Capt. Nathaniel H. R. Dawson, Co. C, 4th Alabama Infantry, On Casualties

28 11 2022

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.

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.

Ever affty and sincerely,
Your own devoted,
N. H. R. Dawson

From Practical Strangers: The Courtship Correspondence pf Nathaniel Dawson and Elodie Todd, Sister of Mary Todd Lincoln. pp. 137-138

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