DescriptionRichard Winslow, a Private in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages on patriotic letterhead, 4.25" x 6.75"; Morris Island, South Carolina; May 30, 1864. A letter to Samuel Clay: "In united protest of unequal pay, all soldiers of our regiment have yet to receive pay. While I cannot agree on provision and condition of uniforms and equipment, which have been comparible [sic] to white regiments, we continue to decline pay until the U.S. Government or the Almighty himself sees fit to ammend [sic] this terrible injustice. How right you are in acknowledging the hardships that have befallen our families, whom suffer the greatest. Fear not my friend, on our circumstances. Instead be part of our cause! There are forces on earth that moves mountains and so shall we overcome... remember our families and our fallen brothers in your prayers. Your friend, Richard Winslow / Co. H. 54th Mass. Vols."
Black soldiers received $10 per month in pay, netting $7 after a $3 deduction for clothing. In comparison, White soldiers were paid $13 a month with no such clothing deduction. Organized protests such as the one Winslow recounts in his letter would finally succeed in June 1864. Congress passed legislation in June 1864 granting equal pay to black soldiers retroactively.
Richard Winslow enlisted as a private in the 54th Massachusetts in December 1863, and served until his discharge in September 1865.
Condition: Very clean, with the usual mail folds.
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