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LT: August 2, 1864 Harvey J. Hightower (20th Georgia)

Editor’s Note: Harvey (or Harvie) J. Hightower belonged to Company G, 20th Georgia.  The 20th Georgia belonged to Longstreet’s (Anderson’s) First Corps, and participated in the Siege of Petersburg. This letter of Hightower to  his sister Martha written during the Siege of Petersburg was originally published in The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, Number 2 (June 1956), pages 188-189.

Harvey Hightower to Martha Hightower

Camp – 20th Ga. Regt
Aug the 2nd, 1864

Miss Martha S. Hightower

My Dear Sister[,]  I Embrace the present opportunity of dropping you a few lines to inform you that I am still in the land of the living & Enjoying very good health1[.]  Sister I am on picket t day near Chaf[f]in bluf[.] [O]ur division left Petersburg on the 29th of July[,] [j]ust 3 days before the blow up[.]2 I tell you I am not Sorry we left Either this way they have got [of] blowing up people3[.] I dont believe in it Sister[.] I have been in a great deal of troubble for some days[.] I heard that Sellie had his arm Shot off[.] [I]s it so or not[?] [W]right to me as soon as posable & relieve me of the Suspence[.] I hope it is a faulse report for you know there IS a great many rumors afloat that are faulse and may be this is one of them[.] I wish I was there this morning & then I would know of a certain[.] I believe I want to go home wors than I did before [I] went[.] [T]here are many things that I wanted to do that I did not do but I [was] no Satisfaction to my self nor any one Else while tere my health was so bad[.] I think if I was there this morning I could interest you for my healt is much better than when I left home Sweet home[.] I have been very buissy Ever Since I got back[.] I have been in comd of the Co nearly all the while capt Fou[n]tain has been Acting [illegible word][SOPO: but probably Colonel or commander][.] Well Sister as I have fail to interest you I will draw to a close[.] [T]ell Mr. Thomerson family Bill & bud are in perfect health & all so Tom hamby[.] [W]right to me soon & give me all the darts [news][.] Give my [love] to all of the family & kiss [illegible word] & Harine [?] for me[.] Farewell Dear Sister[.] I hope to meet you Soon[.]     Harvie

PS Sister let me know how bad I was fooled in your next & I [want to know] how the the [sic] other Scrape is progressing but keep out your self[.] I tell you lem dont know nothing[.]


H[arvey] J H[ightower]4,5


  1. Article footnote states: “The Twentieth Georgia took an active part in the Battle of the Wilderness, again suffering more casualties than any other regiment in the brigade. It continued as a part of Longstreet’s First Army Corps until Appomattox. War of the Rebellion, Ser. I, Vol. XXXVI, pt. 1, p. 1060; Vol. XLII, pt. 1, p. 877; Vol. XLVI, pt. 1, p. 1268.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: Hightower is mistaken somewhere.  The “blow up”, aka the mine explosion that resulted in the Crater, occurred on July 30, 1864.  If he left three days before, that would be July 27, NOT July 29.
  3. Article footnote states: “The blow up refers to the Battle of the Crater, July 30, 1864.”
  4. Article footnote states: “Following the war Harvey Hightower returned to Muscogee County. He died in Atlanta in March, 1914.”
  5. Hightower, Harvey J. and Dewey W. Grantham, Jr. (ed). “Letters from H. J. Hightower, A Confederate Soldier, 1862-1864.” The Georgia Historical Quarterly (40.2).  (June 1956): 188-9. Print.
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