Missouri Slave Woman to Her Soldier Husband

Paris Mo  Jany 19, 1864

My Dear Husband   I r'ecd your letter dated Jan'y 9th also one dated Jany 1st but have got no one till now to write for me.  You do not know how bad I am treated.  They are treating me worse and worse every day.  Our child cries for you.  Send me some money as soon as you can for me and my child are almost naked.  My cloth is yet in the loom and there is no telling when it will be out.  Do not send any of your letters to Hogsett especially those having money in them as Hogsett will keep the money.  George Combs went to Hannibal soon after you did so I did not get that money from him.  Do the best you can and do not fret too much for me for it wont be long before I will be free and then all we make will be ours.  Your affectionate wife


P.S.  Sind our little girl a string of beads in your next letter to remember you by.  Ann

[Endorsement]  Andy if you send me any more letters for your wife do not send them in the care of any one.  Just direct them plainly to James A Carney Paris Monroe County Mo.  Do not write too often   Once a month will be plenty and when you write do not write as though you had recd any letters for if you do your wife will not be so apt to get them.  Hogsett has forbid her coming to my house so we cannot read them to her privately.  If you send any money I will give that to her myself.  Yrs &c   Jas A Carney

Ann to My Dear Husband, 19 Jan. 1864, enclosed in Brig. Genl. Wm. A. Pile to Maj. O. D. Greene, 11 Feb. 1864, P-91 1864, Letters Received, series 2593, Department of the Missouri, U.S. Army Continental Commands, Record Group 393 Pt. 1, National Archives. The letter is addressed to “Andrew Valentine  Co E 2nd Mo Colored Inft A D  Benton Barracks  St Louis Mo.” Both the letter and endorsement are in Carney's handwriting.

Published in The Black Military Experience, pp. 686–87, in Free at Last, pp. 360–61, and in Families and Freedom, pp. 98–99.