November 21, 1864
Mr Abraham Lincoln,
I want to know, Sir, if you please, whether I can have my son released from the army. He is all the support I have now. His father is dead and his brother; that was all the help that I had …
Today’s episode is a miniature one! The Civil War is a familiar topic to most of us, and there are several podcasts on the topic. Less familiar is the effect of the war on black women, who faced unique challenges while their loved ones were fighting. Families in the North worried that their sons and husbands would be enslaved if captured by the Confederate Army. Some whites who were angry about black fighting for the Union took it out on the family members that the soldiers left behind. Today we hear a small piece of those families’ stories.
The letters were read with permission from the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland.
“Missouri’s African American Troops,” Missouri State Archives
“8th Regiment Infantry United States Colored Troops,” National Park Service
“United States Colored Troops,” Missouri State Archives