Harper’s Ferry, May 16, 1861

I have written you twice since reaching this place, once a day, and am again seated for the purpose of complying with your request to write daily when able. And here let me mention that until otherwise advised you will direct your letters to “Captain N.H.R. Dawson, 4th Ala. Volunteers, Winchester Va.” This is done to prevent letters from passing thro’ the United States where they would be liable to interference.

Tell me if you have received my letters of the 14th and 15th from this place. I am a little better this morning, but my feet are so sore that I can hardly walk and my throat is still suffering.

If I could have one hour to be with my much loved Elodie I would be myself again in a little while. How singular that I should be engaged to the sister of Mrs. Lincoln. I wish you would write her to that effect so that in case of being taken prisoner I will not be too severely dealt with. Do you not think it was a very politic step in me to engage such an advocate at the headquarters of the enemy? I see that your mother has declined the hospitalities of the White House. I enclose you several clips from a Lynchburg paper. When you have read that in regard to the Cadets and their glory, please put it in the envelope and have it directed to Co. R.B. Rhett Jr., Charleston So. Ca. As I would like to see it in the Mercury.

I hope in a few days to write you more interesting letters as I will then have had an opportunity of seeing the beauties of the scenery.

Mrs. Hardie is at Winchester about 30 miles by rail road. She is very much attached to her husband, and I admire her for it.

My own dear Elodie, when will you be mine? When will you tell me that you will give me your hand at the altar? I will not ask you to marry me while the dangers of war as imminent as it would make your troubles greater in case of an accident to me, but if we have peace will you not consent to name an early day after my return? Please consider this subject. I love you so devotedly that I can see no reason for a long engagement, and I afraid that some military rival may contest my claims to your heart. You are the idol of my company, being identified with our flag, and the young men never lose an opportunity of mentioning you as one of its makers. Tell Mrs. White she has reason to be jealous of you as you have got all the credit of this beautiful banner.

Have you heard from your mother in regard to our engagement? Will she write me through you? If she does not, her letter may never reach, and I might in this way inadvertently be guilty of impoliteness in not replying to thank her for giving her consent.

The indications are that Kentucky and Missouria will secede. Have you seen the proceedings of the Kentucky legislature and the account of the outrages at St. Louis? The conduct of the slaves should make every man spring to arms. A large number of volunteers are here from Maryland. A very deep undercurrent of indignation against the Federal authorities exists in the state, and she will eventually secede.

Can you read my letters? I fear not but write hoping that you can. And now goodbye. May God bless, guard, and protect you always is my earnest and constant prayer.

Ever and affectionately yours,

N.H.R. Dawson

May 16, 1861


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


Residence (County): 
Dallas County, AL


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