This letter was written by Pvt. George S. Hayes (1840-1862) of Co. E, 29th Georgia Infantry. Co. E was Capt. William J. Young’s company which was called the Ochlochnee Light Infantry (“O. L. Infantry,” see envelope). The company entered into the service at Savannah on 27 July 1861. It was until January 1862, however before the 29th Georgia was fully uniformed and equipped ready for service. Before the end of January, the 29th Georgia regiment would be called up to the coastal defenses at Savannah.
In his letter, George writes his sister, Sallie Thweatt Raines Hayes (1839-1878) of contracting the measles which laid him down for a few days but less than a year later, on 20 October 1862, he died of pneumonia in Thomas county, Georgia. Sallie married George Washington Taylor.
Other letters by member of the 29th Georgia that I have transcribed and posted on Spared & Shared include:
Smith G. Homan, Co. F, 29th Georgia (Confederate/1 Letter)
John H. Lanier, Co. H, 29th Georgia (Confederate/1 Letter)
Timothy Lanier, Co. I, 29th Georgia (Confederate/1 Letter)
Darien, McIntosh county, Georgia
December 29, 1861
Miss Sallie T. R. Hayes
I received your letter in due time. It found me very sick at the time I received it but it was only from the measles. They broke out on me very thick—as thick as they could break out on any person. I wasn’t sick much but three days. It made me very weak. I stayed in a very nice and comfortable room. There were three more boys in the room with me—names Ed Everett, John A. McKinnon, and Tom Hicks. I came out day before yesterday to give Bill John Mackin my place. He was just taking the measles. I am doing very well—as well as anybody could do from the measles. And Bill came out this morning and gave one his place. There are so many sick and gone home that we can hardly make up a guard and besides that, we have taken away five guards from each company. We haven’t but five posts now so you can tell for yourself how it is when you can hardly get five men a day to stand guard.
We have got the seven years itch in the Battalion. There are three cases.
What did you all do for Christmas in Old Thomas? The year 1861—I don’t think it was [as good] a one as 1860. We had I don’t know how many eggnogs. We boys in the hospital had two. Christmas day down here was the dullest day we have had since we have been in the service. I came out of the hospital that day and I could not see anybody hardly in camps. There were all gone to church and town.
I have told you all the news. Give my love to all the family and Grandma & Pink the first time you see them. Tell all to write when they can. You must reserve a good portion of love to yourself.
Your affectionate brother, — George S. Hayes