Barrancas Fla. Dec 27. 1864
Sir I beg you the granterfurction of a Small favor will you ples to Cross the Mississippia River at Bayou Sar La. with your Command & jest on the hill one mile from the little town you will finde A plantation Called Mrs Marther. H. Turnbuill & take a way my Farther & mother & my brothers wife with all their Childern & U take them up at your Hed Quarters. & write to me Sir the ar ther & I will amejeately Send after them. I wishes the Childern all in School. it is beter for them then to be their Surveing a mistes. Sir it isent mor then three or four Hours trubel I have bain trying evry sence I have bin in the servis it is goin on ner 3. years & Could never get no one to so do for me now I thinks it will be don for you is my Gen. I wishes evry day you would send after us. our Regt. ar doing all the hard fightin her we have disapointe the Rebes & surprizeed theme in all. importan pointes they says they wishes to Captuer the 82nd Regt that they woul murdar them all they Calls our Regt the Bluebellied Eagles Sir my Farthers Name Adam Harris he will Call them all to gether. & tel him to take Cousan Janes Childarn with hime
Joseph. J. Harris
Sir I will remain Ob your Soldiar in the U.S.A.
1st Sgt. Joseph. J. Harris to Gen. Ullman, 27 Dec. 1864, D. Ullmann Papers, Generals' Papers & Books, series 159, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives.
Published in The Black Military Experience, pp. 691–92, in Families and Freedom, pp. 48–50, in Free at Last, p. 496, and in Freedom's Soldiers, p. 140.