Guide to the Frank E. Powers Papers, RG 341

Listed by: Dwayne Cox, Paul Martin, Micheale Nelson
Date:  10-06-1999 and 10-12-2001

Date Span:  August 4, 1864 through October 3, 1864

Size of Collection: 4 letters

Biographical Sketch:  A Union soldier during the Civil War, Powers was stationed in Charleston, Tennessee.

Scope / Content:  Letters from Powers to friends and family, mostly in Brooklyn, NY., describing his activities in Tennessee.


Aug. 4, 1864.  Charleston, East Tenn.  Powers to Miss Noble.  He is replying to her letter of June 25.  It had not reached him until July 23, and had been very critical of his prior correspondence.  So he is trying to understand why she has taken such an attitude, for he often is busy taking care of wounded and sick soldiers; late in getting her letters; and subject to isolation in front line conditions.

Aug. 10, 1864.  Charleston, East Tenn.  Powers to sister Annie.  He replies to her letter of August 1, and is very pleased with it.  He also appreciates receiving her picture, and says it is very flattering.  He also comments on becoming a doctor as a response to his inner desires.  The unit has moved by railroad to a new location.  An unidentified person thought dead was involved in his becoming a doctor.

Sept. 13, 1864.  Charleston, East Tenn.  Powers to sister Annie.  The package of roses she sent was crushed beyond recognition, but he thanks her for them.  The mails has been delayed recently.  Gen. Wheeler’s forces had destroyed some of the railroad, and mail is being carried in wagons.  The first train from Knoxville to Chattanooga for some time passed through today, so he hopes mail will pass more quickly.

Oct. 3, 1864.  Charleston, East Tenn.  Powers to Annie Noble, Brooklyn, NY.  He has received her letters of 16 and 22 September.  The first mail he has received since rebels cut the railroad and a train went through today.  In an involved story, He describes seeing a picture of a person thought long dead, but was told by a rebel prisoner.  The person was serving in Lee’s army at Richmond.  As a result Powers in resigning his position, traveling back to Ohio, and joining an Ohio regiment serving before Richmond.  He will stop to see her in New York City if possible. It appears from this letter that he and Annie are not truly brother and sister, but their actual relationship is not clear, now why she has been referred to as “sister Annie”.  It is not clear who the mysterious person in Lee’s army is either.

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