Todd-Dawson-036

Transcription: 

Bolivar Heights, May 29, 1861

I have been disappointed today in not hearing from you but will endeavor to cure the disappointment in directing myself to writing you. We have no war news today, and things really begin to assume a very quiet appearance. But how long they will continue is entirely uncertain. The call for drill has just beat, but as I have a little headache and am indisposed to stop my letter I have sent Mr. McCraw to take my place. He is an exceedingly clever gentleman and a first rate officer, and I am much attached to him.

We have had quite an excitement in our Reg. today. A large majority of the Reg. have requested Col. Jones to resign. Seven of the ten captains, including myself, have told his friend that in our opinion he should resign. He went to headquarters this morning and returned determined not to resign. The officers are very much disgusted with him, and I fear that the Reg. will never be worth much as the Col. I utterly incompetent, and we have no respect or confidence in him. I feel demoralized to be under the command of such a man, and if I could do so handily would resign my commission and return to my loved Elodie and home.

You think you could only control me in those cases where I am willing to be controlled. Do you not think I will always be inclined to be controlled by you? And that it will even be painful to disagree with you upon any subject? I have no anxiety to be sent to Washington, but I will no option. A soldier always obeys, and I will have to follow my orders. I would much more readily obey and order to go home as it would reunite me to one who is now dearer to me than all else upon the face of the green earth. As I write the band of the Miss. brigade is playing a spirited martial air, and the music carries me back to my own loved Elodie. How sweet it will be, in our home in the quiet of the evening where none shall be present to disturb the revelry of the hour, to sit by you at the piano, listen to your voice as its strains ascend upon the air. This will be a happiness scarcely deserved by one so unworthy of the wealth of your young and trusting heart. Does it please you for me to write you of my feelings and hopes, where you are the vision that crowns then all in the golden rays of bright sunset? How little will these privations that I now undergo be regarded when I will be with you to love you as you only deserve to be loved. I am exceedingly affectionate in all my feelings, and for the few that are loved by am willing to do everything. For you, my own dearest, I feel all the love that man can, and, as I have already told you, it is the gratification of a selfish feeling to love you, as it increases my happiness. To labor for you during the balance of my life will be a pleasure. And each day that intervenes between our marriage is a day of probation and trial for you know each year is now important to me in the future as I am not young enough to be able to throw even one away.

I see that the Blues have really gone. I hope they will do well, tho’ I have lost all respect for their captain who, in the opinion of many who were his friends, has acted with great simplicity in the matter and has, as is usual with such persons, been punished for his conduct by being compelled to go for three instead of one year. We make no complaints, but we think that we who were the first companies to volunteer deserved as much consideration as the Blues. The state of Ala. has treated us badly, and Gen. Moore will never be forgiven. We were sent off without tents or accoutrements in sufficient number, and the consequence has been that we have suffered greatly. The people of Ga. and Va. have been kinder to us than the authorities of our own state. And I begin to feel that the vile men have remained at home to reap all the benefits of our dangers and privations. Two young ladies from Charleston came to see us yesterday and spent the whole afternoon with us. I told them I was not a young man and gave them over to the lieutenants who entertained them while I went out to drill.

I will add to that later in the morning. Goodbye my own love Elodie.

Every affectionately yours,

N.H.R. Dawson

Date: 
May 29, 1861

Author(s)

Unit: 
4th Alabama Infantry
Rank: 
Captain
Residence (County): 
Dallas County, AL

Recipient(s)

Residence (County): 
Dallas County, AL

From

From State: 
Virginia
From Municipality: 
From Note: 
Bolivar Heights

To

To State: 
Alabama
To Municipality: 
To County: 
Dallas

Get in touch

  • Department of History
    220 LeConte Hall, Baldwin Street
    University of Georgia
    Athens, GA 30602-1602
  • 706-542-2053
  • history@uga.edu

eHistory was founded at the University of Georgia in 2011 by historians Claudio Saunt and Stephen Berry

Learn More about eHistory