Letters

In the News: Oneonta Herald, February 10, 1864

RIKERS ISLAND, Jan. 29, 1864.

SIR i must Tell you a little a bout the Camp a fairs & how thing Goes here   last nite we had a mobe fite bee twixt the Clord & white But the ofesers sune stop it   But if they had let the nigs goe they wood Not have benn a sun of the Eemeral Ile left here for the Colord Trupes at Rikers Island & i for my self am Just as well as Ever i was & As tuff   But when i First a Rived i thought it hard but now i am Natueralised to the Camp Lif   there is a Bout 2000 Colord troups here and one Ridgiment Will Leave sune   that Is the 20 Ridg   I thout Colord men wood not Make good Solgers but I was greatly mistaken For they are as fine as is here & learn Just as fast as the whites & More Promp & spunkey   The wether is mild & warm Spring like   Mine to the oneonte herald untill a Beter one or Beter ComPosed & more time   i have got to bee a Coprill and will sune get to Bee a sarjant   i make the Boys stand a Round as fare as my athorety.… Read more

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