Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, July 24, 1861


Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, July 24, 1861


Letter written by Asbury Coward to his wife Elise. He tells her how the Southern forces have triumphed and describes some of the battle. He tells her about the various wounds that men they know have received.


A2009.6, Box 3 Folder 1


The Citadel Archives and Museum



Materials in The Citadel Archives & Museum Digital Collections are intended for educational and research use. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright. For more information contact The Citadel Archives & Museum, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, 29409.










York (S. C.)


[Page 1]

Camp Pettus July 24th 1861

My darling wife

It seems a month since I have written to you, and equally long since I have received a letter from you. We have passed through a great struggle; Our Army has triumphed gloriously; - the enemy has been completely routed. Even newspaper accounts would fail to give an adequate idea of their loss and panic. Our Brigade participated in the great fight, though in an isolated position towards the rear left flank of the enemy, and had we been properly supported, we should have effected a brilliant stroke. As it was, our attack effected its object and completed the panic [.]

[Page 2]

We charged a powerful battery, in a most gallant style. Jenkins Reg’t. leading in a manner worthy of Palmettos. A masked battery opened upon the flank of the Brigade and threw the Mississippians into confusion. The fire of grape, bomb and shrapnels rained upon them, they faltered, fell back, leaving the 5th unsupported and alone. Unflinchingly they held their ground and opened fire upon a strong party of cavalry and infantry, drove them off, and after maintaining their dangerous position for half an hour they withdrew in perfect order from the field. We did not capture the battery, but we drove them from a position from which, for a whole day and night, they had poured upon our lines a most galling fire. - I was greatly delighted

[Page 3]

to find John yesterday morning. He had escaped miraculously - a ball grazed his temple and killed his right hand man. Law has lost and [sic] arm, I hear, and Mason received a dangerous wound in the shoulder. The loss of our brigade is about fifteen killed and fifty or sixty wounded.

The generals letters are going off I must close - Direct your letters care of Gen. D. R. Jones 3rd Brigade.

Your devoted husband

A. Coward


Coward, Asbury, 1835-1925, “Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, July 24, 1861,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 21, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1584.