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Bernt Olmanson records his longing to come home.

We cannot complain that the days are bad, but we are wishing for freedom. The soldier’s daily talk is home, home, and when? We have not received our pay. I have not received any since Aug. 1864. I don’t know if I will draw pay before I am discharged or not. I still live in hope that our service will not last many more months….Freedom is as dear as if we have been in slavery for three years. Many say, “All we ask are the papers. The pay we will gladly give to the government if they would just let us go.” We often hear that remark nowadays.

Source: Bernt Olmanson, Letters of Bernt Olmanson: A Union Soldier in the Civil War 1861-1865, ed. Keith Olmanson (Minneapolis, 2008), 103-104.



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