Todd-Dawson-073

Transcription: 

Manassas, July 21, 1861

We have had a terrible battle today, my dear Elodie, but have achieved a glorious victory. Our brigade was in the hottest of the engagement, and the 4th Ala. Reg. has been cut to pieces. I have had from twenty to thirty killed and wounded in the Cadets, but thanks to a merciful Creator and your prayers, I escaped unscathed. A cannon ball struck a fence which I was crossing and knocked me down, but the only harm done me was a dislocation of my ankle which I do not think will give me much pain. We have taken all the artillery of the enemy, their baggage and stores. Their loss is estimated at 4,000 to 5,000. But over this victory we have to mourn the loss of many of our best and bravest men. Mr. J. W. Stone, W. A. Lowry, E. G. Ursory, Bohannon, Taylor and several others are killed in the Cadets. W. H. Harrison, Jr. has lost his right arm. Rev. Turner is shot thro' one of his legs. Geo. Cleveland is slightly wounded in the heel and several others whom you do not know. [1]

My dearest, I wrote you a few lines to inform you of our arrival this morning and wrote you at the earliest moment from Gen. Beauregard's headquarters of my safety and to thank God for it. My joy is great, and I attribute much to your prayers.

I have no time to write more fully. Dearest continue to pray for me. My escape is most miraculous. It is now near twelve o'clock at night.

Our Col. is killed, Lieut. Col. and major wounded. [2]

Ever affty and sincerely,

Your own devoted,

N. H. R. Dawson

Footnotes: 
  1. John W. Stone, a private in Nathaniel's company. Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls, 1861-1865, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Ala. William A. Lowry, a private in Nathaniel's company. Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls, 1861-1865, Alabama Department of Archives and History. Edward G. Ursory, a private in Nathaniel's company. Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls, 1861-1865, Alabama Department of Archives and History. Probably Robert B. Bohannon, a private in Nathaniel's company. Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls, 1861-1865, Alabama Department of Archives and History. Probably William E. Taylor, a private in Nathaniel's company. Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls, 1861-1865, Alabama Department of Archives and History. William H. Harrison Jr., age thirty-four, from Summerfield, whom Nathaniel especially liked. Nathaniel described his wounding in a later letter: "He is an excellent young man. He acted very bravely and was near me when he was shot. I had commanded the company to cease firing when he came to me and said, 'Captain, I am [illegible] and see a Yankee. Let me shoot him.' I answered and watched him as he fired and saw his hand fly up as if the gun had rebounded. He came to me and said, 'My arm is shattered.' I sent him from the field." 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Summerfield, Dallas County, Ala. George W. Cleveland, a private in Nathaniel's company. Alabama Civil War Muster Rolls, 1861-1865, Alabama Department of Archives and History.
  2. Nathaniel was right that the wounds Egbert J. Jones received were mortal, but the colonel lingered for weeks before dying on September 1. Evander M. Law suffered an arm wound at Bull Run that left the arm essentially immobilized and useless. He served with distinction throughout the war and was probably promoted to major general just before war's end. "The Sobriquet 'Stonewall,'" Southern Historical Society Papers, vol. 19 (Richmond, 1891), 165. Charles L. Scott sustained a leg wound at Bull Run so severe he ultimately resigned his commission. "Sobriquet 'Stonewall,'" 165.
Date: 
July 21, 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 County: 
Prince William

To

To State: 
Alabama
To Municipality: 
To County: 
Dallas

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