Explore the letters written during the Civil War by both the Black men who served in the United Stated Colored Troops and U.S. Navy and by their white officers. Most of the letters are transcribed from newspapers, but there are also links to transcribed private letters. Use the links below or you can use the drop-down menu above.
Click on the names below to read letters written by Black soldiers in the United States Colored Troops and Black sailors in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War
There are also published sources that include the soldiers from
Black Civil War soldiers and veterans.
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Grand Army of Black Men
The Anglo-African, September 3, 1865
SOLDIERS, YOU HAVE LADY FRIENDS IN CLEVELAND
CLEVELAND, O., August, 1865.
DEAR EDITOR: Permit me to make your excellent paper the medium of giving credit to the ladies of the Cleveland Soldiers Aid Society, with a semi-annual report of their labors. I hope that you had not drawn the conclusion that silence indicated a relaxation in the great work they began for the welfare of the soldiers; but rather, I shall frankly acknowledge, remissness on my part in writing to you, for which I am exceedingly sorry, and fear that the imperfectness of my report will subject me to the severest reprimanding I have ever received from that sex, within the bounds of my recollection.… Read more
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
Click on the names below to read letters written by the White commissioned officers who led regiments of Black soldiers during the Civil War
Capt. Orlando P. Brockway, 5th USCI
Lieut. Jacob Bruner, 9th LA Inf., AD (5th USCHA)
Lieut. Benjamin F. Burnham, 84th USCI
Capt.… Read more
FROM THE REGIMENTS.
CAMP OF THE 27TH U.S. COLORED REGIMENT.
FAISON’S STATION, W. & W. R.R., April 2, 1865.
MR. EDITOR: Perhaps the people would like to know where we are and what we are doing.
We, i.e. the Third Division of the Twenty-fifth Army Corps, are encamped at present at the above-named place guarding the railroad, and supplies now being sent along this line to the Western army now lying in our front. This division was detached from the main corps in the front of Richmond on the 3d of January and transported to North Carolina, where we with the Second Division of the Twenty-fourth Corps have been operating up to this date.… Read more