Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, October 4, 1864


Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, October 4, 1864


Letter written by Asbury Coward to his wife Elise. He tells her about a close call he had on the battlefield and about the fighting in general.


A2009.6, Box 3 Folder 1


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York (S. C.)


[Page 1]

Chafins Farm Oct 4th 1862

My darling wife

As everything seems quiet now except the occasional picket shot that whistles over our breastworks I have determined to try my game [illegible] at writing. A beautiful try it is [illegible] isn’t it? The Doctor (Moore) [illegible] just come up to see us, and has given my finger a comfortable dressing. It does not give me much pain, but I find it very inconvenient. I think it will be quite healed in about two days, as it does not seem inclined to slough much. It is to God’s merciful Providence alone I owe it that I am now alive, for we were in fearful danger. My gallant little Regiment went further than any other. I carried it up right under the enemy’s breastwork and would have mounted them if I had not discovered in time all the other troops were falling back in confusion. I had no alternative but to withdraw my men just as

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I had ordered my men to halt and lie down a bullet struck me squarely in the forehead. For an instant I thought it was all up with me, but to my intense relief I found that it had not even broken the skin. The ball had struck the ground first and then lost its force, and my thick felt hat still further deadened the blow. My finger was hit after we had fallen back about a hundred yards. The failure of the assault was caused mainly by the bad management and bad conduct of Anderson’s Georgia Brigade which threw everything into confusion. My loss was not very heavy, many of the wounds being very slight. We have had to work very hard since the fight, and have succeeded in throwing a strong line close to the enemy which we are anxious he should try to take from us. If he does attempt it he will get the soundest thrashing he has ever had.

I have not received a letter from you since last Thursday

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the day we left Petersburg. I suppose it is the fault of the mail. I got my Quincy to send you a dispatch on Friday, and James wrote you a letter yesterday, both of which I hope you have received.

I must now bid you good bye. My hand is becoming cramped. You have no idea how awkwardly I have to hold my pen. God bless and keep you all. Kiss Jennie and give love to all.

Your devoted husband
A Coward


Coward, Asbury, 1835-1925, “Letter from Asbury Coward to his wife Elise, October 4, 1864,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 13, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1593.