Newly discovered letter from 63rd Indiana soldier details scene at Franklin after the battle

I recently attended the Civil War Show in Nashville and acquired several letters from a 63rd Indiana soldier named Addison Lee Ewing.  Ewing was from Haubstat, Indiana and enlisted on 5/1/62, mustering in to Company C of the 63rd Indiana Infantry with the rank of 1st Sergeant. He resigned on 4/6/65 due to disability.

During his service he saw three promotions: 2nd Lt on 10/2/86, 1st Lt on 6/24/64, and finally to Captain on 10/1/64 (As of Co. I). He transferred from Company C to I on 11/6/64.

The 63rd Indiana became part of the Army of the Ohio in December 1862, staying with that organization until February 1865 when it was assigned to the Department of North Carolina.

The 63rd Indiana saw action at Second Bull Run, East Tennessee, Rocky Face Ridge and Resaca; Dallas, Lost Mountain, the Atlanta Campaign, and Hood’s Tennessee campaign, including Franklin and Nashville.

At Franklin (30 November 1864), the 63rd Indiana served on the far left Union flank with Israel N. Stiles’s brigade, along with the 120th and 128th Indiana regiments. These three Indiana regiments faced the onslaught of the Confederates under Scott and Featherston that fateful day.

120thIN_Franklin_map copy by you.

I’ve written extensively on these Indiana regiments previously on this blog. Hundreds of Confederate soldiers from Alabama and Mississippi lost their lives trying to breach the Union left flank near the Nashville-Decatur Railroad as it buttressed up against the Harpeth River.

By the time of the Battle of Franklin, Addison Lee Ewing was Captain of Company I of the 63rd Indiana Infantry. I’ll say more soon, but here is a partial transcript of the letter Lee wrote to his wife on December 22nd, from Nashville (1864).

. . .  Day before yesterday [would have been the Dec 20th], we was up at Franklin where there are hundreds of new made graves filled by the enemy. I went up into the old Breastworks where we lay and all over the front of our Brigade which is pretty well doted with rebble graves at our place there is 14 of Co. K of Miss[issippi] laying in a row. I see one grave marked  Lt. J.P. See (sic), 55th Tenn. [This was J.P. Seed]. There are horses laying around almost on our works . . . .

I’m researching this more so come back soon to continue reading more about Lee’s accounts of Franklin and Nashville.

If citing this letter please use: Addison Lee Ewing letter (December 20, 1864). From the Kraig McNutt Civil War Collection.

6 thoughts on “Newly discovered letter from 63rd Indiana soldier details scene at Franklin after the battle

  1. My great grandfather’s brother and cousin are two of the men from Mississippi who died at Franklin. Thomas V Stevens and his cousin Joseph Dennis were in Company B of the 22nd Mississippi. All four Stevens brothers were in the unit but only 3 made it home. Thomas as far as I can find is buried in a unmarked grave at Franklin. I hope some day to visit and pay my respects.

    Gary Stevens
    Redford Michigan

      • Thanks TIm, I don’t know if I will ever find any record of my gg uncle Thomas Stevens but will continue to poke around in the corners until I have looked everywhere. I visited Franklin since I made that post and I went to the area where the 22nd engaged in the battle.

        Gary Stevens

  2. I stated elsewhere on this website, I am a g.g. grandson on Issac C. Clark, who’s 63rd Indiana diary is posted above. On the 10th anniversary of the battle, he had the diary published in a Covington, Indiana newspaper (which I have). I transcribed it onto the Internet about 20 years ago. I have been a student of the Civil War for about 50 years. I knew Issac’s son Schuyler C. Clark (my great grandfather) in the 1960’s. He was in his late 80’s. My grandfather Schuyler E. Clark attended Issac C. Clark’s [the 63rd Indiana soldier] funeral in Covington, Indiana, about 1906. I have two original photos of Issac Clark. I have walked portions of this battlefield many times over the years, most recently less than 2 weeks ago. If ever there was hallowed ground in America, this is one of those places! I hope that any descendant who discovers this website gives it all the support that they can. Please help keep the memory of these men alive. If you have any Franklin battle content letters or diaries written by these soldiers, please post them on this site. Thank you, John Halliday.

  3. Pingback: 63rd Indiana soldier, Isaac Clark wrote about Franklin «

  4. Pingback: 63rd Indiana soldier (A.L. Ewing) remembers Franklin 25 years later |

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