Harper’s Ferry, May 26, 1861

A few hours frequently make great changes in a soldier’s life, and I write my loved Elodie that she may have intelligence of our movements. We heard last night of the attack of the No. and So. Ca. Troops upon the Lincoln army at Fairfax Courthouse and great rejoicings were had in the camps over our success. I rejoice that the 7th New York Reg. was the first to be cut to pieces, and I hope a similar fate awaits all the enemies of my country. You will be surprised that I am so revengeful, but the invasion of Va. has stirred my blood, and I think it will be a pleasure to meet our enemies in mortal combat. How long we remain here is now uncertain as it may become necessary for us to concentrate our army opposite Washington to repel the invaders. We will now have a bloody war, and we intend to make it as destructive as possible. You must meet these exigencies bravely, my dear Elodie, as a Spartan bride would send her husband to the field, and we must trust to Providence for protection and safety. The knowledge that one I love so fondly, so devotedly, watches every step of my career will nerve me for all dangers, and if it be my fate to fall I know you will mourn me almost as much as if we were married. Indeed your death would be to me the same. But I have great faith in returning to claim your hand and in living to cherish and protect you, to shelter you from the world and to live in the bright beams of your love. If I do not remember that I will make a request of you which I wish as my last prayer, as my dying wish, that you will observe without hesitation. Judge Pettus in that event will tell you what it is. I dislike to trouble you in this way, but you will excuse it on account of the great feeling I have for my loved Elodie. I look upon you now as being as dear to me as if you had been married and have all the feelings of love and gratitude that I could feel for my wife. If I fall, I know you will sometimes, even when happiness has come to you as I pray it will, think of me as a shadow in your memory and wear always the ring I gave you. Did you get a letter from Lynchburg with a lock of my hair? But let us, my sweet angel, turn from these dark pencilings to a brighter picture. Let us have trust and confidence in God who doeth all things wisely. In the misfortunes that have befallen me, I have found relief in trying to take this view of them. And have I not again in your love the promise of happiness as great as that I have lost? My dearest we will live to love each other and to grow old in our bright Southern home where life will glide sweetly and all my sorrows will be forgotten in your love. How happy will you make me in the sacred circle of home? How brightly will your smile beam upon husband and friends and how welcome will be his return to you after an absence. Your eye will beam more brightly and watch his coming. These bright visions will be realized by the permission of an all-wise President, and we will yet pluck happiness from the dark clouds of the present. If we are moved from this point, I will use the telegraph to inform Maj. Haden with directions how to write, and you will know. In case of a battle, I will use the telegraph also to prevent your suspense. I will do all to comfort you my dearest. Write to this place or Winchester. And now goodby dearest. May God keep, preserve, and protect you and bring me safely back to you is my earnest prayer.

Ever affty and sincerely yours,

N.H.R Dawson

May 26, 1861


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


Residence (County): 
Dallas County, AL


From State: 
From Municipality: 


To State: 
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