Camp Winder Hospital
Division No. 2, ward No. 45
Richmond, Va. July 14th, 63
Dear Sister [-in-law] Mollie,
I have to perform the sad task of writing the death of your poor Newton to you[.] [H]e was killed in battle on the 2nd of July and 2nd day of our fight in Penn. I assure you Mollie he fell while nobly defending his country in a charge on one of the enemies batteries near sundown on Thursday.
Our Co. suffered severly in that fight having five killed on the field and one died soon after he was taken off. Our killed was your gallant husband[,] John Gilliland[,] Clem Black[,] Jack [W]eeks & Isaah Fletcher and Jo Davis a brother of Press’ at Kosciusko died soon after he was carried to our field Hospital.
The wounded I do not recollect all but will tell you all I can think of. Thad Jennings[,] right arm off below the elbow[,] John Durham[,] right arm off near the sholder[,] Jimmie Fletcher through the leg[,] [Virgil H.] Wallace[,] Conn[,] Brister[,] Stevens[,] Armstrong[,] and Fuller[,] all through the thigh[,] and White in the head[.] I was shot through the left arm above the elbow.
That I believe is all I can think of now as I did not have time to get a list of the wounded before all that could travel was ordered to get back to the rear and we did not know how far. Though our dead was buried before we gave up the ground but all of our wounded who could not walk fell into the hands of the enemy[.]
Our fight was the hardest of the war[.] Our Co. carried 46 guns into the fight and had 33 men killed and wounded and 3 missing[,] Thom Conn Towers[,] and Phillips[,] the faithful men[;] Gen. Barkdale & Co[lonel] Carter were Killed[,] Lt-Col McElroy and Maj Brantley were both wounded but slight[.]
I know Newton’s body was buried the next morning after the fight[.] [T]he reason I say this is because one of our Co. came to the Hospital and said they were burying them[.] I never saw him for I was wounded before he was killed and left the field. He was shot through the stomache and died in a few minutes[.] [A]s soon as he was shot he fell and told Wallace our sgt he was gone and he was willing to die[;] also told him to tell us all goodbye. He was a good soldier and our Co. hated to loose him[.] [H]e had many friends in our Co. We all simpathise with you Dear Mollie and have reason to believe our loss is his gain.
Our division was in a fight again on sunday I heard but I do not know anything of the Brig though it would not have to be heavy to loose all the men for we had more than half of them killed and wounded on thursdays fight. Our Regt no. 392 before going into the fight and after coming out there was but 90 men and I can say but one of our Co. showed the white feather and that was Gill Herring.
I will try and get a furlough and come home[.] [I]f I do I will come and see you but since the fall of V.burg I do not know wheather I will get off or not. It is hard to give you all up but it seems to be the will of God and therefore we must not grumble.
I will write again this week and let you know if there was any more of the Co. hurt.
[Her brother Captain] Charles [Campbell] was not in the fight[;] he had been left in Va sick and came to the Regt the morning I left though I did not see him.
Take care of yourself if you can. Give my love to all inquiring friends. I remain your true and sincere friend & Brother [-in-law]. F[rank] M. Ross