Gen. Lafayette McLaws, whose division included Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade, wrote his wife in Georgia from Leesburg on Sept. 4, 1862:
“We arrived here yesterday after very fatiguing marching. The enemy are not here, although the day previous to our arrival their cavalry had been driven from the town by a small force of our men.
“The inhabitants were very enthusiastic in their reception of us. The ladies in particular were demonstrative. But I am very suspicious of people who live on the border, and whose property has been carefully preserved….
“What our next move will be remains to be seen. Many of our men are without shoes, and all of them are very ragged, in addition we have been marching for the last three days with nothing to eat but fresh meat and green corn. One day with nothing but corn and that not in abundance. One day there was nothing to eat….
“But our men do not grumble, they only straggle. Riding off the road anywhere you can see parties of two & three & more settled in fence corners with green corn piled around & perhaps evidence of a meal from a stray hog or chicken. These men say they intend to join their regiment so soon as they become rested a little. They do not belong to any particular Corps but to all Corps and divisions.”
Excerpts from McLaws’ letters via the 2002 history A Soldier’s General, The Civil War Letters of Major General Lafayette McLaws, by John C. Oeffinger.