Letter written by Surgeon Albert Wilson of the 113th OH Volunteer Infantry, to his father, from the 113th headquarters in Jonesboro, GA. Wilson writes that they have destroyed the Macon railroad, and mentions the constant skirmishing on their march from Atlanta. The Union troops were able to drive the Confederates back. As the Confederates evacuated Atlanta, they destroyed their magazines, ammunition, and locomotives along the way. Wilson writes they will continue to pursue the Confederates, as General Sherman is not the type to rest while there is still work to be done. Wilson hopes that the war will soon be over, but is mortified that “Rebels of the free states” are joining together to resist the draft.
Hd Qrs 113th OVI
Jonesboro Georgia Sept 3d – 1864
We are now at the above named place 20 miles from Atlanta (by Rail) on the Macon RR which we have destroyed in a great measure for a number of miles both in front & rear. About 8 days since we cut loose from atlanta moving with 15 days Rations passing to the south of Atlanta and striking the R.R. at Rough & Ready about 8 miles from this place & now to our rear. During this movement we had constant skirmishing as we were closely watched and entirely surrounded by rebel cavalry. Our movment when first discovered was mistaken for a retreat and they detached 30 thousand men to take care of us On Sept 1st we came up and found the enemy entrenched along the R.R. Our Corps was ordered to attack which they did and succeeded with comparatively small loss in driving them from their works & capturing many prisoners & 8 pieces artillery And putting the army to flight much of this success is attributable to our division and not a little to our brigade. Pursuit was made at the earliest convenient moment and since then we have no reliable news
but brisk artillery firing 6 or 8 miles distant was heard last eve and nearly all day today. The rumor last circulated in Camp says that the 4th Corps attacked on yesterday and the rebel army now reinforced by the force left back at Atlanta and in trenched and were repulsed but both the armies are now said to be in trenched and a rebel deserter just in says the rebs intend to attack today. Official news of the occupation of Atlanta on yesterday at 11 oclock reached us today the Rebel army having evacuated the previous night. They blew up their magazines and burned 80 car loads of ammunition & destroyed several locomotives. The latest rumor is that the 14th Corps will return to atlanta I do not think we will rest however until the Rebel army in our front is completely routed & I cannot say that I have any desire to stop until the work is thoroughly accomplished. Sherman’s not the man to desist or rest for an hour while there is work to be done. I have been unwell for the past 2 weeks but have still kept on duty. I am very anxious to hear from Cossins but shall not be able to for the present the 23d Corps passed up to our left yesterday eve
I have strong hopes that the war will soon be over and we will be permitted once more to return to civil life. I am very much mortified to learn that the peace party or rather the rebels of the free states are banding themselves together for the avowed purpose of resisting the draft. Political demagogues who mislead them however will some day (when the soldiers who have fought the battles of the country) be brought to justice and made to regret the day they ever gave aid and comfort to the rebels in arms. We in the army are of the opinion that as the war democrats have had sufficient strength to nominate a war ticket at the Chicago Convention that there need be but little fear of resistance to the draft to come off on the 6th inst Weather here has been escepively hot & dry untill today. Today we have had copious rains. The Mail is about to leave and I must close
I remain your unworthy son
Col Jesse H Wilson
Albert Wilson originally enrolled at age 32 as an assistant surgeon with the 1st OH Volunteer Infantry on April 16, 1861. He was mustered out on August 16, 1861, but rejoined them immediately and served with the regiment until he was discharged for promotion on September 30, 1863. He then joined the 113th OH Volunteer Infantry as a surgeon and served until mustering out at Louisville, KY on July 6, 1865. His father Jesse was a former Ohio militia colonel.