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Letter from a USCT

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  • Bob Huddleston
    When doing research every now and then one stumbles across something so powerful that you are taken aback and just sit and stare at it. This is one of those
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 29, 2000
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      When doing research every now and then one stumbles across something so
      powerful that you are taken aback and just sit and stare at it.

      This is one of those times. I was sitting Friday in the Old Army Records
      room at the National Archives. A professor from the University of Detroit
      was being introduced to the Civil War CMSR and Pension records of the United
      States Colored troops from a couple of staffers who have been working
      extensively with the files.

      The letter pasted below is in the file of Private Samuel Cabel (or �Cabelle�
      as he spelled it), Co. G, 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Colored).
      He enlisted on June 5, 1863 at Readville, MA and was described on the
      company records as being 21 years old, light complexion, �grey� eyes, and
      black hair. Cabel told the Massachusetts people that he was from Keokuk, IA,
      but in reality he was an escaped slave from Brunswick, MO. His occupation
      was given as a waiter.

      On August 29, 1865, Pvt. Cabel was mustered out at Charleston, SC.

      Included in his service file is a letter to his wife back in Missouri. As
      you read it, remember that it was illegal for slaves to learn to read and
      write.

      But not only could Cabel write but obviously his wife could read � and
      write. And Cabel's handwriting is very clear and readable, even if he is a
      little original in his spelling!

      I questioned if someone else might have written the letter for him and the
      NARA staffers informed us that they think the literacy rate among the
      soldiers was a lot higher than has been previously thought. Almost all of
      the men from slave states signed their enlistment papers with an �X� �
      perhaps at that moment their trust level with whites was not very high.

      But, the staff said, very quickly the men are writing letters and signing
      documents. Now that Uncle Sam had actually put them in a blue uniform and
      handed them a Springfield, the rules had changed.

      The letter is undated but must be from June or July 1863.

      It is reproduced as written � and my spell check did not like that one
      little bit!

      Take care,

      Bob

      JUDY AND BOB HUDDLESTON
      10643 Sperry Street
      Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      303.451.6376 adco@...
      Fax: 303.452.3051

      Dear wife i have enlisted in the army i am now in the state of Massachusetts
      but before this letter reaches you i will be in north carolina and though
      great in the present national difficulties yet i look forward to a brighter
      day when i shall have the opertunity of seeing you in the full enjoyment of
      freedom i would like to no if you are still in slavery if you are it will
      not be long before we shall have crushed the system in that now opreses you
      for in the course of three months you shall be at liberty. great is the
      outpouring of the colored people that is now rallying with the hearts of
      lions against that very curse that has separated you and me yet we shall
      meet again and oh what happy time that will be when this ungodly rebellion
      shall be put down and the curse of our land is trampled under our feet i am
      a soldier endeavry to strike at the rebellion that so long has kept us in
      chains. write to me just as soon as you get this letter tell me if you are
      in the same cabin where you use to live. tell eliza i send her my best
      respects and love ike and sully likewise i would send you some money but i
      now it is impossible for you to get it i would like to see little Jenkins
      now but i no it is impossible at present so no more but remain your own
      afectionate husband until death

      Samuel Cabble
    • philip@twinoaks.org
      To: From: Bob Huddleston Date sent: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 18:10:27 -0700 Send reply to:
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 30, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        To: <adco@...>
        From: "Bob Huddleston" <adco@...>
        Date sent: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 18:10:27 -0700
        Send reply to: civilwarwest@egroups.com
        Subject: [civilwarwest] Letter from a USCT

        Thanks for the great post.
        Philip

        > When doing research every now and then one stumbles across something
        > so powerful that you are taken aback and just sit and stare at it.
        >
        > This is one of those times. I was sitting Friday in the Old Army
        > Records room at the National Archives. A professor from the University
        > of Detroit was being introduced to the Civil War CMSR and Pension
        > records of the United States Colored troops from a couple of staffers
        > who have been working extensively with the files.
        >
        > The letter pasted below is in the file of Private Samuel Cabel (or
        > “Cabelle” as he spelled it), Co. G, 55th Massachusetts Volunteer
        > Infantry (Colored). He enlisted on June 5, 1863 at Readville, MA and
        > was described on the company records as being 21 years old, light
        > complexion, “grey” eyes, and black hair. Cabel told the Massachusetts
        > people that he was from Keokuk, IA, but in reality he was an escaped
        > slave from Brunswick, MO. His occupation was given as a waiter.
        >
        > On August 29, 1865, Pvt. Cabel was mustered out at Charleston, SC.
        >
        > Included in his service file is a letter to his wife back in Missouri.
        > As you read it, remember that it was illegal for slaves to learn to
        > read and write.
        >
        > But not only could Cabel write but obviously his wife could read – and
        > write. And Cabel's handwriting is very clear and readable, even if he
        > is a little original in his spelling!
        >
        > I questioned if someone else might have written the letter for him and
        > the NARA staffers informed us that they think the literacy rate among
        > the soldiers was a lot higher than has been previously thought. Almost
        > all of the men from slave states signed their enlistment papers with
        > an “X” – perhaps at that moment their trust level with whites was not
        > very high.
        >
        > But, the staff said, very quickly the men are writing letters and
        > signing documents. Now that Uncle Sam had actually put them in a blue
        > uniform and handed them a Springfield, the rules had changed.
        >
        > The letter is undated but must be from June or July 1863.
        >
        > It is reproduced as written – and my spell check did not like that one
        > little bit!
        >
        > Take care,
        >
        > Bob
        >
        > JUDY AND BOB HUDDLESTON
        > 10643 Sperry Street
        > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
        > 303.451.6376 adco@...
        > Fax: 303.452.3051
        >
        > Dear wife i have enlisted in the army i am now in the state of
        > Massachusetts but before this letter reaches you i will be in north
        > carolina and though great in the present national difficulties yet i
        > look forward to a brighter day when i shall have the opertunity of
        > seeing you in the full enjoyment of freedom i would like to no if you
        > are still in slavery if you are it will not be long before we shall
        > have crushed the system in that now opreses you for in the course of
        > three months you shall be at liberty. great is the outpouring of the
        > colored people that is now rallying with the hearts of lions against
        > that very curse that has separated you and me yet we shall meet again
        > and oh what happy time that will be when this ungodly rebellion shall
        > be put down and the curse of our land is trampled under our feet i am
        > a soldier endeavry to strike at the rebellion that so long has kept us
        > in chains. write to me just as soon as you get this letter tell me if
        > you are in the same cabin where you use to live. tell eliza i send her
        > my best respects and love ike and sully likewise i would send you some
        > money but i now it is impossible for you to get it i would like to see
        > little Jenkins now but i no it is impossible at present so no more but
        > remain your own afectionate husband until death
        >
        > Samuel Cabble
        >
        >
        >
        > -------------------------- eGroups Sponsor
        > -------------------------~-~> eLerts It's Easy. It's Fun. Best of All,
        > it's Free! http://click.egroups.com/1/9699/4/_/14182/_/972868106/
        > ---------------------------------------------------------------------_
        > ->
        >
        >
        >
      • grabrulee@aol.com
        Dear Bob, Thank you for the excellent post. I hope your spellchecker is now fully recovered :-) . Reading through Samuel Cabble s letter it struck me that this
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 1, 2000
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          Dear Bob,
          Thank you for the excellent post. I hope your spellchecker is now
          fully recovered :-) .
          Reading through Samuel Cabble's letter it struck me that this is a
          man with no formal education and whose command of the English language was
          entirely self taught. His formal grammar (capitalizing sentences,
          punctuation, etc.) is very clearly lacking but his sentence construction is
          excellent. I would have loved to hear this man speak as there was none of
          the, "De Massa say dat.." kind of English that we are spoon-fed by popular
          authors, TV and movie screenwriters and their ilk.
          Whatever this man's position as a slave, it was clearly in close and
          regular contact with the white members of his community where he had ample
          opportunity to listen and to learn from what he heard. I would suggest that
          he was a carriage driver or butler or some such position rather than the
          occupation stated. I would also suggest that if we English speakers spoke as
          we write, including orally the "mental notes" we employ ("New sentence,
          capital letter", "'know' has a 'k' but it's silent" and so on) this letter
          would have been as good as or better than one written by his former owner.
          And interesting insight into a man who would have been considered
          incapable, because of his color, of leading troops - even troops of the same
          color. I know this is getting way off subject but one of my other great
          passions in life is the game of cricket. Now, you may think that in the
          Twentieth Century attitudes became more liberal. Not so in West Indies
          cricket. I watched the first team to be captained by a black man when touring
          abroad. It was in 1961 and this was from an area with no particular racial
          aspect to their politics as would have been found in, say, South Africa. The
          "official" reason given (if any was ever given) was that a colored man lacked
          the social refinement required for the captain of an international team.
          It looks to me that if Samuel Cabble had still been alive then he may
          well be wondering why he and his fellows ever bothered putting on the
          uniforms of which they were so proud and to pick up their muskets with which
          they felt they could do so much good.
          Just a few rambling (if disconnected) thoughts.
          Best wishes,
          Graham Lee.
          PS. It may interest you to know that of the supposedly "uncultured"
          all black 1961 team, three later received knighthood's from Queen
          Elizabeth...not bad, eh?
        • grabrulee@aol.com
          Dear Bob, Thank you for the excellent post. I hope your spellchecker is now fully recovered :-) . Reading through Samuel Cabble s letter it struck me that this
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 1, 2000
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Bob,
            Thank you for the excellent post. I hope your spellchecker is now
            fully recovered :-) .
            Reading through Samuel Cabble's letter it struck me that this is a
            man with no formal education and whose command of the English language was
            entirely self taught. His formal grammar (capitalizing sentences,
            punctuation, etc.) is very clearly lacking but his sentence construction is
            excellent. I would have loved to hear this man speak as there was none of
            the, "De Massa say dat.." kind of English that we are spoon-fed by popular
            authors, TV and movie screenwriters and their ilk.
            Whatever this man's position as a slave, it was clearly in close and
            regular contact with the white members of his community where he had ample
            opportunity to listen and to learn from what he heard. I would suggest that
            he was a carriage driver or butler or some such position rather than the
            occupation stated. I would also suggest that if we English speakers spoke as
            we write, including orally the "mental notes" we employ ("New sentence,
            capital letter", "'know' has a 'k' but it's silent" and so on) this letter
            would have been as good as or better than one written by his former owner.
            And interesting insight into a man who would have been considered
            incapable, because of his color, of leading troops - even troops of the same
            color. I know this is getting way off subject but one of my other great
            passions in life is the game of cricket. Now, you may think that in the
            Twentieth Century attitudes became more liberal. Not so in West Indies
            cricket. I watched the first team to be captained by a black man when touring
            abroad. It was in 1961 and this was from an area with no particular racial
            aspect to their politics as would have been found in, say, South Africa. The
            "official" reason given (if any was ever given) was that a colored man lacked
            the social refinement required for the captain of an international team.
            It looks to me that if Samuel Cabble had still been alive then he may
            well be wondering why he and his fellows ever bothered putting on the
            uniforms of which they were so proud and to pick up their muskets with which
            they felt they could do so much good.
            Just a few rambling (if disconnected) thoughts.
            Best wishes,
            Graham Lee.
            PS. It may interest you to know that of the supposedly "uncultured"
            all black 1961 team, three later received knighthood's from Queen
            Elizabeth...not bad, eh?
          • tip87th@msn.com
            ... then he may ... the ... with which ... Graham, You may be interested in this. My better half recently had the honor of attending a small, personal meeting
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 4, 2000
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              --- In civilwarwest@egroups.com, grabrulee@a... wrote:

              > It looks to me that if Samuel Cabble had still been alive
              then he may
              > well be wondering why he and his fellows ever bothered putting on
              the
              > uniforms of which they were so proud and to pick up their muskets
              with which
              > they felt they could do so much good.
              > Just a few rambling (if disconnected) thoughts.

              Graham,

              You may be interested in this.

              My better half recently had the honor of attending a small,
              personal meeting with five members of the 332 Fighter Group during a
              city aviation management class. Certainly one who lives in Europe
              would or should be familiar with the "Red Tailed Angels" of the
              Tuskegee Airmen. Recall that the 332nd never lost a bomber under its
              escort cover to enemy fighter planes, during the in-route,
              penetration and withdrawal phases of strategic bomdardment operations
              all over the European continent during the Second World War.

              Relevent to your er, ramblings, would be the several questions
              posed to these gentlemen and lady on the subject of not only their
              own accomplishments, but on the great strides that they felt had been
              achieved by the negro race as a whole. The subject of negros in the
              civil war was raised by Dr. Roscoe Brown who, along with the rest of
              the panel felt that the addition and recruitment of negros in the
              Federal Army was the grandfather of civil rights in the U.S.. They
              personally believe that the 332's record, accomplishments and
              intigration into the United States military was another keystone to
              the civl rights movement. Certainly these airmen do not regret their
              service.

              Perhaps Mr. Cabble wouldn't be impressed with Dr. Brown's
              downing of an Me-262 during an escort mission to Berlin on the
              afternoon of March 24, 1945. The bomber pilots who were escorted by a
              red-tailed P-51 or P-47 during the war would probably beg to differ.
              The Tuskegee Airgroup as a whole exceded all expectations with honor
              and dignity.

              I would not pretend to argue the fact that imbelcilic racial
              hatred and sterotyping did not and does not exist today in the world.
              Yet I use the example and thoughts of these Tuskegee Airmen to refute
              any notion that Mr. Cabble would be dishonored in his enthusiasm for
              donning the uniform of the United States of America.

              Respectfully,

              Tip
            • tip87th@msn.com
              ... then he may ... the ... with which ... Graham, You may be interested in this. My better half recently had the honor of attending a small, personal meeting
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 4, 2000
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                --- In civilwarwest@egroups.com, grabrulee@a... wrote:

                > It looks to me that if Samuel Cabble had still been alive
                then he may
                > well be wondering why he and his fellows ever bothered putting on
                the
                > uniforms of which they were so proud and to pick up their muskets
                with which
                > they felt they could do so much good.
                > Just a few rambling (if disconnected) thoughts.

                Graham,

                You may be interested in this.

                My better half recently had the honor of attending a small,
                personal meeting with five members of the 332 Fighter Group during a
                city aviation management class. Certainly one who lives in Europe
                would or should be familiar with the "Red Tailed Angels" of the
                Tuskegee Airmen. Recall that the 332nd never lost a bomber under its
                escort cover to enemy fighter planes, during the in-route,
                penetration and withdrawal phases of strategic bomdardment operations
                all over the European continent during the Second World War.

                Relevent to your er, ramblings, would be the several questions
                posed to these gentlemen and lady on the subject of not only their
                own accomplishments, but on the great strides that they felt had been
                achieved by the negro race as a whole. The subject of negros in the
                civil war was raised by Dr. Roscoe Brown who, along with the rest of
                the panel felt that the addition and recruitment of negros in the
                Federal Army was the grandfather of civil rights in the U.S.. They
                personally believe that the 332's record, accomplishments and
                intigration into the United States military was another keystone to
                the civl rights movement. Certainly these airmen do not regret their
                service.

                Perhaps Mr. Cabble wouldn't be impressed with Dr. Brown's
                downing of an Me-262 during an escort mission to Berlin on the
                afternoon of March 24, 1945. The bomber pilots who were escorted by a
                red-tailed P-51 or P-47 during the war would probably beg to differ.
                The Tuskegee Airgroup as a whole exceded all expectations with honor
                and dignity.

                I would not pretend to argue the fact that imbelcilic racial
                hatred and sterotyping did not and does not exist today in the world.
                Yet I use the example and thoughts of these Tuskegee Airmen to refute
                any notion that Mr. Cabble would be dishonored in his enthusiasm for
                donning the uniform of the United States of America.

                Respectfully,

                Tip
              • grabrulee@aol.com
                Dear Tip, I never, for one moment, meant to denigrate the activities of Negroes in any walk of life nor the genuine achievements they have made in all areas. I
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 5, 2000
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                  Dear Tip,
                  I never, for one moment, meant to denigrate the activities of Negroes
                  in any walk of life nor the genuine achievements they have made in all areas.
                  I was questioning whether they would see any genuine change in attitude on
                  the part of the non-Negroid world. What real progress has been made (e.g.,
                  the ending of apartheid in S. A.) has been limited to the past two decades
                  while the instance I was quoting referred specifically to the early 1960s.
                  I do not yet have the experience of civil rights issues in the US to
                  comment and it may well be the case that the instigation of USCT units was
                  the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement (though I suspect that devotees
                  of Frederick Douglas and others may take issue with you). I can, however,
                  talk with some authority of the racial situation back in my native UK where,
                  despite many attempts to enforce various and sundry anti-discrimination Acts
                  of Parliament, no real progress has been made in the areas of acceptance.
                  I can quote many examples (especially in the media) to back this up
                  but that is outside the scope of this forum. Let me once more apologize if I
                  inadvertently suggested that Negroes, individually or in groups, had not
                  progressed. What I was actually talking about was whether their CAUSE had
                  actually progressed in the century between the WBTS and the specific instance
                  I quoted.
                  Best wishes,
                  Graham Lee.
                • grabrulee@aol.com
                  Dear Tip, I never, for one moment, meant to denigrate the activities of Negroes in any walk of life nor the genuine achievements they have made in all areas. I
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 5, 2000
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Dear Tip,
                    I never, for one moment, meant to denigrate the activities of Negroes
                    in any walk of life nor the genuine achievements they have made in all areas.
                    I was questioning whether they would see any genuine change in attitude on
                    the part of the non-Negroid world. What real progress has been made (e.g.,
                    the ending of apartheid in S. A.) has been limited to the past two decades
                    while the instance I was quoting referred specifically to the early 1960s.
                    I do not yet have the experience of civil rights issues in the US to
                    comment and it may well be the case that the instigation of USCT units was
                    the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement (though I suspect that devotees
                    of Frederick Douglas and others may take issue with you). I can, however,
                    talk with some authority of the racial situation back in my native UK where,
                    despite many attempts to enforce various and sundry anti-discrimination Acts
                    of Parliament, no real progress has been made in the areas of acceptance.
                    I can quote many examples (especially in the media) to back this up
                    but that is outside the scope of this forum. Let me once more apologize if I
                    inadvertently suggested that Negroes, individually or in groups, had not
                    progressed. What I was actually talking about was whether their CAUSE had
                    actually progressed in the century between the WBTS and the specific instance
                    I quoted.
                    Best wishes,
                    Graham Lee.
                  • Daniel Giallombardo
                    ... something so ... Records ... Detroit ... the United ... working ... Cabelle ... (Colored). ... the ... grey eyes, and ... Keokuk, IA, ... occupation
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 7, 2000
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                      --- In civilwarwest@egroups.com, "Bob Huddleston" <adco@f...> wrote:
                      > When doing research every now and then one stumbles across
                      something
                      so
                      > powerful that you are taken aback and just sit and stare at it.
                      >
                      > This is one of those times. I was sitting Friday in the Old Army
                      Records
                      > room at the National Archives. A professor from the University of
                      Detroit
                      > was being introduced to the Civil War CMSR and Pension records of
                      the United
                      > States Colored troops from a couple of staffers who have been
                      working
                      > extensively with the files.
                      >
                      > The letter pasted below is in the file of Private Samuel Cabel (or
                      "Cabelle"
                      > as he spelled it), Co. G, 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
                      (Colored).
                      > He enlisted on June 5, 1863 at Readville, MA and was described on
                      the
                      > company records as being 21 years old, light complexion,
                      "grey"
                      eyes, and
                      > black hair. Cabel told the Massachusetts people that he was from
                      Keokuk, IA,
                      > but in reality he was an escaped slave from Brunswick, MO. His
                      occupation
                      > was given as a waiter.
                      >
                      > On August 29, 1865, Pvt. Cabel was mustered out at Charleston, SC.
                      >
                      > Included in his service file is a letter to his wife back in
                      Missouri. As
                      > you read it, remember that it was illegal for slaves to learn to
                      read and
                      > write.
                      >
                      > But not only could Cabel write but obviously his wife could read
                      –
                      and
                      > write. And Cabel's handwriting is very clear and readable, even if
                      he is a
                      > little original in his spelling!
                      >
                      > I questioned if someone else might have written the letter for him
                      and the
                      > NARA staffers informed us that they think the literacy rate among
                      the
                      > soldiers was a lot higher than has been previously thought. Almost
                      all of
                      > the men from slave states signed their enlistment papers with an
                      "X"
                      –
                      > perhaps at that moment their trust level with whites was not very
                      high.
                      >
                      > But, the staff said, very quickly the men are writing letters and
                      signing
                      > documents. Now that Uncle Sam had actually put them in a blue
                      uniform and
                      > handed them a Springfield, the rules had changed.
                      >
                      > The letter is undated but must be from June or July 1863.
                      >
                      > It is reproduced as written – and my spell check did not like
                      that
                      one
                      > little bit!
                      >
                      > Take care,
                      >
                      > Bob
                      >
                      > JUDY AND BOB HUDDLESTON
                      > 10643 Sperry Street
                      > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
                      > 303.451.6376 adco@F...
                      > Fax: 303.452.3051
                      >
                      > Dear wife i have enlisted in the army i am now in the state of
                      Massachusetts
                      > but before this letter reaches you i will be in north carolina and
                      though
                      > great in the present national difficulties yet i look forward to a
                      brighter
                      > day when i shall have the opertunity of seeing you in the full
                      enjoyment of
                      > freedom i would like to no if you are still in slavery if you are
                      it
                      will
                      > not be long before we shall have crushed the system in that now
                      opreses you
                      > for in the course of three months you shall be at liberty. great is
                      the
                      > outpouring of the colored people that is now rallying with the
                      hearts of
                      > lions against that very curse that has separated you and me yet we
                      shall
                      > meet again and oh what happy time that will be when this ungodly
                      rebellion
                      > shall be put down and the curse of our land is trampled under our
                      feet i am
                      > a soldier endeavry to strike at the rebellion that so long has kept
                      us in
                      > chains. write to me just as soon as you get this letter tell me if
                      you are
                      > in the same cabin where you use to live. tell eliza i send her my
                      best
                      > respects and love ike and sully likewise i would send you some
                      money
                      but i
                      > now it is impossible for you to get it i would like to see little
                      Jenkins
                      > now but i no it is impossible at present so no more but remain your
                      own
                      > afectionate husband until death>
                      >

                      Samuel Cabble




                      Bob,

                      Powerful stuff my friend.And movingly written.

                      Dan
                    • Daniel Giallombardo
                      ... something so ... Records ... Detroit ... the United ... working ... Cabelle ... (Colored). ... the ... grey eyes, and ... Keokuk, IA, ... occupation
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 7, 2000
                      • 0 Attachment
                        --- In civilwarwest@egroups.com, "Bob Huddleston" <adco@f...> wrote:
                        > When doing research every now and then one stumbles across
                        something
                        so
                        > powerful that you are taken aback and just sit and stare at it.
                        >
                        > This is one of those times. I was sitting Friday in the Old Army
                        Records
                        > room at the National Archives. A professor from the University of
                        Detroit
                        > was being introduced to the Civil War CMSR and Pension records of
                        the United
                        > States Colored troops from a couple of staffers who have been
                        working
                        > extensively with the files.
                        >
                        > The letter pasted below is in the file of Private Samuel Cabel (or
                        "Cabelle"
                        > as he spelled it), Co. G, 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
                        (Colored).
                        > He enlisted on June 5, 1863 at Readville, MA and was described on
                        the
                        > company records as being 21 years old, light complexion,
                        "grey"
                        eyes, and
                        > black hair. Cabel told the Massachusetts people that he was from
                        Keokuk, IA,
                        > but in reality he was an escaped slave from Brunswick, MO. His
                        occupation
                        > was given as a waiter.
                        >
                        > On August 29, 1865, Pvt. Cabel was mustered out at Charleston, SC.
                        >
                        > Included in his service file is a letter to his wife back in
                        Missouri. As
                        > you read it, remember that it was illegal for slaves to learn to
                        read and
                        > write.
                        >
                        > But not only could Cabel write but obviously his wife could read
                        –
                        and
                        > write. And Cabel's handwriting is very clear and readable, even if
                        he is a
                        > little original in his spelling!
                        >
                        > I questioned if someone else might have written the letter for him
                        and the
                        > NARA staffers informed us that they think the literacy rate among
                        the
                        > soldiers was a lot higher than has been previously thought. Almost
                        all of
                        > the men from slave states signed their enlistment papers with an
                        "X"
                        –
                        > perhaps at that moment their trust level with whites was not very
                        high.
                        >
                        > But, the staff said, very quickly the men are writing letters and
                        signing
                        > documents. Now that Uncle Sam had actually put them in a blue
                        uniform and
                        > handed them a Springfield, the rules had changed.
                        >
                        > The letter is undated but must be from June or July 1863.
                        >
                        > It is reproduced as written – and my spell check did not like
                        that
                        one
                        > little bit!
                        >
                        > Take care,
                        >
                        > Bob
                        >
                        > JUDY AND BOB HUDDLESTON
                        > 10643 Sperry Street
                        > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
                        > 303.451.6376 adco@F...
                        > Fax: 303.452.3051
                        >
                        > Dear wife i have enlisted in the army i am now in the state of
                        Massachusetts
                        > but before this letter reaches you i will be in north carolina and
                        though
                        > great in the present national difficulties yet i look forward to a
                        brighter
                        > day when i shall have the opertunity of seeing you in the full
                        enjoyment of
                        > freedom i would like to no if you are still in slavery if you are
                        it
                        will
                        > not be long before we shall have crushed the system in that now
                        opreses you
                        > for in the course of three months you shall be at liberty. great is
                        the
                        > outpouring of the colored people that is now rallying with the
                        hearts of
                        > lions against that very curse that has separated you and me yet we
                        shall
                        > meet again and oh what happy time that will be when this ungodly
                        rebellion
                        > shall be put down and the curse of our land is trampled under our
                        feet i am
                        > a soldier endeavry to strike at the rebellion that so long has kept
                        us in
                        > chains. write to me just as soon as you get this letter tell me if
                        you are
                        > in the same cabin where you use to live. tell eliza i send her my
                        best
                        > respects and love ike and sully likewise i would send you some
                        money
                        but i
                        > now it is impossible for you to get it i would like to see little
                        Jenkins
                        > now but i no it is impossible at present so no more but remain your
                        own
                        > afectionate husband until death>
                        >

                        Samuel Cabble




                        Bob,

                        Powerful stuff my friend.And movingly written.

                        Dan
                      • Bob Huddleston
                        Thanks. I am enjoying finding more out about Pvt. Cabel. Take care, Bob JUDY AND BOB HUDDLESTON 10643 Sperry Street Northglenn, CO 80234-3612 303.451.6376
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 7, 2000
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Thanks. I am enjoying finding more out about Pvt. Cabel.

                          Take care,

                          Bob

                          JUDY AND BOB HUDDLESTON
                          10643 Sperry Street
                          Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
                          303.451.6376 adco@...
                          Fax: 303.452.3051

                          SNIP
                          Bob,

                          Powerful stuff my friend.And movingly written.

                          Dan
                        • Bob Huddleston
                          Thanks. I am enjoying finding more out about Pvt. Cabel. Take care, Bob JUDY AND BOB HUDDLESTON 10643 Sperry Street Northglenn, CO 80234-3612 303.451.6376
                          Message 12 of 14 , Nov 7, 2000
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Thanks. I am enjoying finding more out about Pvt. Cabel.

                            Take care,

                            Bob

                            JUDY AND BOB HUDDLESTON
                            10643 Sperry Street
                            Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
                            303.451.6376 adco@...
                            Fax: 303.452.3051

                            SNIP
                            Bob,

                            Powerful stuff my friend.And movingly written.

                            Dan
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