Oct the 23r 1863
(Apparently James Dean is the father of A. W. Dean and Celia Dean Ellison)
Transcribed by Ernest Mae Seaholm
AN OLD WAR LETTER.
In looking over his father's papers and letters the other day Lowndes G. Smith, Esq., came across the following letter written during the war by the late H. D. Donald, Esq., which letter the Citizen has kindly been permitted to reproduce. The letter was printed as extra by the Citizen in March, 1865, and is as follows:
Letter from Fort Craig
Soldoro, 30 miles above Fort Craig, February 27, 1862.
R. V. Cook:—I write you a few lines; I am propped up on my couch in the hospital. We fought a great battle on the 21st, in the valley of the Rio Grande, about six miles above Fort Craig, not far from the town of Val Verde. It is called the "Battle of Val Verde." The cannonading commenced about 2 o'clock and continued until 4 o'clock, when a charge was ordered. Our captain gallantly led the charge upon the enemy's heaviest battery, and all of the boys—except two or three—as gallantly followed, and victory soon was ours. The loss on our side was about forty killed and one hundred and forty wounded. The loss of our company—one, killed and twenty-two wounded—as follows:
KILLED—Jo. E. Smith—was first shot in the thigh, but still fought on, till a second ball struck him in the forehead, killing him instantly. He fell only a few feet from me.
WOUNDED—Lieut. D. A. Hubbard, in the head, mortally; Sergt. G. O. Sloneker, in the left foot, not serious; Corporal R. H. Carter, grape shot, left thigh, flesh wound; M. C. Knowlton, in the right side, dangerous; A. . Baker, just below the right eye, not serious; F. E. Caldwell, in the right arm, flesh wound; S. Clapp, in both thighs, flesh wounds; John P. Campbell, on the wrist, very slight; J. H. David, in the breat, mortally—died today; H. D. Donald, in the right thigh, flesh wound; T. B. Gillespie, in the right arm, flesh wound; A. L. Grow, in the right thigh, flesh wound; John Q. Knowles, in the right arm, one bone broken; A. G. Mitchell, in the left arm, one bone broken; J. H. McLeary, in the calf of the lef, slight wound; J. D. Montgomery, just below the knee, flesh wound; M. Panky, in the right thigh, flesh wound; S. Putnam, left arm broken, dangerous; W. G. Roberts, calf of the leg, slight wound; J. J. Stolts, left arm broken, badly wounded; A. Shubert, just grazed his chin, very slight; Sam Henderson, face and neck burnt by the explosion of one of the enemy's caisons or ammunition carriages. He is still able to fill his place as commissary sergeant.
Capt. Shropshire is now major in place of S. A. Lochridge, who was killed while leading the desperate charge which made victory ours. Thos. G. Wright is now our captain.
February 28.—Lieut Hubbard. died last night. Oakes is our only lieutenant, and will rank as first henceforward.
Capt. Killough's company in the battle lost two killed and one wounded, but I did not know their number wounded. Many of them ran to the mountains, some of whom have been found, but numbers are still unheard of. We captured six pieces of artillery and some two or three hundred stands of arms, but did not get the fort, so the enemy is now above and below us.
Tell the ladies of columbus that the flag they gave us was the first Southern banner that waved over the enemy's batteries in the great battle of Val Verde; that only two bullets pierced it, and its bearer, George H. Little, was unhurt; and that all the Columbus boys faced the music with nerve to strike terror to the foe, and made them exclaim, "In the name of God what are you made of, since cannon and grape shot do not stop you!" Those two or three who lay almost covered up behind a sand bank while we were in the charge, lived up near Frelsburg.
28th, 10 o'clock.—Putnam is dead. The rest of us are doing tolerably well. Yours in haste,
H. D. DONALD.