South Carolina Black Soldier to the Commander of the Department of South Carolina

Morris Island So Ca  January 13 1866

My Dear Respictfully Friend General Sickels   it is with much Honor we take to write to you about the Circumstances of our case   now Genl do if you please Cir to this lookin to this [for us]. now General the Biggest Majority of our mens never had a Home Science this late wor Commence between the States   the Greatist majority of them had Runaway from they Rebels master & leave they wives & old mother & old Father & all they parent   jest Run away from they Rebels master in the years 1862. & 1863 & come Right in under the Bondage of Soldiers life living & according to agreement & promised we was expected to get out at the Closing of the wor, & then go back over the Rebels lands to look & seek for our wives & mother & Father

But General now to see that the wor is over & our Enlisment is out the Greatist majority of by two months & the General characters of our Regiment we do not think that the our Goverment have knowit   for Instant I think if he had know the General characters of our Regt he would let us go at the Closing of this [war]   for instant look & see that we never was freed yet   Run Right out of Slavery in to Soldiery & we hadent nothing atoll & our wifes & mother most all of them is aperishing all about where we leave them or abbout the Country & we hear on morris Island Perishing sometime for something to Eate   Half of our money got to use up in the Regtal Sutler for somthing to Eate & we all are perrishing   our self & our Parent & wives all are Suffering

& do General if you Please do see & Enterceed & see if you cannot do any good to get us out of this if you please cir   for all other Colored Soldiers that had a Home & is well situated at Home is go back but we that never had a Comford Home we is heer yet & we will have to buy our lands & places & by the time we get out of this all the Goverment cheap. Property & all the lands that would be sold cheap will be gone & we will have a Hard struggle to get along in the U S   & then all the Southern white Peoples will have us for alaughin & game after for our Braverist that we did to Run away from them & come asoldiers   they will be glad to see that we would not have but very little money & we would not have any land, atoll for all the cheap in things are going now   So do Gen you is the only one that we know could do any good for us beside forwarded to Washington.  So Please if you can do any good for us do it in the name of god   it is a mejority of men of the 33 Regt USCT

Unsigned to General Sickels, 13 Jan. 1866, Letters Received, 33rd USCI, Regimental Books & Papers USCT, Adjutatnt General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives.

Published in The Black Military Experience, pp. 777–78, in Free at Last, pp. 535–36, and in Freedom's Soldiers, pp. 170–72.