The Old Confederate’s Story: Chapter 11

This is the eleventh chapter to Robert Carden’s story. This is a short chapter that briefly discusses the trenches of Atlanta and abruptly ends with Carden returning home. Later chapters discuss Reconstruction and life after the war.

While we were in the trenches at Atlanta the authorities gave so much a pound for minie balls picked up in the rear of our main line, as our ammunition was running short and we wanted to send them back the first chance we got. Those that were whole did not have to be moulded again. Some of the men made good wages picking them up. When we would be in line of battle or in the ditches when some part of our army would be engaged at some part of the line the soldiers would write letters to friends on the line to find out whether any of our acquaintances was killed or wounded. We would get a small stick about six inches long and split one end far enough to put the envelope in, then take a string and tie around the split end to hold it secure, then toss it where we wanted it to go. Some one would toss it again and so on until it reached its destination. I have got an answer the same day.

I remember when we were in line of battle at Atlanta that the Georgia militia would be in reserve just behind our line, and they would have a negro cook to bring their rations to them at their line, and I have seen the negroes carry a frying pan up in front of their heads to keep the Yankees balls from hitting them. The balls would probably have glanced off anyway, as a negro’s skull is almost bomb proof.

Soon after I got home, in 1865 I married and settled down at the old home. I looked after the family, my mother being a widow, as my father died when I was about ten years old. I reared a large family of children, two boys living in Iowa, one daughter in California, the rest that are living are near me in Tennessee.

– Compiled by Leonard Martinez and originally from the memoirs of Robert C. Carden.

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