Letters

Benjamin Vann, 24th United States Colored Infantry: “please have it corected sose eye can get my pay”

Soon after private Benjamin Vann of the 24th USCI enlisted in Allegheny City in February 1864, the provost marshal of Harrisburg detailed the private to serve as a cook. Vann first worked at Pennsylvania’s Twenty-third Congressional District headquarters, then at Camp Reynolds near Pittsburgh. Almost eleven months later, Vann joined his regiment at Camp William Penn as a member of Company B. At some point that summer, he discovered that the time he labored before January 5, 1865, had not been counted towards his three-year military enlistment period.

In early April, 1865, Vann sought assistance from James W. Kirker, the provost marshal of the Twenty-third Congressional District.… Read more

In the News: The Anglo-African, May 20, 1865

Headquarters 27th Regt. U.S.C.T.
Camp Near Raleigh, N.C., April 26, 1865

Mr. Editor: On the 20th of this month I, together with some of our boys, went on a foraging expedition. We had travelled some twenty miles when we came within two hundred yards of the main line of works of the rebel Gen. Johnston. We immediately came to a halt and lay down, and soon after spied three rebel officers coming out on the road towards us. We then made our way into a swamp not far off. They proved to be Gen. Johnston and members of his staff.Read more

A Mother Writes to Abraham Lincoln

On December 7, 1864, Alcia Bass wrote to Abraham Lincoln. The distraught mother was concerned about her son, Armor, who served in the 27th USCT. She wrote to the president that her son “was underage and ran away from me,” and that she “would give him up freely” but he was also ill with consumption. Furthermore, he was “sunstruck on the 30th of July at the Battle of Petersburg.” Alcia Bass wanted Lincoln to help her son obtain a discharge. She concluded, “please answer this as soon as you rec’ it I shall expect him in the cours of three weeks for I think that you will send him”

Front of letter (located in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 94)

Armor Bass enlisted for three years in the 27th USCT on March 7, 1864.… Read more