This collection contains 15 letters that Frederick K. Hewitt ("Fred") wrote to his family and friends while serving in the 5th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment during the Civil War, as well as 1 undated letter written by his brother Frank, who was in the same regiment. The envelopes are addressed to Marion Hewitt and "Mayne" Hewitt of Horseheads, New York, and to Mrs. Albert Fields of Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Fred Hewitt wrote letters home from March 29, 1863-July 4, 1865. Though he was primarily stationed at Camp Hill in Harper's Ferry, Virginia, he also wrote from several Maryland locations, including Fort McHenry. His letter of August 7, 1864, is dated from a hospital in Frederick, Maryland. Hewitt wrote about other soldiers and officers in his regiment, desertions and soldiers declining to reenlist, a local smallpox epidemic, loneliness in camp, and other aspects of military life. He sometimes provided news of and expressed concern for his younger brother, Frank. Some of his letters mention picket duty and the possibility of being called into battle. One letter recounts the story of his lieutenant, Disosway, who was taken prisoner (November 17, 1864). Hewitt's final letter, dated July 4, 1865, concerns life in New York City. Frank Hewitt's undated letter to his sister also concerns aspects of military life.