Matt Turner was an assistant surgeon caught in battle at Shelbyville with a little time to write his mother. The letter thought brief gave a great account to the attack that occurred in Tennessee from the 24th to the 28th of June in 1863. Turner gave the account of his army “falling back” and being “flanked” by the enemy, the hospital he feared would soon fall and the rest of the unit be captured shortly after. They were looking ahead to an encounter at Tullahoma. He informed his mother that he remained in good health, but the action will hinder his ability to accept letters so she is to wait to reply until she hears from him again.
The charge at Shelbyville was during the spring/early summer of 1863 when an offensive was led against the Confederate army under General Braxton Bragg. On the 27th, the day of Turner’s letter, a charge was led to the center of Shelbyville and this caused the Confederates to retreat. The leader of the charge for the Union, Captain Charles C. Davis, came away from the battle with a Medal of Honor.