Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, July 22, 1863


Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, July 22, 1863


Letter written by Asbury Coward to his wife Elise. He tells her that her brother, John, is sick and that he plans to bring him to his camp where he can look after him.


A2009.6, Box 3 Folder 1


The Citadel Archives and Museum



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York (S. C.)


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Near Richmond July 22 1863

My dearest wife

I received your letter of the 15th inst. this morning. I read it with much emotion. You ask for my forgiveness - I have nothing to forgive, for I know, and I think, I so stated that I felt confident that what you had written was wrong, from a heart wholly devoted to me. Had you felt less anxiety, I might have felt that you loved me less. The only thing that pained me, was that you should have used the word neglect. I cannot remember distinctly what I wrote, and hot, tired and broken down as I was, I may have expressed myself too strongly - perhaps too harshly, and may be as much an object of forgiveness as you claim to be. I certainly did not intend to pain you. But enough - If I could kiss that dear mouth of yours now and take our long hug!

I am sorry to tell you that Johnny has been quite sick. I did not find it out until Sunday afternoon when I received a note from him begging me to come to see him. I found him in the field hospital, suffering from diarrhea which had been upon him

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for some three weeks or more. He had attempted to keep up too long. I found him exceedingly feeble and emaciated. Not being able to get back to H’d Qrs. until after 10 o’c at night, I did not write until yesterday to your mother about him. I sent Charles to wait on him yesterday - he returned last night with a note from John stating that he felt much better. I sent Charles again to-day with a note to the Doctor requesting the privilege of bringing John here. Charles has returned saying that he is much better, and with a note from the Doctor stating that he would be glad to have me bring him there, where I can have him properly nursed and dieted. Our Div Surgeon, who messes with us will look after him so I will go for him tomorrow morning. Charles told me last night that he had received his clothes from home. I had told him to look to that and to see if he needed any clothes washed. I send enclosed the note he sent by Charles ([illegible]).

I had intended to finish this letter and to send it to Richmond last, but the General interrupted me, and kept me with him on business till late in the night. It is now near dark, I have just now an opportunity to write again. John got here about 2 o'clock, looking and feeling much better than when I saw him on Sunday? He is now in my tent, reading

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newspapers, and the Vale of Cedars. If he is as well tomorrow, I will make him write to your mother.

I am very sorry to learn, through your letter of the 19th which came to hand to-day, that Jennie is again unwell, with a bad cold. You must have exposed her little legs too soon by cutting off her frocks. - I trust your next letter will state that she is quite hearty again.

Tell Heloise I have not yet seen poor Burns - Poor fellow - “I smell a mice” - I wonder if he does too. Tell her I shall imagine that she is engaged, if she does not sit right down, and tell me all about that recent visit.

Good bye - God bless you all.

Your affectionate husband
A. Coward


Coward, Asbury, 1835-1925, “Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, July 22, 1863,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 15, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1590.