Will Fisher to his mother
Near Atlanta
Sabbath PM, July 24, 1864

My own dear Mother,

All quiet today except a desultory artillery fire in consequence of the shelling of the city. Gen. Sherman demanded the surrender of the place some time or other and gave them till noon yesterday or he would commence shelling the city. This of course they did not do and about 3 o’clock he opened four rifled 20 lb parrotts on the place from here and some from other parts of the lines. This has continued ever since at intervals of five minutes. This is all our folks are doing today but the Rebels keep up quite a shelling on us from some forts in front but do us no harm for we have got good strong works.
I wrote you a letter the 21st giving description of the hard battle fought the day before (20th). Well, the next morning after we got up, we found that the Rebels had left again & we moved forward about 3 miles and found them here which I think will be their last stand for Atlanta.
We threw up strong works as quick as we got up to them, for all they shelled us like Sam Hill all the while we were at it, and have been strengthening them some ever since and now we just lay behind them. Shell if they like for they can’t do no harm. Since I have been writing, 3 shots have struck the works behind my back (for I sit with my back up against the works) and made the dirt fly 30 feet high and all over the paper. They burst in all directions but can’t do any hurt.
We are keeping our guns quite still with the exception of shelling the town, but tomorrow if nothing happens we will open some guns that will make them quake for fear, for to tell the truth we have got something over 50 pieces near here besides some siege pieces that will be in position tomorrow.
I think Gen. Sherman pays a good respect for the Sabbath. This is the first Sabbath since we have had a chaplain, but what we have had some service in the day. But today he is back to the hospital caring for the wounded.
I gave you the names of all the casualties in our co., only one killed and four wounded. I think my report of the killed was not correct. There were 11 killed in all, including those that have died since. Some of them as nice men as we had in the regt. We have been together so long that when one is killed it seems like a near friend.
This Chapman that was killed in our co. the other day was quite a friend of mine as he was a stranger to us all and got acquainted with me quicker than the rest. I carried him off the field. Poor fellow, he was shot right under the heart and he said he could not live but a little while and wanted me to write to his father and tell him of his death which I am going to do today. His mother has died since he came into service and he said he thought he should meet her in heaven. The chaplain talked with him awhile. It was a very affecting scene, I can assure you.
I feel very confident of our soon marching triumphantly into this city. Our Corps is square in front of the city, probably 1½ miles, but we cannot see the city without going a little to the right on some high ground that our heavy guns are on.
The shells are thrown principally at the arsenal and government works in Atlanta. Every time a shell starts on its rapid flight for the doomed city I think of what it may do and hope that the women and innocent children are out of the way, for if they are there it must be awful indeed, for the children especially, who are not responsible for this wicked rebellion.
I see the great invasion creates quite an excitement, particularly in the invaded region. For my part, I am glad of it, for to interrupt Gen. Grant’s communication they cannot do, while if the North by calling out troops can tend to them, it will be just so many less for Gen. Grant to contend with. I earnestly hope that they will not succeed in getting of either their plunder or themselves.
But enough for this time. If the siege lasts long, I will write often and as long as possible. Immense quantities of love to Aunt S. and all. Write soon while I remain, Mother, your own boy.