Will Fisher to his mother
In camp near Vinings Station, Georgia
July 12, 1864

My ever dear Mother,

We are snugly encamped now so I will try & write you a kind of old fashioned letter on a sheet of foolscap that I borrowed of Capt. Hall.
We are in camp about 2½ miles from the Chattahoochee river with our pickets & the Rebels on each bank. Our camp is in a nice woods on a high ridge & everything is as nice as it is possible to have it in this country. The weather is awful hot & continues to increase. We have been here just about a week & had orders to fix up for we might stay here for some time, & this is all we know about it. We may stay awhile & we may not.
Yesterday for my birthday celebration, I had the honor of being ordered to report to Col. Rogers & upon going to his quarters he told me he would appoint me as sergeant from that date. So now you see I am at last promoted & according to all accounts draw $20 per month. Jack Skellie was also promoted to a sergeant.
Our orderly sergeant got a commission some time ago for 2nd lieut. in “Corps de Africa” this made a vacancy for me & Sergeant Battie was reduced to the ranks & that made a vacancy for Skellie. Our sergeants now read thus: Orderly Darrow, 1st Duty, George Fairchild, whose wife I hear has gained some notoriety in Cambridge this last winter, 2 ditto George L. Denis of Easton, 3rd ditto William Garrett Fisher, Cambridge, Wash. Co. N.Y., 4th ditto Jack Skellie.
They, that pretend to know, say that the wages of enlisted men have been increased by Congress so that privates are raised from 13 to 16, cpls. from 13 to 17 & sergeants from 17 to 20, orderlies from 20-24. If not they will be like the first figures of this table.
We have a good deal of trading here with the Rebels. They are very sociable & trade tobacco for coffee. This army for the last two months has been literally crazy for tobacco. I wrote you twice about a week ago & told you to send me some loose fine cut chewing, too. Hope you will have started it on its destination before you get this. You have no idea how much I suffer for the want of the “vile” stuff, to use a familiar phrase.
Had a letter from Lem last night. He is much better than when he left the regt. Has some few of the sick and wounded that have gone back out of our regt. in his ward.
Gen. Wilder’s Mounted Infantry they say captured & burned a factory of the Rebels a day or two ago, that employed 700 female operatives & that they all came into our lines & are at Marietta. Hear some hard stories about the affair but hope it is not so.
You will perceive by the papers that our army here sustained a much more severe repulse on the 27th of June at Kenesaw Mt. than I spoke of in my letter for in fact I did not know the circumstances at that time. It seems that a general assault was made on the Reb’s center which failed with a total loss on our side of about 3000. Our corps was not engaged except Geary’s Division as a support. It was not owing to any valor or good fighting qualities on the part of the Rebels that repulsed “our boys” but the fiendish contrivances that they rig up to hinder the advance of our troops, although I feel confident that had it been our corps we would have gone through, but at a fearful loss of life.
The more I see of the Rebels in this dept. & their works that they abandon the more I am convinced that we are opposing a very cowardly and dishonorable enemy. You would never see Gen. Lee perform in this manner.
I will give you a little description of their works & we have seen no less than a doz. lines that they have evacuated on the campaign. In the first place they have strong works, shell proof, built by an army of negroes that they have fortifying in the rear of them all the while. Then in front of the works are two or three lines of sharp pickets or “jackers,” as we call them, drove into the ground slanting out so that anyone advancing would tear their guts out. Then for 10 rods in front of these they have small trees with the brush out & the points sharpened besides lopping down all the small trees so that no man could work his way up to the works in half a day & not have any opposition whatever. This I call fiendish & cowardly.
In all the works we ever built, we never built but very few that were shell proof & then when we were on the defensive, but never did we put a stick in the way to retard or obstruct an advance.
I tell you Gen. Sherman gets many a “God bless you” when we are passing through these formidable works for his masterly skill in flanking them out without doing it by assault. I think everything of him. I overheard him say in the forepart of the campaign that he had got men enough to flank them every time & he was going to do it in preference to assaulting them.
The Rebel regt. on picket in front of us yesterday were a good many of them from N. York City, said they didn’t care if the war lasted 99 years or if Jeff Davis & the Confederacy went to the devil in five minutes. We have taken immense numbers of deserters on these fall backs of the Rebs.
Has Aunt Sarah recovered from her accident yet? I hope so. Give her lots of love for me. When is Sarah Jane going home & what is her youngest child’s name?
I hope you will send that writing paper I spoke of, about 2 quires of com. note & two packs of envelopes, do up without doubling. Tell Fannie Mc. I will answer her letter as soon as I get some paper if they allow us to stay here any length of time, of which I have some doubts although I don’t hardly believe they will operate on account of the heat.
I think more than probable that we will get paid within two weeks. Please write often as possible. While I remain with a great deal of love, your own darling boy.

Will G. Fisher