Letter about/from Wilkinson Rifles

May 23, 1862
Georgia Weekly Telegraph
Editor Telegraph: I enclose you the following touching letter from the Chaplain of the Third Georgia Regiment, to the parents of the deceased, William M. Deese, of the Wilkinson Rifles, the first company which left Wilkinson county for the war, who fell in the battle of the "glorious Third," at South Mills, on the 19th April. It encourages the living soldier, who braves everything for our defence, to know that if he shall fall in the conflict, he is not forgotten at home, but that his memory is cherished by those he has given his life to defend. The writer of this knew the deceased well, and nothing said in his praise in not more than true; and although but 18 or 19 years old, he responded to the first summons of his country, and had served his twelve months out. On the day of the battle, Mr. Deese, although a membre of the Regimental Band and not required by duty to enter the fight, laid aside his bugle, took up a musket, and entered the ranks and fought gallantly for five hours in the most hotly contested conflict of this war, and fell in the last moments of the battle, pierced by a rifle ball through the head. His regiment returning to the battle-field the next moing, fund his body, his pockets rifle, and most of his apparel abstracted. His comrades in arms secured his body and sent it home to his stricken parents where it was interred in Wilkinson county in the presence of over six hundred friends, who, weeping, are proud to point to the example of his valor, encouraging their brothers, husbands and sons who are yet spared from the sacrifice. C.

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