McDowell, May 9, 1862.
Before this reaches you, you will have heard alarming rumors of the fight on yesterday, and feel, I know, much anxiety for my safety. I was not hurt, for the reason that I was not in the fight. No part of our brigade was engaged, the enemy being whipped off the field before it came. But little, if any, more than one-third our forces were engaged. The fight began late in the evening in an unexpected attack from the enemy, and lasted about an hour. Our loss, I expect, will reach 60 killed and 300 wounded. They began their retreat early this morning in the direction of Pendleton County. We pursued them to-day some twelve or fifteen miles, capturing six or seven persons. They left a considerable quantity of tents and provisions, but burned most of them. I am indebted to this source for the sheet upon which I write.
Well, you want to know when we are going to have another fight? There is no telling, but I think to-morrow we shall take the end of the road which leads to Harrisonburg. I saw Matthew after the fight was over, and he, like myself, I suppose had not been in it. The cadets were behind our brigade, and, though I have not seen White Williamson, he is, I doubt not, unhurt except by the hard march. The company from Brownsburg, formerly Carey’s, suffered very severely, the captain, Whitmore, being killed and one of the lieutenants severely wounded.
I left Staunton the day I wrote to you last week and joined the army at Port Republic. Since then we have been marching every day but one which we spent in Staunton. And now, darling, I will bid you good-bye.