In his fifth and final letter from the front, Sergeant J. T. S. Taylor reported on how the end of the war had affected the 2nd USCT’s service in Florida. The regiment would finally muster out on January 5, 1866.
FROM THE BOYS IN BLUE.
HDQRS. 2d U. S. C. INFANTRY, }
FORT TAYLOR, KEY WEST, Fla., }
July 26th, 1865. }
MR. EDITOR: I deem it practicable on my part to address you a few lines for information. I have received through the mails several times an extra package of papers from your office belonging to Lieut. Murphy. What use I am to make of them I have not yet learned, and I fear I may be appropriating them to the wrong purposes. Each time that I have received the papers I distributed them amongst other soldiers in our regiment, who haven’t opportunity or the means to procure your interesting journal regularly; by that means the Anglos have been made use of to a good purpose. Lieut. Murphy was one of those who fell mortally wounded last spring at Natural Bridge, when our regiment attacked Tallahassee, Fla., and he has since died.
The general state of affairs now in this department, since the closing up of the rebellion, have become more than extraordinarily dull and quiet, and, at the present time, there is not sufficient or interesting news enough for me to enlarge upon, which would attract any one’s attention with any remarkableness, other than that five companies of our soldiers have gone to Tallahassee, Fla., to do provost duty. The weather here is exceedingly warm, and nothing seems to prevail supreme but a continued drouth and famine. All through, thus far, we have had no cases of yellow fever. What has become of Rev. W. J. Strong? Is he coming back again to Key West? I rather think the privations here are too severe for any others but soldiers. I am very proud to see, by the advertisements in the newspapers, that there will be a colored convention held in Alexandria, 2d of August next; and I am very sorry that I cannot be present on the shores of Virginia to participate. For I can say that now old Virginia may be always proud, and sing her praises long and loud, for slavery is abolished. Nothing more. Yours, with due respect,
J. T. S. TAYLOR
Commissary-Sergt. 2d U. S. C. I.
Printed in The Anglo-African, September 3, 1865.