Foster family Mexican War letters
(Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material)

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Special Collections - Closed Stacks
Workroom range 5 section 6
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Special Collections - Closed StacksWorkroom range 5 section 6Library Use Only
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Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material
Physical Desc
1 folder.


General Note
Materials housed in Special Collections Division of the Main Library, Nashville Public Library.
General Note
Housed in Small Collections Box 5.
Restrictions on Access
In library use only. Available by appointment.
Scope and content: Three letters written to members of the Foster family of Nashville, Tenn. during the Mexican War. The first letter, dated June 15, 1846 is to Robert C. Foster from his brother, J[ohn] D., from Nashville. John writes of their mother's health, stating she has improved. Everyone at the family home "Mansfield," in Nashville, is well. Grandma has been confined to her bed. John says Nashville is deserted since the troops have left. The letter is postmarked in New Orleans on June 26 and was forwarded to the army at the Rio Grande.
The second letter, dated Sept. 29, 1846 from Camargo, [Mexico] and addressed to "Uncle Ephraim" from his nephew, "Caswell," (otherwise unidentified) reports that Monterrey has been taken and provides details of battle and capitulation of city. The Tennesseans are reported to have fought well.
The third letter dated Nov. 24, 1846 is from Robert C. Foster to his mother, Jane Dickinson Foster, written from Camp Allen, near Monterrey, Mexico. Robert complains about lack of mail; worries about his mother's health; praises his father and mother; and expects his regiment to remain in camp until spring. He reports on the taking of Saltillo by Taylor; Santa Anna is at St. Louis Potosi and anticipates a fight; hears rumors of peace; and tells of the gathering of U.S. forces at Monterrey, including new arrivals from the U.S. He is in good health. He asks his mother not to tell his father and sisters that he has not shaved since New Orleans, in June.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials
Cite as: Foster Family Mexican War Letters, Special Collections Division, Nashville Public Library
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
All items require staff approval before photocopying due to fragile nature of materials.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition unknown;,Acc. RT-100.
Location of Other Archival Materials
The Tennessee State Library and Archives houses the Foster-Woods Papers, which contains a significant quantity of materials relating to the Foster family of Nashville.
Location of Other Archival Materials
The Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has two associated collections: the Robert C. Foster Papers (#263) which contains additional items relative to Foster's Mexican War service and legal career; and the William Richard Caswell Papers (#2868), who is a correspondent with Ephraim H. Foster.
Location of Other Archival Materials
The North Carolina Division of Archives and History has additional materials relating to Robert C. Foster and his family in the Josephus, Jr., and Evelina Foster McCauley Daniels Papers.
Biographical or Historical Data
Easily confused with other individuals of the same name, Robert C. Foster was born in 1818. Designated Robert C. Foster (3rd) in the 1850 census for Nashville, Tenn., his occupation as a lawyer distinguishes him from R. C. Foster (4th) who was born in 1825 and was a physician. Robert, the lawyer, served as captain of Company L, First Tennessee Infantry Regiment during the Mexican War. He was discharged on a surgeon's certificate of disability on April 8, 1847 at Vera Cruz, Mexico. He died in 1871. Little is known about his brother, John D. Their father, Ephraim Hubbard Foster (1794-1854), was a lawyer, a state legislator, a U.S. Senator, and founder of the Whig party in Tenn. He also served in the War of 1812, fought against the Creek Indians, and served as secretary to General Andrew Jackson. John and Robert's mother, Jane Dickinson Foster, was the widow of attorney John Dickinson, prior to her marriage to Ephraim Hubbard Foster in 1817.
In English
Ownership and Custodial History
Unknown provenance.
Rehouse;,2007;,Linda Barnickel;,removed from Wars and Military Ephemera Subject Files.
Accumulation and Frequency of Use
No further accruals are expected.
APA Citation (style guide)

Foster, R. C., & Foster, J. D. Foster family Mexican War letters.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Foster, Robert C., 1818-1871 and John D. Foster. Foster Family Mexican War Letters. .

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Foster, Robert C., 1818-1871 and John D. Foster, Foster Family Mexican War Letters. .

MLA Citation (style guide)

Foster, Robert C., and John D Foster. Foster Family Mexican War Letters.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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