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Letter From C.H. Lewis During The Civil War – 1864
Click here to read more about C.H. Lewis

I wish you all a merry Christmas
Savannah, GA
Dec. 25, 1864

     Once more under the protecting hand of God and the waving of the American flag I am permitted to address a few lines to my beloved parents.

     Yes, the old flag with its broad stripes and bright stars is now waving over the city of Savannah.  We first planted our flag upon the courthouse on the morning of the 21st.  The rebs made but little resistance here, they were afraid to meet Billy Sherman and therefore evacuated.  They crossed over the river in the direction of Charleston and it is reported that General Foster has cut off their retreat.  I hope the report is true.  Savannah is a very pretty city.  The streets are wide and well paved with brick and cross each other at right angles.  The streets are also well shaded but the buildings are mostly of the old English style which looks very odd to me.  The population before the war 63,000 inhabitants.  The city is 18 miles from the salt water but it is called a seaport town.  Large vessels can come up the river to Savannah and much further.

     I have not seen the salt water yet but will before long no doubt, as I understand we are going on another campaign to Charleston.  We left Atlanta on the 15th day of November and arrived in Savannah on the 21st of this month during which time we have been without mail or communication from any source.  We marched over 300 miles right through the heart of Georgia and tore up the R.R. all the way from Atlanta to this place.  We put down the pontoon four times, first across the Comulga river and then across the Oconee river and twice across the Ozechu (?) river.  The last time we put it down under fire of the enemy but luckily there was no one killed.

     I stood the march well, walked all the way and carried my knapsack.  We ran out of rations before we got through and everyone had to look out for himself for more than two weeks, we lived on sweet potatoes and beef.  My shoes give out and I have been barefoot for three weeks and a good many others are in the fix but the weather is very warm and we don’t suffer with cold any.  I would to give you some of the particulars of our journey but time and paper will not admit to it this time.  Just before I left Atlanta I sent you 10.00 (70.00? – illegible) dollars of greenbacks, did you receive it yet or not?  I saw Eben yesterday, he is well and hearty.  He had got a letter from you.  I was glad to learn of your good health and also that Byron was home on furlough.  Oh, how I would like to see the boy but these are war times and we must put up with many inconveniences.  I am looking anxiously for a letter from you every day, perhaps one will come today.  tell Byron to write me a good long letter and tell all the news.  You must write soon, give my love to all who are not tinctured with Copperheadism.  We did not hear (how) the election went until we got here.  I tell you there was some cheering when we heard that Abe was elected.

I must close.   
Yours as ever,  
C.H. Lewis


Letter contributed in August, 2002 by Bill Dyer from his personal family collection of historical documents.
There is an Eben Hardy profile also in the Civil War section.  Eben is not a common name and this may be who C.H. Lewis was referring to in the letter above?


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Revised: March 23, 2009