One of the great things about having a literate society and a post office is that people will communicate via letter some of their innermost thoughts. True Tweeting and Facebook seem to substitute for such endeavors now, hopefully NSA is parking it all in the warehouse complex with the Ark of the Covenant, but I digress.
A letter has been reviewed by Erin Allen at the Library of Congress and it is proof positive that the damned institution of slavery was not a "blessing"
Unidentified soldier in Union sergeant's uniform holding kepi with unidentified woman:
A Letter Home
October 10th, 2012 by Erin Allen
For some Union soldiers, their exposure to southern slavery profoundly altered their views on the institution, even before President Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862.
One such soldier, John P. Jones, wrote to his wife of his increasing sympathy for abolitionism after seeing the inhumanity with which slaves could be treated. He rejoiced that military policy no longer forced soldiers to return escaped slaves, which had made him feel like a “slave catcher.”
A page from his letter, sent from Medon, Tenn., and dated August 24, 1862, is a featured item in the Library’s “The Civil War in America” exhibition, opening Nov. 12. The letter has never before been seen by the public.
I am getting to be more and more of an abolitionist. I believe that this accursed institution must go down. We can never have a permanent peace as long … as this curse stains our otherwise fair insignia. The ruler of nations can never prosper these United States until it blots slavery from existence. He can no longer wink at such atrocities. This must be the grand, the final issue. I hope the powers that be will soon see it and act accordingly. It may be that we have not suffered enough yet, that the bones of a few more thousands of soldiers must bleach in the dismal swamps of the south, that a few more homes must be desolated, that suffering and desolation be more widely sown throughout the land, but come it must, postpone it as we may.
Thank God a few bright spots are luring up in the distant horizon, small it is true. But they will expand and grow brighter. We are to guard rebel property no more, and fugitives are no longer to be returned when they come within our lines. Thank God the American Soldier is no longer to be used as a slave catcher, no longer to drive helpless women around at the point of the bayonet, and be obliged to obey orders that makes him almost ashamed of being an American Soldier.”