Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 407

Price Realized: $ 38,400
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 8,000
"I WILL GIVE UP MY LIFE MOST WILLINGLY TO BENEFIT THE COLORED RACE" (MILITARY--CIVIL WAR.) Letter from Morgan W. Carter, 28th U.S.C.T. Black Soldier to a friend. Single sheet of 9th Corps, 4th Div. Stationary, folded to form four pages, written on three sides, with the original envelope; some wear and stains to the letter. City Point, VA, Dec. 3, [1864]

Additional Details

a letter with extraordinary content, written by a black soldier in his own hand. Morgan W. Carter, born in Madison, Indiana, enlisted with the U.S.C.T on February 5th, 1864. Carter, a sergeant, writes to his friend Charles, and apologizes for not writing sooner.
"Well, friend Charles I am doing as well as could be expected of a fellow in Uncle Sam's employment. We are in winter quarters at City Point now, doing provost duty, which is quite agreeable after our Summer Campaign which has been quite severe on us at some times. But we are last at rest for the Winter. I have a splendid little house to myself with a fireplace in it and you can see that I am snug as you please. Only the recollection of home associations comes forcible to memory then I feel a little down hearted. But soon rally when I think on what principal I am fighting which is for the benefit of my race. I have been in a good many near close place but by the Lord's will I have escaped with life. So far I have been wounded twice, once by a piece of shell on the long to be remembered field of bloodshed and slaughter on the 31st of July (the Stoneman Raid) There many a poor fell[ow] lost thear life for thear country and thear people. But poore fellows they died a noble death and in this cause if it is necessary I will give up my life most willingly to benefit the Colored Race. You kno yourself that we have been trampled under the white man's heal for years and now we have a choice to to elevate our selfs and our race and what little I can do toward it I will do so most willingly. If I should die before I receive the benefit of it I will have the consolation of nowing that the generations to come will receive the blessing of it. And I think it the duty of all the men of our race to do what they can. Well friend Charley I was very glad to here the citizens of Madison had such a good time in honor of Uncle Abe's reelection. You must remember my love to your father and mother and the rest of the family and to all enquiring friends. Will Forten and the rest of the boys send their love and respect to all as it is near time to put lights out in camp. I will sat Good Night./ I remain your friend Morgan W. Carter. Direct to Sgt. Morgan W. Carter, Company G, 28th U.S. Cold. Troops, City Point, Virginia. Care colonel Russell." This letter is quoted in full in Edward A. Millar's Black Civil War Soldiers of Illinois, pages 104-105. (University of South Caronlina Press, 1998.)