Soldier from 63rd Indiana writes of Franklin-action detail

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.

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