Lynchburg, May 7, 1861

This morning as the sun was rising, I left our camp and walked over to the city to put myself in better trim and hoping to receive at the office a letter from my much loved and worshipped Elodie. The scenery was beautiful. In the west, the blue beaks of [] rose up above the horizon and in the east, the early morning sun gilded the skies. To think of you at such a moment, when all around was beautiful, was a happiness—to know that in one bosom, pure as the morning air and gentle and true as the morning star, I was loved, was indeed a source of the greatest pleasure. And do you blame me for turning to the west and kissing the miniature I wear? Words cannot tell you of the depth and sincerity of my love, and all I fear is that I am unworthy of the love of my own Elodie, that she has allowed her feelings to control her judgment in having promised to be mine. I was not disappointed and found your letter of 2d May, which I have read and reread until I know it by heart. Why do you apologize for your letter when they give me so much pleasure? They are indeed to me one of the few sources of pleasure left.

I regret that Mr. Dennis will not send you the geraniums without telling you of the intention. You must not object to anything I do, for I am the party to be pleased in doing anything for you and wish you to remember in all sincerity and earnestness that what I do is to please myself, to enable me in some way to testify how truthfully I love you. Please tell Mr. D. that I will never cease to blame him for having warned you of the intention of the gift. My dear Elodie, will you excuse me for using the term as you may be made unhappy by having connected your fortune with him, and I pray and ask you, as you love me, to decline nothing that I may request and desire you to do for my sake. All that I have is but a small trifle in comparison with the wealth of your love. Did I think that Mr. H. could do so mean an act as to withhold my letters, I would get a furlough to punish his impertinence. I have written you daily except when traveling since leaving Selma, at Montgomery, Atlanta, Dalton, every day, and twice from this place, yesterday and today.

We are encamped about two miles from the city, on the fair grounds—a beautiful spot. We fared badly yesterday on account of the rain, but the weather is delightful this morning, and our men are all in fine spirits. We suffer many privations, not having tents, but they are borne cheerfully. My men seem much attached to me, and I am glad for your sake. The ladies of Selma had better bestow their favors upon the Guards and Cadets than the Blues, as they will need them all. I have no idea how long we remain here. The 3d Reg. Ala. Volunteers go to Norfolk this evening. The Kentucky Reg. went to Alexandria. They are a noble band of brave and generous men. I love them for your sake. We have favorable news from Kentucky, and I hope you will yet be gratified to see her one of the Confederate states. My dear girl, I must now close. I write very hurriedly and fear you will be ashamed of my letters, but you will have to know my weaknesses in time, and you may as well begin to learn them now. I had my hair shorn this morning and was vain enough to think you would value a lock of it, which was procured with difficulty, and I hope will be valued for that reason the more highly.

And do you still get flowers from our garden? When it becomes yours, how happy it will make me to see you cultivating them. I wish I could retire to some secluded spot in the beautiful valley of Va. and live with you shut out from the noise and confusion of the world. It is worth all else of this earth, your love and your smiles.

Remember me kindly to Mr. White and your sister. Ask Mr. White to remain at home, not to think of joining his company. He has a reason for remaining and should do so for your sake and his wife’s. I hope to meet your brother in some of our journeyings.

I do not know when we leave this point. Will give you notice.

And now, dear Elodie, the idol of a heart that is yearning to make you happy, good bye. May God guard, protect, and keep you always is the prayer of your own affectionate friend.

N.H.R. Dawson

May 7, 1861


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


Residence (County): 
Dallas County, AL


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