1862: Isaac W. Newton to Asa Newton

This letter was written by Isaac W. Newton (1841-1863), the son of Asa Newton (1812-1880) and Lydia Cook (1812-1908) of Camden, Preble county, Ohio.

21 year-old Isaac enlisted on 9 August 1862 to serve three years in Co. G, 93rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI). The regiment was organized at Dayton, Ohio, and sent to Lexington, Kentucky, just in time to join the Union retreat back to Louisville due to the advance of Gen. Bragg’s army. The regiment remained at Lexington until just before this letter was written when they were marched to Frankfort, Kentucky. After manning the fortifications there for a few weeks, they were sent to Tennessee in time to participate in the Battle of Stones River where they were in the thickest of the fight.

Newton remained with his regiment until he was taken prisoner during the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863. He died a couple of months later while a POW at Danville Prison. He is buried in the Danville National Cemetery in Plot E, grave 747.

This letter has a fascinating lithograph of “Major General Pope” with the byline underneath his image that reads: “(The man who moves ahead.)”

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TRANSCRIPTION
Addressed to Mr. Asa Newton, Camden, Preble county, Ohio

Shelbyville, Kentucky
October the 3rd, 1862

Dear Father,

I take this present time to write a few lines in answer to your letter which come to hand this morning. It found me well and I hope when you receive these few lines you will all be enjoying good health.

As far as news, I have some little to tell you. We have left Louisville and again started on the march—the same road we skedaddled on a few weeks ago. We have got as far as Shelbyville, about 30 miles from Louisville. The rebels have been skulking around Louisville for several days so we concluded we would follow them. Day before yesterday we started—about 20,000 of us on the Lexington road, 60,000 on the Bardstown road, and about the same amount from Cincinnati. We the first night stayed in their camp. Our advance had a small skirmish with them. I understood they killed a few but one thing certain, I saw where we had shelled them. I saw 2 or 3 bomb shell a laying by the side of the road that had not exploded. I saw where one had struck a house. It looked as it if had been struck by lightning. The people said they made a hasty retreat.

I think the way things are moving, they will soon be rid out of Kentucky. Where we are now, the people have the strongest Union sentiments than anyplace we have been at yet. We have had some more skedaddling. John Mohler left the day we left Louisville. John Kindle has not got back yet. Neal Lervis & Stover we have heard from—they are talking of coming back in reference to harvesting. I am owing Elwood Morey but I forgot how much. If I can hear from him, I can tell how much I am owing him. Well, I will have to bring my letter to a close with requesting you to write soon.

Direct to Shelbyville, Kentucky

P. S. If convenient, send me a few P. O. stamps in your next if you can. Don’t send many as I can take care of them. e have quit carrying our knapsacks. We are to get them handled for us which has lightened us considerable. If they had not agreed to take care of them for us, we would have raised a row as the other regiments get their handled. No more at present. Yours in haste, — Isaac Newton

 

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