I think, and in it you will see a sketch by Theodore Davis of our battle of the 22nd of June. Immediately in the foreground where the men appear so large and plain and firing their guns, is the left of Ruger’s Brig. of our div. and still further down to the left where you see the artillery and the caissons behind the hill in the rear is where our brig. fought. Way in front where the Rebels appear coming out of the woods in line is where we were skirmishing when we were driven and when Jimmy Rowan was shot, together with some 47 others of our regt. Away to the extreme left where you see so much smoke is Gen. Geary’s batteries which done great execution. On the right, not shown in the picture, was the 23rd Corps, Gen. Schofield, whose artillery also fired on on the Rebel column. At the extreme right, if you look close, you will see an old house where Dr. Kennedy had his wounded and near which some 10 of our boys were taken prisoners.
The Harpers Weekly has an artist here and if you want to see sketches of our battles, get that in preference to “Frank Leslie’s.” You will soon see one by the same artist of our battle of the 20th. I have just found the leaf with the picture which I will send you and mark it.
I spoke of three charges which Hood had made upon us, one on us the 20th, one on McPherson the 22nd, and the third was day before yesterday on our right. We took some hundred prisoners, and among them 500 negroes armed with picks and shovels.
It is reported we have buried 2200 Rebels in front of the scene of this last conflict. The shelling of the city continues at intervals every day and night. The Rebels throw a good deal of “rotten iron” as the boys call it. The heaviest “caliber” shells I see yet was 64 pounders. We have got some coming on the cars that will open their eyes and works too.
Gen. Kilpatrick has returned. I should not be surprised if he made a raid to Macon to release the Union prisoners confined there. I hope we will soon capture this place and go into camp and get paid and wash up for a rest.
“Uncle Sam” owes me a hundred and eight dollars from last night, and I wish he could pay it soon for I know you need it. I am very solicitous as to your getting along comfortably if we are not paid soon, for I am aware of the enormous prices everything you have to buy demands, while you have no produce to dispose of to counteract the outgoes. I think farmers will do well and in fact all producers and consumers together but those who consume and do not produce must suffer. I often think of it and feel glad that my uncles are farmers especially lately since provisions got up so high. I have never cared about how high extravagancies got to be, but when it begins to affect necessaries then I feel scared. All I wish is that these cursed gold speculators and war speculators were all “busked and gagged” and had to remain so during the war.
I was glad to hear that Aunt S. had got over her accident, my very best love and wishes for her and hope that I may see her again, only having 13 months more to serve, while, when it was 3 years, we all had our doubts about her standing it so long.
About Jim Rowan, I know nothing of his last hours only the day he died there was more hopes of his living than any time before, and he was a good deal better. He was shot in the right side just above the hip bone.
Write often, send occasional envelopes, stamps and tobacco, while I remain your loving son.

Will G. Fisher

P.S. Ira King who is my bosom friend is not much of a writer so I wish you would inform his folks every time you have a chance & hear from me, he is all right.