|Death: ||Aug. 21, 1863|
Francis Christian Newell was the son of Abel Pond Newell and mother Mary Ester Christian. He had a brother Frank, and two sisters: Laura and Eliza. He was 5'8" with brown hair and blue eyes and worked as a farmer.
On August 15, 1861 he enlisted with a Union Zouave unit in the Civil War. Company D, 11th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He was only 17 years old. He wrote his first letter home a day later. We have 47 of his letters, spanning Aug 1861 to Aug 1863.
His letters possessed both the naivete of youth and also the raw honesty of war. Despite the horrors he faced and many close calls, he told his parents over and over again that he would stay as long as he had to. In an excerpt from his last letter, dated August 7th 1863, he writes, "If I should live, and they should want me longer, I am just the boy that will go for 10 years if it is necessary for I don't think that we shall see any harder times nor any harder fighting than we have seen. The 11th (Regiment) has got a glowering name here."
2 weeks later he died of disease. It must have hit him fast and hard because in his last letter he describes his health as good. He passed on at Millikens Bend, LA, which is now underwater.
I have no picture of him, but I know that one exists because he writes in his letter that he sent one home. Please contact me if you have a copy of it. Please note that the marker says "E.C. Newell" but that is an error, it is indeed Francis'. Many thanks to Natalie for providing the photo!
Abel Pond Newell (1818 - 1904)
Mary Elizabeth Christian Newell (1824 - 1888)
Francis Christian Newell (1844 - 1863)
Frank A. Newell (1850 - 1891)*
Laura Mary Newell Peebles Bailey (1856 - 1932)*
Elizabeth Mary Newell Williams (1859 - 1888)*
Vicksburg National Cemetery
Plot: Section A, Grave 3014
Created by: Laura
Record added: Feb 22, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24817187