The following letter was written by 20 year-old George W. Huggins (1843-1875) while serving as a private in Co. D, 10th Georgia Infantry. George was a member of the Independent Blues, a volunteer company in Augusta, Georgia, before he enlisted in the 10th Georgia regiment in July 1861. He was captured (unwounded) by the Union’s VI Army Corps in the Battle of Crampton’s Gap (South Mountain) on 14 September 1862 and therefore missed the bloody fight at Sharpsburg three days later. He was paroled and sent for exchange from Fort Delaware to Aiken’s Landing, Virginia, on 10 November 1862.
From the letter, we know that Huggins had rejoined his regiment encamped near Fredericksburg by the spring of 1863. Most likely he was with them at the Battle of Fredericksburg where the 10th Georgia was held in reserve in an all-Georgia Brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. Paul J. Semmes in McLaw’s Division of Longstreet’s 1st Corps. Though he anticipated the regiment moving south, within a month they would be called upon to blunt the advance of the Union Army’s VI Corps and at Salem Church in the Battle of Chancellorsville.
George was the orphaned son of Abraham B. Huggins (1799-1854) and Eliza (1806-1857) of Richmond county, Georgia. Both George and his older brother, William Henry Harrison Huggins (1840-Aft1895) served in the same company. William entered as a musician and mustered out as a sergeant following his capture at Richmond on 3 April 1865. Like George, William was also taken prisoner at Crampton’s Gap and exchanged at the same time as his brother.
I have not been able to identify the recipient of this letter but suspect he was a member of the large and prominent Walker family of Augusta, Georgia.
Camp of the 10th Georgia Regiment
April 2, 1863
Mr John R. Walker—Dear Sir,
Your kind favor came safe to hand and found I and brother William both well. I was more than glad to hear from you and to hear you was well and had such a nice time at Ringgold, Georgia. I would liked very much to of been with you for I know that you had a gay old time of it. I know I should of.
I am sorry I have no news of interest to write but everything is so still and nothing stirring in the neighborhood of Fredericksburg. Orders have just been received to send off everything that we could not carry on a march for we expect to march in a short time. It is thought we will go south. I cannot tell where. I wish they would send us out west for I think I would like it very much out there.
I received a letter from Maggie and Jinnie yesterday. They are all well at home. I never have received a letter from my duck yet. She has dropped me, I believe. What do you think about it? Don’t you think she has treated me rather bad?
The health of our troops as far as I can learn is very good but there are so many troops here that it is impossible for me to see or hear from them all. Furloughs are stopped here for awhile but I guess they will give furloughs again after awhile. I will have to come to a close as I do not know what to write.
I received a letter from my sister. She was very sick at that time. Brother William begs to be remembered in love to you. My best love to you. write soon. Nothing more but remain yours respectfully, — Geo. W. Huggins
Company D, 10th Ga. Reg.