Shreveport, La., September 26, 1864.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
My DEAR Sir:
The time has come for us to put into the army every able-bodied negro man as a soldier. This should be done immediately. Congress should at the coming session take action on this most important question. The negro knows that he cannot escape conscription if he goes to the enemy. He must play an important part in the war. He caused the fight, and he will have his portion of the burden to bear. We have learned from dear-bought experience that negroes can be taught to fight, and that all who leave us are made to fight against us. I would free all able to bear arms and put them into the field at once. They will make much better soldiers with us than against us and swell the now depleted ranks of our armies. I beg you to give this your earnest attention. With assurances of my friendly regard and very high esteem, I remain, very re- spectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY W. ALLEN, Governor of Louisiana."
A year later the call was still being made.