Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, August 26 and 28, 1864


Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, August 26 and 28, 1864


Capers writes that the Yankees have ceased shelling Atlanta and there is now a stillness that has fallen over the city. The men are happy but subdued. He talks about the work that the Yankees have done and marvels at their engineering skill but states that it is in imitation of their own work. In his letter from the 28th, Capers writes that the enemy appear to be in retreat but he is not convinced. He then closes by saying he is going to church service and gives Lottie their location.


A1961.1, Box 3, Folder 26


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Ellison Capers Collection









Date Valid


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Friday - August 26th/64

My dear Lottie

This is an interesting morning to us, a morning of infinite relief to the citizens of Atlanta. The enemy ceased his artillery fire on the city yesterday afternoon, & the silence of his heavy guns during the evening & all night, was evidence to us that he was retiring. This morning at day dawn our scouts went into his empty works in our front (on the right) & along our line, as far as the center of our army. He has gone from half our army front & I write amid a calm stillness which reminds me of peaceful hours in the past.

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Our men are rejoiced but seem subdued by the stillness prevailing & the perfect freedom, temporarily existing, in our front from all danger. I went over the enemy’s works, in our front, this morning, & admired the engineering skill displayed & the great amount of work done. The Yankees are a great working people. Their works are all modeled after ours. Joe Johnston taught them how to build breast works & they imitate us exactly, adding, however, five times our labor to their imitation. As I walked back

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through the beautiful valley, all was quiet & still where only a few hours before hostile guns were carrying death to noble hearts.

Sunday Aug 28th

My darling Lottie

I deferred writing you further, until this movement of the enemy became more palpable. They are today mostly across the river, & our army is quiet. It looks very like a retreat, but the tardiness & deliberation of the move makes it a matter of doubt to me. He has certainly quitted the siege of Atlanta. I am going in to

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the city directly, to attend service at the Episcopal church. What a beautiful lesson the Epistle for today (14th Sunday after Trinity) is. How plainly the code of the Christian is there laid down. And the collect is very like your favorite. We are in Bivouac, & have been since Friday morning, two miles west of Atlanta, enjoying a rest, & a delightful immunity from shot and shell. Our mail is just now come. I hope a letter has come for me. News by Ben is my last news. No letter in the mail for me. Good bye my darling.

Your Ellie


Capers, Ellison, 1837-1908, “Letter from Ellison Capers to his wife Lottie, August 26 and 28, 1864,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 13, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/499.