Two Letters from a Black Soldier to His Wife

Camp 1st U.S.C.T. Near Hampton [Va.]  apl the 2[2] 1864

My Dear wife   I thake this opportunity to inform you that I am well and Hoping when thoes few Lines Reaches you thay my find you Enjoying Good Health as it now fines me at Prisent   Give my Love to all my friend   I Recived you Last letter and was verry Glad to Hear fome you   you must Excuse you fore not Riting Before this times   the times I Recive you Letter I was order on a march and I had not times to Rite to you   I met witch a Bad mich-fochens I Ben [S]ad of   I Lost my money   I think I will com Down to See you this weeck   I thought you Hear that I was hear and you wood com to see me   Git a Pass and com to see me and if you cant git Pass Let me know it   Give my Love to mother and Molley   Give my Love to all inquaring fried

No more to Say   Still Remain you Husband untall Death

Rufus Wright

Derect you Letter to foresess Monre VA


wilson Creek Va  May 25th 1864

dear wife   I take the pleasant opportunity of writeing to you a fiew lines to inform you of the Late Battle we have had   we was a fight on Tuesday five hours   we whipp the rebls out   we Killed $200 & captured many Prisener   out of our Regiment we lost 13 Thirteen Sergent Stephensen killed & priate out of Company H & about 8 or 10 wounded   we was in line Wednesday for a battele But the rebels did not Appear   we expect an Attack every hour   give my love to all & to my sisters give my love   to Miss Emerline tell John Skinner is well & sends much love to her.  Joseph H Grinnel is well & he is as brave a lion   all the Boys sends there love them   give my love to Miss Missenger   You must excuse my short Letter   we are most getting ready to go on Picket   No more from your Husband

Ruphus Wright

Rufus Wright to Dear wife, 2[2] Apr. 1864, and Ruphus Wright to dear wife, 25 May 1864, filed with affidavit of Elisabeth Wright, 21 Aug. 1865, Letters & Orders Received, series 4180, Norfolk VA Assistant Subassistant Commissioner, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, & Abandoned Lands, Record Group 105, National Archives.

Published in The Black Military Experience, pp. 661–63, in Free at Last, p. 470, in Freedom's Soldiers, pp. 122–24, and in Families and Freedom, pp. 166–67. Also published are a certificate of the marriage of Private Wright and his wife, Elisabeth, and an affidavit by Elisabeth Wright given after Private Wright's death in battle.