Will Fisher to his mother
Atlanta, Georgia
October 23, 1864

Dear Mother,

It is Sabbath PM and I am very lonesome. As I told you in my letter of the 20th and 21st the regt. went on a foraging expedition and I was left to take care of Capt. Hall’s quarters and things, and, it is something I never done before, to be absent from the co. for a single day, therefore I feel lonesome and to use an old phrase “like a cat in a strange garret.” And this feeling was somewhat increased last night by the report that they had got into some difficulty with the Rebel cavalry, and a brigade was sent out to their assistance. Some would be mighty glad to escape a fight by being honorably absent, that is absent with leave, but I am not, for I have been with the co. in every adventure thus far and don’t like to miss any now, although I have as much of a disliking for the pursuit as anyone else.
The boys I suppose are out about 20 or 30 miles in the direction of Jonesboro. Of the particulars of their difficulty I know nothing only just that last night word came in that they had run against a snag, or that a division of Rebel cavalry had got in their rear and were endeavoring to cut off their retreat, but if there is nothing more than a division of cavalry opposing them, I’ll risk the issue, for better material never composed a brigade or men than does that same 1st Brigade in question.
We have had some good news from Gen. Sheridan’s army in the valley, to the effect that he had again beaten Early. Capturing 50 pieces of artillery (which you need not believe) 1600 prisoners, (a little more likely) and quite a number of wagons and ambulances. I rejoice to hear this, for every one like that is as good as a 100,000 for Uncle Abraham, but I will not talk politics on the Sabbath day, for I told you at the commencement that it was.
Mr. White, the chaplain preached an excellent sermon today to a small congregation of 14 of us and he was unusually interesting. His text was “For your sin will surely find you out.” I lead the singing, have done so quite often of late when John Larmon is absent. He is the chorister & we have quite a choir of some six or eight pretty good singers. When we first came here the chaplain had service in a church down in the city two or three Sabbaths, and one day, Mr. Gilman (one of the choir) and I were walking down together to church, and we were rather late and it was pretty warm so we hurried and walked pretty fast and upon reaching the church I was quite warm, and Larmon was not there, and quite a house full of strangers including one or two officers as high as maj. gen. But sing I must, so we went forward to the front seat, and it being time, the hymn was read at once, and struck in, but being so heat-up, and somewhat embarrassed, I come mighty near making a fizzle of it, for I could not hardly get my breath, and my voice trembled like everything, and I should have broken down if I had not got some help from the chaplain who, seeing the condition, set in enough to drown my voice. I would have given ten dollars to have been out of that church just then, but the next tune if I didn’t bear on with thunder tones then no matter.
They are around today sending off the sick to the rear. I really don’t know whether it means to get up and get, just getting them back where they get better diet. There is a great deal of scurvy among the men yet, and I suppose they want to get where a vegetable diet can be procured, at least there ought to be, for it is impossible to get it here.
The Sanitary is taxed to its uttermost to supply these cursed villains and dead beats hanging around the hospitals. The doctors have their messes supplied and of course the servants who cook for them have to have what they want, so that with the very limited supply that the Commission can get through, the sick fair rather slim on it. Clothing they have any amount of and if a soldier goes to the hospital for only a day or two he comes back well provided with shirts, drawers and so forth.
Now the Sanitary and Christian Commissions are noble institutions, but the former have too many rascals for their agents. If it were not for prejudicing people from giving to its fund, I would write an anonymous letter to the Post, exposing these blasted Drs.
Notice if you get my letter of the 20th and 21st in which yours of Sept. 28th was answered. I also sent for quite a lot of things in it. At the end of each month after this I shall give you a list of all letters written during the month so that you may know if you get them all. Please do the same. I got Don Stevenson’s, Hol’s and George’s, and Dan Smart’s pictures the other day all taken together. Love to Aunt S. and you.

Will Fisher