Jonas H. Roe
April 30, 1863

No. 5    

My Dear Wife. Helena Ark. April 30th 1863
           Through the many mercies of our Heavenly Father I am again this pleasant morning permitted to converse with you my Dear Companion through the medium of pen paper and ink the only medium by which we can hold conserve it is not so desirable as vocal conversation but I am truly thankful to the giver of all good (whose omnicince + omnipresence fills immensity) for the privillage of thus addressing you Celina I am perfectly satisfied that our cause is just + that the God of Heaven will bless our arms the more that I can learn of President Lincoln the better I am satisfied that he is an intelligent honest + religious man that he is an instrument under God (as Joshua of old was) to lead direct and free those poor dispised downtrodden descendants of Ham - who have been bought + sold as beast of burden for upwards of two hundred years. Who that have a Heart can help rejoicing at the prospect of their soon being delivered from that slavery that has cursed our beloved Country that has so often pained the heart of the noble American when reflecting upon his country - which is called the home of the free an assalum for the abode of the oppressed of the different nations of the Earth. To reflect that here has been tolerated the worst species of human Bondage ever known. Thank God I believe a better day is a coming when the sentiments + desires of our Fathers will be carried out then in truth + Justice this can be called an asylum for of the oppressed of Earth. Long since the American Congress enacted a Law to punish with death those engaged in the Slave trade but when detected and provin guilty they were pardoned the President not having decition of Character sufficient to do his duty it was not so with President Lincoln when the Commander of the slave ship was recently tried in New York + found guilty he did not shrink from his duty as the Executioner of the American people but firmly + faithfully informed the Condemned that he would be Executed at a Certain time that he could receive no earthly help that he had violated the laws of a just + righteous Government and thereby he had forfeited his life upon the Gallows. And admonished him to give up all hopes if he had any of human help and throw himself upon the mercies of a Just + righteous God before whom he would soon appear the sentence was carried out + he was Executed. It has dealt a blow upon that nefarious traffick more paralyzing than many captures of slave ships would be if not followed by condemnation + executions of their Commanders Congress has also abolished Slavery in the district of Columbia + prohibited forever from going into the Territories. And it has also passed a Law of freedom of all the slaves in the southern States. When Ajutant Gen Thomas proclaimed upon Fort Curtis the fact that he was commissioned by the President to declair to the American people that American Slavery should forever sease that the soldiers should treat them as human beings and not as brutes - and that the Officers it mattered not what their stripes or grade might be that was known to mistreat any one of that unfortunate race or try to prevent him or her from coming within our lines should be dishonorably discharged from the U States service. We have a full Black Reg. now here + you never saw a more jovial + happy people. Their rights are respected them their wives + children are clothed + fed - when we found them they were generally destitute of clothing. The generous + humane people of the North have sent proper clothing for the Black women + children + they are now comfortable. Tell Enterkine that their countances have changed from that of sorrow and dejection to that of happiness + joy. Celina I have heard many a speach that has filled my breast with Patriotism But it was reserved for Ajutant Gen Thomas to proclaim the tidings of indescribable Joys to me and hard was the heart + truly pittable was the Condition of that man who heard that ever to be Remembered declaration unmooved whose Heart did not swell within his breast with immotions of grattitude to the author of all human blessings both temperal + spiritual. Celina we are here yet + perhaps we will remain here until fall most of the large force here have gone down to Vicksburg. The Rebels under general Price is reported fifty miles west of here. We have been looking for him some we keep a good lookout if he makes an attack here we will be prepared for him I think - a Box was dug up from under an old building in Helena day before yesterday containing one million of dollars in gold. A man deserted from Vicksburg + came on board of a Gun Boat gave information to the Captain - The Captain + the man went to the Gen. Printis our present Commander + informed him he ordered them to go + dig for it + they done so + found the Box. A man living in town claims ownership but it is thought it will be confiscated to our government - My health is good + so is John Allens. We will muster to day for pay. Please write every week. Give my love + respects to Enterkine + family and all other Wayne Co. friends.
                               I am your true and loving husband
          Celina Roe                                                       J. H. Roe

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