Black Ohioan to the Secretary of War

Oberlin O.  Nov. 27th 1861

Sir:–  Very many of the colored citizens of Ohio and other states have had a great desire to assist the government in putting down this injurious rebellion.

Since they have heard that the rebels are forming regiments of the free blacks and compelling them to fight against the Union as well as their Slaves. They have urged me to write and beg that you will receive one or more regiments (or companies) of the colored of the free States to counterbalance those employed against the Union by Rebels.

We are partly drilled and would wish to enter active service amediately.

We behold your sick list each day and Sympathize with the Soldiers and the government.  We are confident of our ability to stand the hard Ships of the field and the climate So unhealthy to the Soldiers of the North

To prove our attachment and our will to defend the government we only ask a trial   I have the honor to remain your humble Servant

Wm A. Jones

Wm. A. Jones to Hon. S. Cameron, 27 Nov. 1861, J-52 1861, Letters Received Irregular, Secretary of War, Record Group 107, National Archives.

Published in The Black Military Experience, pp. 80–81, and in Free At Last, pp. 18–19.