Wednesday – June 11. 1862
Camp of the Rockbridge Artillery
1st Brigade Army of the Valley
Brown’s Gap – Rockingham
County, Va. near Albemarle line
Mrs. Wm M. Blackford
My Dear Mother,
My friend W. Rutledge, of Md., is home you know, starts their evening in Campbell, and offers to take letters for me. I avail myself gladly of this opportunity to send two very long ones which I have had for some days awaiting a chance to send. I hope they may interest you. I regret very much that my letter No.11, written from Highland county never reached you. It was very long & would have given you pleasure.
As you are before this probably aware Providence has favored our arms yet further in this army and given us repeated victories since the affairs at Front Royal and Winchester. On Saturday last in two small but fierce infantry & cavalry actions we were successful, capturing two colonels (one a cavalry brigade commander, who was taken by Holmes Conrad, son to W. R. Y. Conrad of Winchester) a major and two captains, killing or wounding a Lt. Col. And taking about 40 cavalrymen prisoners, with their colours – 1st N. J. Cav. On Sunday in a fierce battle of some 6 or 8 hours – chiefly artillery, it is [being] the enemy were defeated and driven back. This was about 2 miles beyond
Port Royal Port Republic, chiefly, though part of the
action took place at this town and nearer to it. Our battery was busily engaged that morning but not under fire; I will speak more explicitly of all this when I write again. On Monday the enemy offer a vigorous resistance were roused, with a lot of many men, horses, and 6 or 8 pieces of artillery. We also took
at least 500 prisoners and large booty in a small way such as rubber[,]
clothes[,] blankets, haversacks, canteens, etc.
In Monday’s battle our Battery was hotly engaged and exposed a fire scarce
less fearful than that at Winchester.
And, thank God, suffered much less.
We had none killed, six wounded: only two seriously; Liet. Davis, and
Frank Singleton, of Ky., an old University student.
My prayers for my own and the safety of my friends most are in this co. ever mercifully answered. Berkeley was struck on the foot by a spent ball and lamed for a day or two, but is nearly well again now. It was only a bruise. I got your letter, enclosing the copy of [Eugenie’s] which I enjoyed greatly, on the battle field – or rather in the pursuit just after leaving it. Poor John Didlake, in the 7th La. was killed on Monday. This was told me on the field by Capt. Danl. A. Wilson who is safe. We have heard nothing of Char. L. C. Minor yet, and we fear he is taken prisoner. Give my love to Fanny & assure her of my sympathy. I will write more explicitly soon. I am much in want of money. In great haste
Your affectionate son,
L. M. Blackford
[transcription by Shannon Connolly]