Jonas H. Roe
January 1, 1863
  
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    1863
My Dear Wife Helena   Phillips Co. January 1st
                    I feel thankful to our Heavenly Father for the many blessings that I have received from his most bountiful hands. I feel thankful to be able to inform you that I am well and enjoying myself as well as circumstances will allow It is very unpleasant to be deprived of the companionship of our dearest friends for so long a time I am very anxious or in other words uneasy about you and my dear children I have Confidence in your ability to manage affairs. that you will do all that you can to contribute to the welfare of our dear children I would do feel much better satisfied if I was with you But when I volunteered my services to the United States I felt it a solemn duty that every able bodyed man owed to his country and I have never repented Ours was the best government that the sun ever shown upon and I consider it to be the duty of every descendent of our Illustrious Fathers to do all that lies in his power to perpetrate the same to his posterity. In Congress Hall in Phillidelphia in the year 1776 The immortal Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of American Independence proclaimed this truth to the world that God created all men free + equal It was this Declaration that brought forth the whole sacred Phylanthophists of the world to espouse the cause of our Fathers The cause of human freedom Seven years of war carnish and blood roled around and the Chanes of British bondage was broken and this took a station among the nations of Earth But when our Fathers come to make a Constitution The Tories used their influence to perpetrate the cursed institution of Slavery. There is no worse form of slavery in the world than this African Slavery of ours and I am perfectly satisfied that the uniter of all good is now using the means to abolish that institution the time is not far distant when this great moral blot this great national evil shall be whiped away This our beloved country will emerge gradually from under the direful effects of this cursed institution I am satisfied that the time is fast a coming when our beloved land will be overshadowed with a britter sun that every before when she will be a fit moddle for all human governments distributing its soul churning rais of Carity and Religion to the ignorant benighted and downtroden nations of Earth. The present country has been productive of mighty results. Firstly the Freedom of the Surfs of Russia Secondly The downfall of the Romish church and the best of all the final extinction of American Slavery. I may never live to see the final winding up of Slavery and our able peace But as sure as there is a god in Isrial that time is coming
When I last wrote to you I stated that we were under marching orders and I thought that we were going to Vicksburg On the 24th We started about three or four thousand Cavalry to cross the country to join Gen Grants Army at Oxford in the North part of the state of Ten Mississippi But we could not cross the swamp We was in a large swamp in Mississippi on Christmas day instead of being at home we were obliged to return to Helena again but we do not know how long we will remain here
We are on Picket guard most of the time There are generally from 12 to 20 men on a Post whare they can have a fire to cook + warm by from that Post they put out 4 pickets about of a mile four different directions on horseback they stand 2 hours at a time with their guns loaded and cocked They are called Vydets. The Corporal's duty is to relieve them by putting new ones on every two hours None of the guard Officers or Privates of the Post are permitted to sleep at all doing the whole twenty four hours We received word from Vicksburg last night that we had taken it We have a large army there We mustered yesterday for pay I have four months pay now due as soon as I get it I will send you some When I had my horse taken I lost my stamps + money and the reason that I do not write oftener is because I have no stamps
          Write every week without fail Give my best wishes to Jo Enterkine + family and all other inquiring friends I am now Doctoring C. Straight his boy has had the measels mrs. Straight will come home as soon as she can Straight is trying to get Discharged I think he will succeed I am your loving husband
  Celina Roe J.H. Roe

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