Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, December 26, 1861


Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, December 26, 1861


Letter written by Asbury Coward to his wife Elise. He talks about his troops not wanting to re-enlist and how he plans to resign his command and start his own regiment if things do not get better. He also mentions James being sick and wanting a new coat.


A2009.6, Box 3 Folder 1


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York (S. C.)


[Page 1]

Centreville Va. Dec. 26th 1861

My darling wife

I have taken out this sheet to write to you; but I am really afraid to proceed lest I give you the “blues”. I thought when I left home that I was leaving all bad news, bad managements &c, behind; but I can no longer blind myself to the gloomy prospect before us. It seems very doubtful now whether our troops will re-enlist. Indeed every indication is decidedly unpromising. Every one seems to have some kink in his head which nothing but being “free once more” as they term it, will enable them him to gratify. I am heartsick. This will be the last blow that strikes our unfortunate State from the proud position she had assumed. Our prestige is gone, and soon all our boasting and all our resolutions will be condemned.

[Page 2]

If a more hopeful prospect does not arise within the coming fortnight, I shall resign my position and apply for permission to raise a Regiment for the war. I shall do so, fully aware of the immense difficulty I shall labor under. Jenkins speaks of raising a Legion, and claims, as being already pledged to him, in case the Brigade is not reorganized, most of the companies I expected to get. He is welcome to take them, for he will have to scramble for them with the officers who now command them. He wants me to join in with him; but on this point I have already told you my determination. I want to have a talk with Seabrooks. I have no doubt he knows the sentiments of the men better than Jenkins does, - I mean so far as his company is concerned.

[Page 3]

In my last letter I neglected to tell you that James had gone off sick the morning before I arrived here. He is now at Charlottesville Va - but I don’t think there is much the matter with him. He was sick only one day before he went. I left my measure for a coat in Richmond, and I am anxious to hear from Heine; for I want a coat badly. If I do not hear from your father by the end of the week, I shall order the coat in Richmond. - We had a fine day yesterday but a very dull Christmas.

I sincerely trust I shall be able to make my next letter a more hopeful and interesting one.

God bless and keep you

Your devoted husband
A. Coward


Coward, Asbury, 1835-1925, “Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, December 26, 1861,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 15, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1585.