Will Fisher to his mother
Camp of the 123rd NY Vols., near Chattahoochee River, Georgia
August 29, 1864

To my dear Mother,

It seems as though I had written this August a good many times. During the rest of the summer I have not had to write a month a great many times before it was gone, but during August I have written a good many times.
Well now for the position. I wrote you twice the 25th, in my last saying I thought we would move during the night, which we did, starting the next morning at 3 o’clock and marched back to the Chattahoochee and worked all day throwing up a line of works, forming a circle or half moon around the RR bridge and two wagon bridges at this place as also we guard the fords above and below here. This was Thursday and during the following night the whole army evacuated our old works in front of Atlanta and the 20th Corps fell back into the line of works we had erected (only regt. out of a brig. having come back when we did to fortify for the rest) and the rest of the army passed off to the right of Atlanta. We know nothing where they have gone, of course, but we think that Gen. Sherman has left us here to guard the RR and he with the rest of the army has disconnected himself from his communications and will turn up many miles in the rear of Atlanta or Macon. You will remember this is what I predicted in my last letter which was Aug. 25.
While I think of it I want to make an agreement with you relation to our writing, let us be particular about dates. I know I am very careless about this matter, and by carefully observing them no letter could fail to reach us without being noticed. So if you please when you write just tell me the dates of all the letters you have received since your last writing.
We have a very nice camp here with good works in front, in case they should find time enough besides watching Gen. Sherman to come and pay any of their attentions here. I am confident we could hold his whole army in the positions we have got.
There is lots of sutlers here and cars running all times of day which make it quite old fashioned.
I cannot see a train but the thought enters my mind if I were only going on board to New York, but have patience, only one year more and then if a kind providence permits, you will again behold your own soldier boy. Oh, how much better I shall feel than if I had remained at home amid scenes of draft evading, riot, murder and more public corruption than was ever known in the army, and still I cannot but feel sometimes as though some of the friends and relatives still entertain the idea that I came for pleasure and because I was fickle minded, &tc. But if they do they are very much mistaken indeed, and further more if any one of them will come and go through one quarter that I have and hold a good front still, yes, those if they are not so bad that they cannot help showing it to their folks at home, then I will admit that they are patriotic real while mine is assumed.
But as I was told, if a man does get here and discovers that wrong motives prompted him, his fate is truly lamentable. I know of several cases here in the regt. who at home were the biggest guns, but here, out from under the care of Ma they have shown themselves to be mere babies and utterly devoid of everything pertaining to manfulness. They became homesick and do not take care of themselves, get lousy and dirty and ragged, so much so that they have become complete inferiors.
The chaplain preached yesterday from the text “And it is a saying worthy of all acceptation that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” In the evening there was a prayer meeting, and nearly thirty got up and spoke. Among them was a great many backsliders, &tc. Some were new cases. The chaplain, I think, is hopeful that it is the eve of a revival.
Does anything develop itself in regard to Min and Ab? But I fancy perhaps I know full more in reference to this matter than you do. You keep cool, for I would not have it get out through me for nothing, but it is a settled fact that if nothing happens I shall when I come home not only welcome Albert as a bosom friend, but as a cousin. Now don’t say anything about it for the world, to any body, until you get it from somebody else than me. I read a letter today from little Mary Shiland telling what a sweet good girl Ab had but the real secret came direct from Ab. I made the match or helped and knew the progress of the affair all along.
Best love to Aunt S. and much of it.
I hope we will be permitted to remain here in this sweet quiet. It seems so good to be away from the constant thunder of artillery and rattle musketry. Yet Col. Jayne’s recent visit to Richmond has fully settled the fact that it can be settled in no other way.
Kind regards to all and much love to Mother from her boy.

Will Fisher