Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Enlistment - Private Ellis Willson


Deerest Kathryn, 
           i write you from my regments training camp I have ben very busy at work. it is midnight, and i am tired, but i did promisse you i would write every nit from camp and i do not break my vows. so as the rest of my regment sleaps on the ground around me, i sit by the small flam of my candel that casts small shadows on all the dirty and roff faces on my fellow soildgers. they share my strong hatred for the sin ful act that is slavery. i do not now them well, but I can tel from first pressions of these men that I have lucked out to be placed in a regment with peple who share my values and views. i am tryin to rite best as i can. ther is a man in my regiment that can rite good, he helps for hard words. i hope this information helps put your worried mind to rest.
           i write because i do not want to leeve on the small argumant that we had before I had left. i now that you fear for my safety in this war and did not preciate me running to sign up the second they took voluntears, except i do not think you understand how impartant the ending of slavery is. i do not mean to continue an argumant we can not win, cept you do not get what slavery is truly like. you have ben free most of your life, and when you were a slave you were working as a hosemaid, you never really known the terror of slavery, never seen it truly hapen, like it could only hapen in the fields under a mean owner, such as I was. you nod and lisen when I go on about the injustice that is slavery, but you never join along. you skim the ahbolitionist papers I bring home, but you don't get what they say. you try and neglect your anccestors past so you do not have to face the problam head on. i do not have that luxoury. I am scured by the memores of my broters being whipped til they are just a wimpering, bloody version of themselves. i cary round guilt of nowing my mother who still is somewhere in south.. she must work all the time in the hot fields, pricking herself on the cotton plants. that is no way to live, with  memores and guilt. now, i got a chance to do somthin, to not sit on the sidelines and let myself get pushed around in north knowing are people are treted even worse in the south. 
           i now you are scared for the after math. you made that very clear in our argumant the day befour i left. you are scured for blacks when we are free. the idea of  mor racism, and angry whites terrifies you. cept fear has ruled over the slaves for to long, fear of reevolting, fear of the white man. we have ben givan  chance,  chance to gain fredom for all slaves cross the country, who nows when we will get chance agin? it may be another centary befour everythin is lined up to were we can fight for ahbolishment of slavery. the time for fear is don, the time for act is now. i will do everythin I can to take advantge of the chance. 
             so i now that you fear four my lif, and i now you resentmnt toward me cause I listed myself without discusin it wit you, cept i hope you undrstand why I had to do it. this is my dream, to be able to do somethin to help my brethren who work the filds day and nit, and to now that somewhere, my mother may be free. i understand if you do not se my pont of view, I have alway ben told I hav ben a bit 'radical', but that what it took for a slave to scape. that what it took to bring us gether. i got to be radical, and audacus, and brave, just like I got to be now. 
              i miss you and love you very much. i promise to kep rite you every day, and like I have said befour, I do not brek my vows. 

                                                                                   Your Husband,
                                                                                          Ellis

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