Will Fisher to his mother
Near the Chattahoochee River, Georgia
July 8, 1864

Dear Mother

This dreadful day I will write you another short letter just because I am not otherwise engaged. Although I wrote yesterday but did not write half what I wanted to because I did not have a large enough sheet of paper, but today I have made a call on the chaplain who is about the only fall back we have for stationary.
We moved yesterday about noon & brought up about 5 PM on a bridge some distance to the left of our old position. I think you will find it rather difficult to get any idea of our operations here by my letters but I have to write so short that I find it impossible to enter into any details of our doings &, besides, this is different from any campaign we ever had before. Here we are facing the enemy constantly & the excitement has all died away making it full as monotonous as camp life & a good deal harder, that’s about all the difference between the two.
John Culver & Charles & Sid Gifford have all been here today & lay not over a ¼ mile from here. John is sergeant in the 10th Ill., time out next month. Charley is capt. in 105 Ill. in 3rd Div, 20th Corps. & Sid Gifford is lieut. in 22nd Michigan in 14th Corps with John Culver. Sid has tendered his resignation & expects the papers back any day to free him from service.
I don’t think anyone who has ever entered the service from Wash. Co. stands military any better than I do, especially as far as keeping up good spirits. I should like to go home as well as any man, I think that ever went away from home, especially just now too when all would be there if I was only there, in fact I think it is impossible for anyone to know or realize how much I yearn to be there but for all I am always full of spirits & courage, still I don’t pretend to have any more bravery than anyone else, no sir. I dread the field of conflict as much as anyone (& here let me say that this talk in the papers about the “troops being anxious to meet the enemy” and “spoiling for a fight” is all balderdash & no such thing) but a person’s pride (if he has any) will generally be sufficient to make him stand up manfully to the rack.
You would be astonished to know how many stragglers and skulkers there is in the rear in time of action, but it is so among all the troops. Some men who to home were the first class are nothing here but the lowest kind of inferiors just because they get discouraged & do not take care of themselves & skulk in time of battle. This last is a killer on any soldier, that is for a military reputation.
There is a report here in camp that we are going into camp for a few days. If so I wish you would hurry along that tobacco I sent for in yesterday’s letter. A pound of fine cut chewing tobacco. The postage will probably be 8 ct. I believe Len Wells charges too much postage. Don’t think he takes advantage of the new postage law in sending goods to the army.
There is two rations of whiskey issued today. Some are just fools enough to get drunk on it & it don’t amount to a spoonful.
I was sorry to hear of Aunt Sarah’s being hurt. They must have been careless. I guess Uncle Skinner did not have hold of her at the time.
I am sorry Uncle Skinner has got such a bad name for arresting deserters & if it is so they have occasion to dislike him. One is Jim Wicks of Easton who is home on furlough sick with the consumption & last spring Uncle S. arrested him & took him to Troy to the Provost Marshall when he was so sick that it liked to kill him & he is very low now. If this is so it is rough & the meanest trick I ever heard of. He had all necessary authority to be at home too. I don’t know nothing about the truth of the above and Lem does not.
What is John going to do for funds next fall when he returns to Princeton? Write me how he succeeded in the stewardship of the seminary. I should like to see him & Laura & Willie first rate. I cannot imagine why he don’t write to me once in a while, ain’t had a word from him since the short note when “Will” was born.
I have written twice to Lem & got an answer from one.
I would like to know where Hiram Schofield is & what rank he holds & see if Uncle Zina’s folks knows where Bill Dunahin is? How is Will Sherman getting along? Is Jim Sherman tending bar for Gil Woodard? I heard he was. What is Uncle Zina doing? Haying? I feel as though I would much rather (of choice) help some of them through haying than help Gen. Sherman with his haying, but of the two think the latter the most urgent of the two.
I owe Uncle Lem’s folks a letter, but will have to wait till I get a little paper. I don’t know but you had better get about 2 quires of note & 2 packs of envelopes & send by mail. Do not double the paper but do it up straight & flat. I think we will get six months pay soon & of course will send some pay to you immediately.
My best respects to all the folks little & big. Much love to Aunt Sarah.
I have bought a wool hat & agreed to pay what it cost at home. Ab sent it to John Larmon.
Will close hoping to hear from you. I remain your own living boy.

Will G. Fisher