Missouri Slave Woman to Her Soldier Husband

Mexico Mo  Dec 30th 1863

My Dear Husband   I have received your last kind letter a few days ago and was much pleased to hear from you once more.  It seems like a long time since you left me.  I have had nothing but trouble since you left.  You recollect what I told you how they would do after you was gone.  they abuse me because you went & say they will not take care of our children & do nothing but quarrel with me all the time and beat me scandalously the day before yesterday–  Oh I never thought you would give me so much trouble as I have got to bear now.  You ought not to left me in the fix I am in & all these little helpless children to take care of.  I was invited to a party to night but I could not go   I am in too much trouble to want to go to parties.  the children talk about you all the time.  I wish you could get a furlough & come to see us once more.  We want to see you worse than we ever did before.  Remember all I told you about how they would do me after you left–for they do worse than they ever did & I do not know what will become of me & my poor little children.  Oh I wish you had staid with me & not gone till I could go with you for I do nothing but grieve all the time about you.  write & tell me when you are coming.

Tell Isaac that his mother come & got his clothes   she was so sorry he went.  You need not tell me to beg any more married men to go.  I see too much trouble to try to get any more into trouble too–  Write to me & do not forget me & my children–  farewell my dear husband from your wife


Martha to My Dear Husband [Richard Glover], 30 Dec. 1863, 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.

Published in The Black Military Experience, p. 244–45, in Families and Freedom, p. 97 in Free at Last, p. 464, and in Freedom's Soldiers, pp. 117–18.