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Pvt. Alfred A. Saunders
Company K
14th New York Heavy Artillery Volunteers


Camp Sprague, May 29/65


Dear Sister
           I now sit down to let you know that I am well and hoping that this will find you the same. Charles was hear last Sunday we went down to beach had a nise time. I was sorry to here that you was sick. It is now 12 oclock at night & I am on Guard to day. I go on again at three oclock. I have not received a letter from you in 10 days you must know my feelings. I want to here from you soon. You must excues this short letter for I am sleepy & cannot write. so good by for this time write soon as you get this.
         

Your Afectinate
Brother
Albert




EDITOR'S NOTES:

Alfred A. Saunders (a.k.a. Sanders)(b. abt. 1845) was the younger brother of Fannie M. (Saunders) Austin. He signs this letter as "Albert", perhaps using his middle name. Four days after his brother-in-law (Charles H. Austin) enlisted into Company E of the Fourteenth Heavy Artillery Regiment at Vernon, New York, Alfred Saunders enlisted into Company K of the same Regiment in Berlin, New York on Christmas Day. He was mustered in as a Private, Company K, on January, 23, 1864 to serve three years. Alfred Saunders survived the War and was mustered out with his Company on August 26, 1865, at Washington D. C. After the war Alfred returned to live in Kirkland Township, Oneida County, New York, and was still residing there as of 1870 with his wife Roxana. Sometime prior to 1900 he moved to California and at the time of his mother's death on September 8, 1908, he was living in Los Angeles. Alfred Saunders died sometime prior to August 16, 1915 because at that time another wife of his (Myra L. Saunders) applied for widow pension benefits in California.


Charles H. Austin also survived the War and spent the remainder of his life with his wife and daughter in Vernon and (bef. 1900) Clinton, New York. He and his family were active in Veterans organizations and prior to his death on January 11, 1919 he served for several years as the commander of the Hinckley Post of the Grand Army of the Republic in Clinton, New York. A few years after his death, his only daughter, Frances A. Bevan, died about 1923. As a result of this event, Fannie Austin was sent to the Eastern Star Home at Oriskany, New York to live out her remaining two years until her death on Jan. 28, 1925. The Civil War Letters of Fannie Austin remained behind, lost and probably forgotten by the time Fannie, then an elderly woman in her mid-80's, vacated her residence in 1923. Over 50 years passed before they were miraculously discovered, making it possible for Fannie Austin's wonderful letters to finally be shared.