Diary of Orrin Brown—Nov 10, 1864

Atlanta Union Station in ruins, 1864

Diary of Orrin Brown, Atlanta, Georgia

Thursday–Nov. 10th

It is all quiet in Camp today. I heard that the result of yesterdays fight was that between 200 and 300 of the rebs killed & wounded & 200 taken prisoners. The object of the rebs was to get in and take a drove of Cattle that our forces had placed there on purpose to trap the rebs and it worked first rate. The captain of Company F of our Regt. came about noon and ordered us to pack up, well we packed up and were marched to our Corps about 2 miles, but the regt. is not here. I set down and wrote a letter home and one to the C. Commition at Chattanooga. Our mess then went about 1/2 mile to an old camp and went into one of the tents and put up for the night, got our supper and went to bed. The day has been quite pleasent Clear and warm.

There are many diaries and journals surviving from the Civil War.  The Georgia Encyclopedia features several military and civilian covering this exact time period:

There are dozens of diaries and memoirs by Union troops who marched to the sea under Sherman. Historian Joseph Glatthaar wrote a book on the march based almost entirely on those firsthand accounts, including more than sixty diaries and reminiscences by enlisted men and junior officers. From their writings, Glatthaar was able to concentrate much of his analysis on their attitudes toward Sherman, toward his “total war” approach, and toward the many civilians and slaves they encountered en route.
Among the best-known civilian perspectives on Sherman’s march are those of Joel Chandler HarrisEliza Frances Andrews, and Dolly Sumner Lunt (Burge). Harris’s thinly fictionalized On the Plantation (1892) includes a curiously benign account of the movement of Sherman’s troops through Putnam County and the ransacking of Turnwold Plantation, where he lived and worked. Andrews’s classic War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl, 1864-1865 (1908) recounts her harrowing retreat from her home in Washington; as Union forces approached, she moved across ravaged areas to find refuge at her sister’s plantation in the southwestern part of the state. Lunt’s A Woman’s Wartime Journal (1918), reprinted under different titles since its original publication, recounts the hardships she faced in managing a plantation near Covington before, during, and after Sherman’s men moved through the area.
The most widely read first-person chronicle of Sherman’s activities in Georgia comes from Sherman himself. One of the first major military figures on either side to publish his account of the war, Sherman devoted more than a fourth of his memoir’s 800-plus pages to the Atlanta campaign, the March to the Sea, the occupation of Savannah, and the policies toward freedmen that he initiated there. As much a historical treatise, full of facts and figures, as a personal memoir, Sherman’s two-volume work (1875) was revised and updated twice before his death in 1891 and has appeared in numerous editions since, including several that include only the Georgia portion of the work, one of which is entitled War Is Hell.”



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