October 21, 1863

Camp near New Baltimore, Va.

My Dear Brother: –

As we are laying still today, I thought that I would take up the time in write you a brief description of our movements since we came across the Rappahannock R.

I believe my last was commended at Culpeper and finished at Beverly For; well the next morning after I wrote that letter, we struck tents, and moved about a mile down the river and waited about 3 hours when we crossed the river and formed a line of battle and about the same time our cavalry began a skirmish with the reb. cavl. and we over where we could see all that was going on they had it quiet hard for some time, both sides using artillery pretty freely.

At last we could see the reb. lines fall back, one man at a time until the whole line had withdrawn to a little hill and then they skedaddled in earnest, then we advanced in line of farther about 2 miles over one the roughest hardest pieces of ground that could be found in Va, for where it was nit bushes and woods it was all grown up to blackberry bushes; and it was as hard to march over that five miles as it would have been to march 15 miles on a smooth road; after marching this distance we finished for the night. […]

From your affectionate brother,


Elisha Coan to his brother [Elisha Coan Collection]