Helena Ark June 11 1866.
Gentlemen: Your favor of the 14th of April 1866 in which you accept the trust of taking charge of the Orphan asylum established in Philips Co Ark. by subscription of the Officers and men of this Regiment has been recieved and a copy furnished each soldier. Under the energetic Management of Your Agent and trusty lady, Mr & Mrs Clark, the institution progresses finely and I have no doubt its beneficial results will be seen and acknowledged soon even by its opponents. The Amount of work that has been done on the grounds by the Soldiers is immense, from an allmost unbroken forrest it has been cleared fenced and a large part of it planted, and four substantial buildings erected suitable for the wants of the children and those who have the Care of them. It is contemplated to dedicate the Institution on the next 4th of July in a public manner with proper exercises. And in behalf of the Regiment I extend herewith to you an invitation to be present if convenient Very Truly Yours
S J Clark
1st Lieut. S J Clark to Joseph Dickenson and Timothy Harrison, 11 June 1866, Letters Sent, 56th USCI, Regimental Books & Papers USCT, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives. The soldiers who had constructed the orphanage were members of the 56th U.S. Colored Infantry, organized in St. Louis, Missouri, as the 3rd Regiment Arkansas Volunteers.
Published in The Black Military Experience, p. 763, and in Families and Freedom, p. 243.