Manassas Junction, July 30, 1861

I wrote you by Dr. Jones on the 27th but know you are so anxious that I write you again. I allow no hour to pass without thinking of you. Indeed, it is impossible to allow an hour to fly without wishing to be with you and near you. You know tho without being told how dearly you are loved. You are dearer to me now than ever before. Since writing you, Dr. Piertridge[] has arrived. Man. Haden stopped at Charlottesville to see our wounded. They are all doing well except W.H. Harrison (L.C. Harrison’s son) whose arm was amputated. 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 [] 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 and was present when Dr. [] of Mobile placed a tourniquet upon the arm.

I would very much regret his death and hope for the best. I send a man today to Charlottesville with clothes and money for our wounded. They shall have my attention. I would pay them a visit, but Gen. Johnston will not allow an officer to leave. I rec’d my trunk from Winchester yesterday but fear I will soon have to give it up and come down to a valise and knapsack. The tone of the northern papers indicates that they will prepare another grand army and invade us again in September or October. If so, we will have a great battle which will decide the contest if we are victorious. You have no doubt seen the accounts of the newspapers of the battle and as they are full and prepared well I will not attempt one myself. It is honor enough to have been in the battle and to have done our duty. You will see a report of the 4th Ala. made by Captain Goldby as senior captain. It was prepared by Captain Tracy and is well-written. He has been appointed major in the 12th Reg. and will be a loss to the regiment. We are much in want of field officers. We will remain here for some time, and you must write me at this place as follows: Capt. D., 4th Rgt. Ala. Vols., Gen. Johnston’s division).

Our regiment has been without any rations since yesterday morning. There is great scarcity consequent upon the arrival of so large an army here in the past week. We, the officers, are put to great straits as we are not furnished with rations, and we can’t get anything to buy. We had no supper nor breakfast this morning. This is quite alarming to one who has a good appetite. I am as well now as I have been and am getting used to hardships. This letter will be mailed at Charlottesville. I am expecting to hear from you today as our mail has been sent from Winchester. And now goodby my own, dearest Elodie. May God bless and keep you.

Affty and sincerely yours,

N.H.R. Dawson

July 30, 1861


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


Residence (County): 
Dallas County, AL


From State: 
From Municipality: 
From County: 
Prince William


To State: 
To Municipality: 
To County: 

Get in touch

  • Department of History

    220 LeConte Hall, Baldwin Street

    University of Georgia

    Athens, GA 30602-1602
  • 706-542-2053

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

Learn More about eHistory