Rufus Dawes's brother, Ephraim Cutler Dawes was serving with the 53rd Ohio on Sherman's march in 1864. On May 28 he was severely wounded in the jaw. He made his way by train to Nashville, and then to the Old Stone House in Warren Ohio where his aunt Julia and uncle William lived. He recovered from his injury under their care and the care of his sister Lucy.
On June 11, he wrote letters to his father in Wisconsin and his brother Rufus who was near Petersburg.
These letters are now at the Newberry in Evanston, Illinois.
At the battle of Dallas Ga my Regiment was hotly engaged and I was severely wounded. A minnie ball entered the left side of my lower jaw -- out the right carrying away the bones of my chin and most of my lower teeth and badly tearing the flesh and lip.
Warren, June 11, 1864
My last news from you thru your wife, is up to June 1”. I trust you are still safe.
The Johnnies picked me at Dallas Ga two weeks ago today -- the ball went in the left side of my lower jaw, took out the chin bone, the whole of the part of the face -- lower teeth from double to double -- leaving I guess maybe 3 on each side. It makes a horrible looking wound and will disfigure me considerably I think -- tho the doctors seem to think they can easily fix it. It will be slow healing. Our Regt has been doing some splendid fighting and made for itself as good a reputation as anybodys Regt. We lost 50 men at Resacca and I suppose about the same at Dallas. I haven’t heard from the Regt since I left -- I am able to be up and around the house, go to walk out doors all day -- sleep tolerably well and take things as philosophically as I can. Have concluded to quit smoking and singing and whistling and all such frivolous amusements.
Came pretty near concluding to quit talking and eating the first few days. I nearly died -- couldn’t scarcely swallow. Then the trip up to Nashville was awful hard.
I am going up to Marietta Monday and will then see Mary. She will give you all the particulars.
Reckon I’ll leave the Army but they’ve got to discharge me, I won’t resign.
|Ephraim Cutler Dawes, prior to being wounded|