3One page letter from Edwin LeForrest Stetson of Company E 23rd Regiment of Mass Volunteers written to his apparent girlfriend “Nellie”. Edwin writes about the wonderful picture he has taken for her and lugged it around through his trials and tribulation as a soldier. My guess is that is was a tintype photograph as he states the photo got scratched up in the process. Interestingly enough Edwin explains that his portrait was taken without him wearing "good clothing" or proper grooming... stating that he thought it would be best to see him as he was and not with any pretense.
His father was Jeremiah Stetson and much can be found on search engines about him and Edwin. Edwin was with his father as they left Perryville, Md., for Annapolis, Md. They were then sent south to participate in campaigns in eastern North Carolina and South Carolina. It appears, that Jeremiah Stetson's increasingly poor health and hospitalization in New Bern and Beaufort, N.C., caused him to be separated for long periods from his son and regiment. According to records, Edwin participated in General John G. Foster's expeditions from New Bern to take Kinston, N.C.; to attempt to take Goldsboro, N.C.; and to destroy railroads surrounding New Bern.
The letter is in fine condition with two folding tears that are not overtly visible and nether teat affects written content. A wonderful war time letter directly involving the camera and war for the first time in American history.