Ashbys Gap Va
June 23rd 1863
As Mr. Cone has not left yet and as we have had a little excitement I will pass a few moments in making my letter a little longer.
On the 21st Genl [Stuart] had a hard fight across the mountain. That night ours, McLaws, and Hoods divisions were sent over to relieve him expecting to have a big fight on yesterday, but we were disappointed for the yanks fled [at] the first approach of the reb footed soldiers.
Our cavalry have got to do some good fighting of late. As we were going forward we met the Cavalry comeing back., and although it was dark [they] seemed to me to be verry much relieved, for they had a pretty hard time for several days.
We are fifteen miles from Winchester, on the Shenandoah river which we have waded three times, up to our waist, and are at the foot of the blue ridge mountains, on the north side. The Yanks are on the south side of the mountains. Longstreet can hold the mountain gaps while Ewel operates in Pensylvania.
Ewel and A.P. Hill have been promoted to Lt. Gen, since the death of Jackson. Our army is stronger than ever, at least twenty five thousand. The Yanks are afraid to go after Ewel for fear Gen Lee should get Washington. I think there will be a fight or foot race here soon.
Bill Culpepper came up from Richmond yesterday, saw Charles as he came through Gordonsville. Says he is looking badly, but able to walk about. I am in fine health and ready for any thing that comes to hand.
The weather has been pleasant for several days, fine rain have falen. To lay the dust. We are going to get beef after this, will be glad of the change, for I am tired of bacon. We get the finest water, and pure air.
I often think of our boys in Miss when we are at some nice little stream drinking and washing. That is a convenience that we could not well do without, have been used to it so long.
Dame rumor has good news from Miss. Keep in good spirits my love and let us trust in God. Yours affectionately Newton.
Excuse this badly written letter for my pen is awful worn.