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 for a time and then 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.
August 15, 1863
I received your kind and welcomed letter of the 4th [on] the 13th and was glad to hear the news. Since my last letter to you I have moved my position somewhat. On the 4th, I resolved to go to my regiment. I got transportation and by 8 o’clock a.m. the next morning, I was aboard the cars going to Nashville. By 6:30 p.m. we arrived there to this place. We had a very pleasant trip. The next morning by 3 a.m. we were hurried up to get ready to go on.
We were marched down to the cars. Soon we moved off and had proceeded about 10 miles on the way when the train which we were on stalled as it was turning a curve. There was another train coming up in the rear and it did not see us in time to stop. It run into us demolishing five or six cars killing three guards that were guarding the train and wounding a number of others. There was several that was on the car that I was on jumped off and got seriously injured. For my part I thought it was as safe to remain on the car as to jump off.
After considerable delay we started on the way. Our trip lay through the Stone River battleground and the awful carnage is still visible. By dusk in the evening, I got to my company, found the boys with the exception of two or three getting along finely. Smith Hamilton was in the hospital at Tullahoma and was very low. Since then he has been sent to Nashville. At present John Whiteside is down here trying to get him home. I don’t know how he will succeed in the undertaking.
We have a good camp with plenty of water. Our duty is very light. I think we will move on before long. There is talk of us going down to Stevenson but this is only a rumor. Well as it is about time for taps for lights to be blown out, I will close promising to write more in the future. So no more but as ever remain your friend. Yours truly, — Isaac Newton
P. S. Direct your letter to Co. G, 93rd Ohio, Tullahoma, Tennessee. No more. — I. Newton