Quartermaster Alexander Ayers of the 125th Illinois, writing home to his wife 150 years ago today…
Ackworth Ga June 7, 1864
Yours of May 23 had just been received which surely was a welcome messenger way down here in the wilderness. This is now the 35th day of this campaign and we have advanced in the enemys territory 108 miles—constantly driving them—there has been some pretty bad fighting and a good many men lost. We are now 32 miles from Atlanta. We may stay here a few days to let the troops rest for they are all most worn out—there may be some hard fighting before we get to Atlanta but I think if we get there we will stop for some time—every thing now looks as though the war must close soon. I do want to get home and so does most every body. The war must be closed. If it should close soon we should all get home how good we will feel.
My health is good and at present have not very hard work and pretty well secured from danger—my hand was not so sore as when I was at home—it is now quite well I should like to enjoy the strawberries with you but I hope you will have a good time without Lendly and Co. I hope will do well but do think the experience poorly tried.
You have never told me who enlisted as 100 day men. I hope the poor cowards will be brought out here and made to open their lines in the woods and mountains of Georgia from Chattanooga…. If the Rebs can not hold such a country as this they can not hold anything.
My love to you all
Your affectionate husband
Alexander Miller Ayers Papers, MARBL, Emory University