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letter written July 3, 1863

The following is a letter, dated July 3, 1863 and postmarked September 7, 1863 in Nashville, TN.  It was written by Edwin Stewart Fairbanks and addressed to his uncle Charles F. Stewart, Concord, NH,

Edwin Stewart Fairbanks' parents were Susan Cony Stewart, sister of the recipient of this letter.  Her husband was Franklin Tinkham Fairbanks, referred to as 'Father' in this letter.

Digital images of the original are below.

Fort Granger, Franklin, Tenn
Saturday, July 3rd / 63

Dear Uncle, Aunt, and Cousins:

It has been some time since I have taken up my pen to write to you but the reason is that I have been waiting to hear from you in answer to my last from Benton Barracks. As we have been moving around, in accordance with the ever varying soldier’s life, a good deal since then, I have probably lost several of my letters. We are now in camp at Franklin, Tenn. Only ten miles from Spring Hill or Thompson’s Station the place where we were “everlastingly gobbled” by the C.S.A. gentlemen last March. It is on the extreme right of “Rosey’s” army and has been the scene of many hard fights. It is quite well fortified but there is only one regiment besides our here at the present time. We are expecting to leave in a few days for Murfreesboro.

Two rebel officers were hung by our forces a short time ago at this place. They had possessed themselves of a pass from Gen. Rosencrans as inspectors and had on our officers' uniform and came boldly into our lines, examined the defences and went away but one of them was recognized by one of our officers who knew him in the regular army. They pursued them, brought them back to Franklin, had a drumhead court martial in the night and hung the next morning. That is the kind of “vigorous policy” that I like to see. One was a Col. And the other a Lieut. They admitted that we did right.

I do not know as you have heard of my visit home. Shortly after writing you from Benton Barracks St. Louis I went home and staid over two weeks, never had a better time in my life in the same length of time. The folks were all well and Ratio was nearly tickled to death to see his big brother Ed who had been off killing the old rebels. He wanted me to wait until he was big enough to go with me. It was a great deal harder for mother to part with me and for me to go, than it was the other time as Father and Charley were both gone but Stern duty called me and I flinched not.

Soon after reaching St. Louis we were ordered to our old brigade and place in Tennessee and so we started and arrived at Nashville on Monday June 15th. We staid there one week and during this time I got several chances to go to Father’s place which was only one mile and a half from camp. I enjoyed myself first rate while there eating fruit and vegetables which you know are quite a rarity to a soldier. I am one of those kind that are hardly ever sick and so when the regiment came and I had to come too but if I ever get sick while near Nashville Father can get me to his house and take care of me. He is living quite nicely has nearly 40 acres into vegetables only 1 ½ miles from Nashville and has five contrabands to work for him. I think he will do well. But I must close hoping to hear from you all soon and that you are enjoying good health. I remain your aff. nephew and cousin.

E. S. Fairbanks

To C.F Stewart ESQ. and Family

Edwin S. Fairbanks
Co B. 22 Reg. Wis Vol.
Murfreesboro via Nashville Tenn
To follow the Reg

envelope postmarked September 7, 1863

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page 4 and return address