Northway (Delos R.) Papers, 1863, 1 Item

Administrative Information

Access: Unrestricted

Copyright: The copyright of these letters is held by Navarro College Archives, Navarro College, 3200 W. 7th Ave., Corsicana, Texas. Internet:

Cite As:Delos R. Northway Papers, 1863, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas

Forms Part of: Pearce Civil War Collection

Location: 1-E19-b

Transcription(s): Yes

Scanned Copies on File: No

Accession Number: 2002.312

Processed by: Gabriel Sandoval, June 2004

Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information.

Abstract: Captain Delos R. Northway writes to “friends” concerning his current condition and recent battles. The letter depicts the encounters of the Ohio 6th Cavalry against Confederate troops at the battle of Rapidan Station, Virginia. (September 27, 1863; 12 pages)

Biographical/Historical Sketch

Major Delos R. Northway enlisted on April 25, 1861 and mustered out on August 30, 1861. Then, on October 4, 1861 he re-enlisted as a 1st lieutenant and was commissioned into “A” Co. Ohio 6th Cavalry. At the time of the Rapidan battle, Northway was a Captain, but later in the war was promoted to Major. The Ohio 6th Cavalry was a part of the Army of Potomac under the leadership of George Gordon Meade. It was on September 12, 1863, that a Union force of 600 men led by Col. Horace B. Sargent was directed to make a reconnaissance toward Rapidan Station. The retreating Confederate forces were moving from the Rappahannock River to the Rapidan and were weakened from the loss of Longstreet’s corps. On the 13th of September, the Union forces reached the Confederates and fighting broke out at Muddy Run, Culpeper Station, and the surrounding areas. Monday September 14th, Union men dismounted and pressed forward against the Confederates which had brought into action seven pieces of artillery. The Confederates attempted two charges upon the Union soldiers but were forced back both times by the Ohio Company. The Ohio Company was eventually relieved by the 1st Md. cavalry. The Federal casualties were three killed, twenty-two wounded and four missing. Three Confederates were captured, but aside from that, their loss is not known. Northway continued with the Ohio Cavalry until his death at Aenon Church, Virginia on May 28, 1864.

Scope and Content Note

This letter, written September 27, 1863 describes Captain Delos R. Northway’s experience at the Rapidan Station battles. These include the battles at Culpeper Court House, Muddy Run, and Rapidan. Through “tremendous storm[s]” and other natural difficulties, Northway led his Ohio Cavalry against the Confederate forces. He recalls the horror of the battles as he “was obliged to rein [his] horse to one side to avoid riding over the dead body of a youth who lay cold and white where he fell with two bullet holes through his head.” Northway also tells of his Cavalry’s bravery by recalling that his “boys won great praise from Col. S and also from Gen. Gregg for their bravery and our regiment is acknowledged to be the best fighting regt. in the Division.” In the end, Northway proclaims that he will continue to fight till the end and that he “live[s] in hope to see treason crushed and Freedom the birthright of all.”

The copyright of these materials is managed by the Navarro College Archives on behalf of the Navarro College Foundation, 3100 W. Collin St., Corsicana, Texas 75110. Phone: 903-875-7438. Internet: