Will Fisher to his mother
Atlanta, Georgia
September 6, 1864

Dear Mother,

Although I feel considerably indisposed, I will try and write a little for it is already past the time that I should have written you.
We are at last in triumphant possession of the famed city, Atlanta. Last Friday our regt., also one from each of the other brig’s in our div. went out on a reconnaissance in the direction of the city as had become the custom each day. Well, about 1 o’clock PM as we were leisurely proceeding along & as yet had met no Reb pickets, in came a courier at full speed bound for Gen. Slocum’s Hd. Qrs., saying that Col. Coburn, who was in command of a similar expedition sent out by the 3rd Div, was in Atlanta under rather suspicious circumstances, & wished us to hurry up our party and reinforce him. So up we started along the pike at nearly a double quick, and soon hove in sight of the “gate city,” and a little further and we enter the abandoned Rebel works, & finally the city itself.
The city which has cost us a hard summer’s work, for Atlanta has been the goal for which we were aiming, & every one of us looked forward to it as the grand object of the campaign. Gen. Slocum passed us on the road to the city with all his staff and soon after old Pappy Williams & Gen. Knipe with a large flag to raise over the city which so long had groaned under a cursed traitorous rag.
I feel so weak that I hardly think I will attempt a description of the city tonight but, if nothing happens, will tomorrow. My complaint is that this very debilitating disease known as camp diarrhea. The day we occupied the city (the 2nd Sept) was the first of it and when the rest were feeling so gay & enthusiastic, poor me could only grin & bear the griping pain & trot at diarrhea’s bid.
I had forgotten to tell you that General Slocum had got back and taken command of us. He rode the length of our lines at the Chattahoochee & received long & vociferous cheering. The same old peach.
I have taken a dose of Castor Oil (essence of ugliness) & it operates well. Will say good night till tomorrow.
Sept. 9th 1864
Guess I have waited long enough now to finish this but have not been able to finish it before. My diarrhea proved quite severe this time but now I have it under control so that I feel quite smart again. Hope I have not got another siege to undergo while in the service.
Atlanta has become quite a Yankee city already. The citizens I think are very glad it is taken. I have talked with a good many & I think it is a stronger Union place than Nashville or Louisville. The devoted Rebel sympathizers have pretty much all left, but there is lots of citizens left here for all that. We have come across a good many people here formerly from the North. There is a Mrs. Stone whose husband is now in Ft. Lafayette. She formerly went to school in Salem, her name was then Bailey. I also have seen a family here who are related to the Bassett family of Easton.
The Rebs destroyed a good deal of property here before leaving. On a switch track of the Augusta road here is five immense trains of ammunition, all burnt. We heard the bursting of the shell plain at the river, the night before we came in, but supposed it was a fierce artillery fire. We not knowing where Gen. Sherman was, but when we saw the ruins the mystery was solved.
Some heavy guns were spiked and left. I saw five 64-pounders in one place. The citizens say that they loaded them all onto the cars that PM and started to run them to Macon, but they soon came back having discovered that Sherman had cut the road & was laying across it & then they tried the Decator Road & this was also cut so they had to set them afire. Five engines and nearly a hundred cars loaded with shell, muskets, camp and garrison equipage.
The city is larger than I expected & had, before the siege, about 40,000 inhabitants & a good many machine shops & RR works.
I have not heard from you in a long time. You never have said whether you received my letter asking for some boots to be made or not. Nor for some paper & envelopes, & there is lots of things of which I am just as ignorant as I was two months ago when I wrote, but you must not think I am finding fault for I don’t intend to. But I have had the most scraping times to obtain envelopes in particular, that I ever saw. I am much obliged to you for the many that you have sent in your letters. Soon I hope to get some more.
I don’t know why they don’t pay us off. I am beginning to feel a little hard about it. I wrote some time in August. I wrote for two dollars. I have not got it yet.
Gen. Wheeler is disturbing our rear a little.
Mark what you have sent lately so that if I don’t get it you will know it. I shall order my boots on just as soon as I get paid, for I need them dreadfully. I sent some time ago for two pair to be made & if you didn’t get the letter let me know right off.
Please write soon. Love to Aunt Sarah and all the rest of the folks from your boy.