Monday, February 24, 2020

I will tell you the truth about this, I will tell you all about it by Tracy K. Smith

I will tell you the truth about this, I will tell you all about it

Excellent sir, my son went in the 54th regiment

Sir, my husband who is in Company K, 22nd regiment, U.S. colored troops
And now in the Macon Hospital at Portsmouth with a wound in his arm
Has not received any pay since last May
And then only $13.

Sir, we the members of Company D, of the 55th Massachusetts volunteers
Call the attention of your excellency to our case.
For instant, look and see that we never was freed yet.
Run right out of slavery in to soldiery and we hadn’t nothing at all.
And our wives and mothers, most all of them is a perishing all about.
And we all are perishing ourself.
I am willing to be a soldier and serve my time faithful like a man.
But I think it is hard to be put off in such doggish manner as that.

Will you see that the colored men fighting now are fairly treated?
You ought to do this and do it at once.
Not let the thing run along. Need it quickly and manfully.
We poor oppressed ones appeal to you and ask fair play.

So please, if you can do any good for us, do it in the name of God.
Excuse my boldness, but please, your reply will settle the matter
And will be appreciated by a colored man
And who is willing to sacrifice his son in the cause of freedom and humanity.

I have nothing more to say.
Hoping that you will lend a listening ear.
To a humble soldier.
I will close, your for Christ’s sake.
I shall have to send this without a stamp.
For I h’ain’t money enough to buy a stamp.

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