The Civil War Letters of Fannie Austin

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Aunt F. Dann

London jan 18 1864

            Dear Niece,    you wished me to write few lines to you    hope your health is better and your father likewise     I hope your dear husband and brother are still living     am very sorry they went for soldiers but suppose they was obliged to go    have heard there not many yankeys fight   they leave that for germans irish and english to do   they dont like fighting their selves    im sorry the war not ended     what will it come to an end    i think it great blessing about your dear baby for you are not strong and if your husband should be killed poor dear you would have to work to provide for her    now she is free from all trouble and sufferings and if he is spared you may have many more    we often dont know what is best for us    hope that your husband and you may see many happy years together     your likenesses came all right     your uncle james has got them and if any of you have got any ? to spare please to send them to Matilda for she got nice ? given her for chrismas box she has got her cousin in australia    she gets on nicely at her trade    there is between 30 and 40 in the workroom and shop    she taller than i am    she is very good looking    poor girl    hope she will do well for her poor father worship her    no man could be fonder of child than he was    he indulged her in everything poor man    he never went out for what he brought her something home and had her great ? measured for pair of road boots and the ? got them on ? and she was such careful child she saved her money and bought chest drawers at ? years    have saved them and hope to keep them ? till she has home to want them    hope she will do well    she likes bit of dress    they all wear black in the shop    her bonnet was trimmed with green ? in the summer and light brown dress    this winter it trimmed with blue and dark dress and think in the spring she will have violet one    she always wears hat every day    she dont like bonnet to wear in the city to buy goods    she says it gets in the way    she says she likes london but because she shall get wash money she says her hands would never do for hard work   they chap so and she never ? have liked it   they want her to be governess but she did not want to it for there is so much ?    have sent your cousin letters to read in sydney    she seems such steady girl    2 of her younger sisters are married and doing well    dear niece I have more to tell you but I wish you all well and ?    your affectionate aunt F. Dann    good night    god bless you    there has been very high wind these last few days and many vessels lost at sea    I sent your mother london paper short time ago   if I was in the country should send her maidstone paper   

(written sideways)   I had newspaper with your ? letter and part are with this letter ? your mother will ? to some of them    hope you are able to read my writing but since have had so much misery cannot sit to do it    ? been dead 29 years 26 of this month Dann  


Aunt F. Dann of London, England was most likely the sister of both Martha Huntley Saunders (mother of Fannie Austin) and Thomas Huntley, who by this time had finished his tour of duty with Co. F, 26th New York Volunteers (May 21, 1863 - May 28, 1863). This letter was written soon after Fannie's husband, Charles H. Austin, and brother, Alfred A. Saunders,who were both English immigrants to America, had enlisted in the 14th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment.